Bummer ...

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slofstra
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Bummer ...

Post by slofstra » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:20 pm

Please go to the last post ...


I was puttering around on amazon this afternoon briefly, putting together my latest order. I discovered this set, and I've already purchased it, but wondered if anyone else had an opinion about it.

http://www.amazon.com/Bedrich-Smetana-B ... 391&sr=1-9

Amazon.ca had zero information on the set, but one reviewer on amazon.com took the trouble to provide a great deal of detail on the contents and background. You might want to have a look at his review before commenting. The set consists of older Supraphon back catalogue items.

(In addition, I noticed the two Argerich sets are cheaper than ever, under $30 each. I decided to order them in spite of the duplication they represent.)
Last edited by slofstra on Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

John F
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Re: Smetana box set

Post by John F » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:53 am

This is an odd set. The repertory is odd; the recordings swing between the historical and the more or less contemporary. But the price is incredibly low, $16 for a 10-disk set, so even if you only want one of the recordings in it, you might as well buy it.

Vaclav Talich's "Ma Vlast" remains the recording I would recommend above all others - not the 1941 HMV version included here but the postwar Supraphon, which is better played and has better sound. But this is still a marvelous recording.

"Dalibor," with characters and a story much like those in "Fidelio," is Smetana's #2 opera after "The Bartered Bride." This recording, with the great tenor Beno Blachut in the title role and Jaroslav Krombholc conducting, is still unsurpassed. A personal note: while driving around Europe after leaving the Army, I arrived in Prague just in time for a National Theater performance by Blachut and Krombholc (though the latter was ill and withdrew after Act 1). A great occasion.

I've never heard the original recording of "Bartered Bride," made in 1933, but from what I've read, it's nothing special, and quite a few later recordings are preferable.

The string quartets are some of Smetana's finest music. I haven't heard these recordings but the Talich and Panochka Quartets are very good and I expect the recordings are likewise.
John Francis

Chalkperson
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Re: Smetana box set

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:09 am

I have that Box, got it a couple of years ago, lots of old stuff...not everything is good, but, at that price...
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val
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Re: Smetana box set

Post by val » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:19 am

The extraordinary First Quartet by the Talich String Quartet is perhaps the best moment of this Box, along with Dalibor directed by Krombholc with Blachut. Dalibor is a masterpiece, Smetana's best opera.

Regarding Ma Vlast, I remember that old version of Vaclav Talich, but I prefer the versions of Ancerl or Kubelik.

There are other delightful operas that should be better known, such as The Kiss, the Two Widows and The Secret.

slofstra
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Re: Smetana box set

Post by slofstra » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:58 am

val wrote:The extraordinary First Quartet by the Talich String Quartet is perhaps the best moment of this Box, along with Dalibor directed by Krombholc with Blachut. Dalibor is a masterpiece, Smetana's best opera.

Regarding Ma Vlast, I remember that old version of Vaclav Talich, but I prefer the versions of Ancerl or Kubelik.

There are other delightful operas that should be better known, such as The Kiss, the Two Widows and The Secret.
I have Ancerl's Ma Vlast on DVD. This would be fascinating to watch purely from an historical point of view even if the performance was not good. But the performance is excellent.

Jack Kelso
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Re: Smetana box set

Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:51 pm

My Smetana preference is Vaclav Neumann, a VERY under-appreciated conductor. Alone, the early "Swedish" symphonic poems (esp. "Haakon Jarl" is worth getting: listen for the influence of Tschaikowsky's Romeo theme from "Romeo and Juliet"!!).

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

Seán
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Re: Smetana box set

Post by Seán » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:12 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:My Smetana preference is Vaclav Neumann, a VERY under-appreciated conductor. Alone, the early "Swedish" symphonic poems (esp. "Haakon Jarl" is worth getting: listen for the influence of Tschaikowsky's Romeo theme from "Romeo and Juliet"!!).

Tschüß,
Jack
Neumann? I hadn't considered his performances. I have always considered the Talich/CPO (1954) and Kubelik/CPO (1989) beyond compare.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

stenka razin
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Re: Smetana box set

Post by stenka razin » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:39 pm

Seán wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:My Smetana preference is Vaclav Neumann, a VERY under-appreciated conductor. Alone, the early "Swedish" symphonic poems (esp. "Haakon Jarl" is worth getting: listen for the influence of Tschaikowsky's Romeo theme from "Romeo and Juliet"!!).

Tschüß,
Jack
Neumann? I hadn't considered his performances. I have always considered the Talich/CPO (1954) and Kubelik/CPO (1989) beyond compare.
Sean, not only do I have many fine performances on CD with Neumann, I got the chance to see him conduct the Czech Philharmonic in Miami Beach in 1980 and he conducted Smetana beautifully and he was sensational in Martinu, too. Neumann is a highly recommended maestro, my friend. 8)

Regards,
Mel 8)
Last edited by stenka razin on Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jack Kelso
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Re: Smetana box set

Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:54 am

We have both Kubelik and Neumann doing all nine Smetana tone poems. Kubelik stresses more the lyrical approach, Neumann's interpretations tend to be more dramatic. Both are essential, IMHO, for a complete understanding of the great Czech Master's orchestral works.

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

slofstra
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Re: Bummer ...

Post by slofstra » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:52 pm

I just hijacked this Smetana thread to add a couple of comments.

The tech supporting this site is listed in public records as Tarnus Harten, with an email tarnushartenREMOVETHISPART@gmail.com

It might be nice to get some information from him. I noticed that the site was returning a MYSQL database error message for a couple of days. Definitely a site like this should be backed up nightly, and if procedures were followed the entire database as of the last day it was working *should* be easily restored. Unfortunately, people do not always follow procedures, and sometimes don't even have them.

It would be nice to at least get an explanation. We are willing to do anything to help, and Tarnus could PM me if he needs assistance.

The ISP is listed as www.oznet.com (according to where the DNS lookup is pointed). However, do not be too quick to blame the ISP; they are not always contracted to do backups. If you manage your own site, they may very well not.

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