BUT STILL PERFORMING
AND RECORDING ...
LIBOR PESEK in conversation with Bill Newman
<< Continued from page 2
Knowing the question concerned him, how does he cajole more people to
go concerts of Czech music by Smetana, Dvorák, Janácek and
Martinu? Is there a reluctance in promoters to programme it, when audiences
stay away? 'I wouldn't quite agree, because the basic interest of music
lovers in the British Isles is incredible. Perhaps people don't come because
they expect bigger names on the podium, or they are over-saturated with
concerts, like the three the Czech National performed in Birmingham. What
concerns me more are the two concerts I did with the Czech Philharmonic
about 3 years ago in the Albemarle Series where I presented Suk's Ripening
- the gem of Czech turn-of-the-century music - and Ostricil's Calvary,
and only half the hall was full. That was a warning signal that audiences
don't wish to hear the music performed by Czechoslovakia's first orchestra.
They didn't come, and that was alarming!' Or to hear other essentially melodious,
superbly orchestrated works like Suk's A Summer Tale (a favourite
of Mahler's), and Novák's The Eternal Longing, In the Tatras,
South Bohemian Suite.
'It is interesting that you mention Suk's A Summer Tale, because
in 1984 the Philharmonia Orchestra wanted a programme of Czech music, and
I suggested it as progressively finer than his Asrael Symphony ,
but in the end it came to Liverpool to choose the Asrael to perform
alongside Martinu Symphony 6. The Liverpudlians grew gradually to like A
Summer Tale, and I agree with you - it is probably his best piece in
that it leads elsewhere into other realms, whereas his Epilogue is
a little bit beyond either - downhill, already.'
Copyright © 27 June 2000 Bill Newman,
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