Czech Philharmonic Special
Fridays in January
To welcome 2021 in style, Stingray Classica dedicates January's Friday evenings to five never-before-seen concerts by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. These recent concerts were all recorded at the orchestra's home base, the Dvořák Hall of Prague's Rudolfinum. On January 1, principal conductor Semyon Bychkov leads the orchestra in a concert fully dedicated to Czech composers. In our other broadcasts, Antonín Dvořák's music is well-represented, with his symphonic poem 'The Golden Spinning Wheel' Op. 109, Symphony No. 7, and naturally crowd favorite Symphony No. 9 "From the New World". On the program are also two late works by Gustav Mahler: the composer's Symphony No. 9 and Das Lied von der Erde. Other notable highlights include Luciano Berio's Sinfonia, Henri Dutilleux's Symphony No. 2, and a captivating performance of Bohuslav Martinů's Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra by the French pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque.
Bychkov conducts Smetana, Martinů and Dvořák
Friday, 1 January | 21:00
Soviet-born conductor Semyon Bychkov leads the Czech Philharmonic in a concert program dedicated to Czech composers, recorded at the Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall, Prague in 2018. On the program are Overture and dances 'Polka', 'Furiant', and 'Skočná' from Bedřich Smetana's opera The Bartered Bride. The program continues with Bohuslav Martinů's Double Concerto for Two String Orchestras, Piano, and Timpani (H. 271). Soloists are Ivo Kahánek (piano) and Michael Kroutil (timpani). The concert closes with Antonín Dvořák's well-known Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, "From the New World".
Berio's Sinfonia & Dvořák's Symphony No. 7, Op. 70
Friday, 8 January | 21:00
Soviet-born conductor Semyon Bychkov leads the Czech Philharmonic and London Voices in a concert recorded at the Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall, Prague in October 2018. On the program are Luciano Berio's Sinfonia for eight voices and orchestra and Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, Op. 70. When Bychkov selected the program for his first subscription concert as chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, he suggested Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 without hesitation, thus honoring the orchestra’s national tradition from the very start of his tenure at the helm of the Czech Philharmonic. His choice for Berio’s Sinfonia presents a striking contrast: this major, ground-breaking work in twentieth-century music had not been performed in the Czech Republic for 20 years.
Simon Rattle conducts Dvořák and Mahler
Friday, 15 January | 21:00
Sir Simon Rattle conducts the Czech Philharmonic in this concert program featuring works by Antonín Dvořák and Gustav Mahler, recorded at the Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall, Prague on March 1, 2019. The program opens with Dvořák's symphonic poem 'The Golden Spinning Wheel', Op. 109. The work is a poetic treatment of a fairytale by Czech writer Božena Němcová. Dvořák’s Golden Spinning Wheel was premiered in private by the orchestra of the Prague Conservatoire conducted by Antonín Bennewitz in 1896. The Czech Philharmonic concludes the program with Mahler's symphony Das Lied von der Erde. Soloists are Magdalena Kožená (mezzo-soprano) and Simon O’Neill (tenor). In May 1908, Gustav Mahler returned to Europe after his first season in New York and spent the summer holiday in South Tyrol, where he began composing Das Lied von der Erde to texts from the collection Die chinesische Flöte ('The Chinese flute'), adaptations of Chinese poetry by Hans Bethge. Mahler finished the fair copy of the score the following autumn while staying in the Moravian town Hodonín.
Mahler - Symphony No. 9
Friday, 22 January | 21:00
Soviet-born conductor Semyon Bychkov leads the Czech Philharmonic in a performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 9, recorded at Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall, Prague in April 2019. The Czech Philharmonic under the baton of Czech composer and conductor Otakar Ostrčil gave the first performance of this work in Prague in November 1918. The period when Mahler created his Ninth Symphony presented an important turning point in the composer's life. In 1907 he decided to end his ten-year tenure as artistic director of the prestigious Vienna Court Opera and to depart for America. His Symphony No. 9 tends to be viewed as Mahler’s farewell to this world. Whichever way it was intended, it is not only the composer’s last completed work: more generally, it was the last word in the symphonic genre for the entire nineteenth century.
Semyon Bychkov conducts Martinů, Ravel & Dutilleux
Friday, 29 January | 21:00
Soviet-born conductor Semyon Bychkov leads the Czech Philharmonic in a concert featuring works by Bohuslav Martinů, Maurice Ravel and Henri Dutilleux, recorded at the Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall, Prague in 2020. The concert opens with Martinů's Double Concerto for Two String Orchestras, Piano, and Timpani (H. 271). Soloists are Ivo Kahánek (piano) and Michael Kroutil (timpani). This is followed by a rendition of Martinů's Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, H. 292, featuring piano soloists Katia and Marielle Labèque. After 'Le Jardin féerique – Lent et grave' from Ravel's suite Ma mère l'Oye, the orchestra concludes with Dutilleux's Symphony No. 2 'Le Double'.