Smetana Ma Vlast

Which is the best version of this wonderful piece?
On CD, both versions with Rafael Kubelik are quite special. I think the one on Supraphon slightly edges over the one on Orfeo as regards spontaneity because this is a live performance, Rafael's first return to his homeland after a long period of expatriation of 41 years.
MFSL is also remastering the version with Walter Susskind and St.Louis Symphonny Orchestra on Hybrid SACD if you have an SACD player. It's also a very nice performance and the sound should be of audiophile quality. It's due for release on or around February 22, 2005.
Kubelik is a highly revered conductor of Czech music. I haven't heard his Supraphon, but have heard his version on DG (slightly dated sound from the early 70's I believe). Kubelik's Supraphon is at the top of the list in the Gramophone Guide (and others). I have Vaclav Neumann on Supraphon w/the Czech Phil. which I enjoy very much. Neumann is also regarded as a great conductor of Czech music, though usually for Dvorak. I believe that Kubelik may have recorded the Smetana live for Denon as well. The Susskind could be pretty good. Good luck with your search-I always enjoy searching for these little oddities.
Well, I would agree that Kubelik's live record on Supraphon is very special indeed, as they were celebrating an occasion, his return to his native land after a forced exile of over 40 years. However, from a recording quality I find it somewhat flat and uneven. There is also Ancerl's 1963 thrilling performance recording on Supraphon and Talich's 1954 version also on Supraphon, but in mono. The last two are considered by many to be the finest. That said....

I really enjoy Mackerras' version with the CPO, also on Supraphon, for both the performance and the recording.

Two other excellent versions - Levine on DG and Inbal on Teldec.

What these versions all share is a fair amount of excitement and feeling of nationalism which is, to me, what this music is all about. I love it!

Now for the adventuresome amoungst you - Ma Vlast, 4 hands version, again on Supraphon. Who could have guessed that this great music could have been sucessfully reduced to piano. Try it.
These guys, Dvorak and Smetana, wrote some great stuff. I first got introduced to them on Lazer Disc.The video just got me hooked to the music.---Too bad these never made it to DVD---or did they??
When I think how few compositions Antonin has;and how great they all are --say compared to guys that have written near a thousand pieces---His 9th, his cello, the Slavonic Dances--Quintet in G op 77--- all near the top as my favs. Seems like he only wrote 'hits'
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