Music and Vision homepage 'Elgar and Chivalry' by Robert Anderson - available now from Elgar.org

 

<<  -- 3 --  Roderic Dunnett    LISZTIAN VISION

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Fibich Symphonies Nos 2 and 3 (c) 1991 Supraphon Records

Fibich's three symphonies, like his principal operas, confirm him as a major world figure. The first, which both Supraphon (slightly coolly under Belohlávek and more affectionately by Karel Sejna [listen -- track 4, 0:00-0:35]) and Naxos (an attractive performance under the extremely capable Andrew Mogrelia) have recorded to advantage, is rather earlier -- he began it in his late 20s - but contains vestiges of what was to come and reaches an exciting culmination in the finale. The most immediately rewarding must be no 2, the E flat major, dating from the early 1890s, the warmth and melodic span of whose utterly captivating adagio [listen -- track 6, 0:00-0:51] can quite legitimately be compared with mature Elgar. But the easy-flowing equivalent in the E minor (no 3) [listen -- track 6, 1:39-2:39], which like its predecessor draws on his 'Anezka' diary, runs it close, and the scherzi of both 2 [listen -- track 7, 0:00-1:00] and 3 merge the grace of Smetana, the easy folk-naturalism of Dvorák and the refined charm of Tchaikovsky.

Zdenek Fibich Symphonies Nos 1 and 2 (c) 1999 HNH International Ltd

Fibich was only 49 when he died; further projects were very much in hand, just as Dvorák was plotting more operas when he in turn succumbed in l904, still in his early sixties. One of Fibich's was an opera based on Ibsen, an idea that might have proved especially fruitful in the wake of Foerster's psychologically tensioned Eva, Dvorák's positively Freudian Rusalka and Fibich's own last opera The Fall of Arkona, which owed some of its father-daughter insights to the complex nature of his relationship with Anezka. She too died young, committing suicide just a few years later, like all those heroines of Czech opera, whose repertoire she and Fibich had so importantly enhanced.

Copyright © 23 January 2001 Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK

 

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CD INFORMATION - UNICORN DKP(CD)9149 (PIANO MUSIC)

CD INFORMATION - NAXOS 8.553699 (SYMPHONIES 1 AND 2)

PURCHASE 8.553699 (SYMPHONIES 1 AND 2) FROM CROTCHET

PURCHASE 8.553699 (SYMPHONIES 1 AND 2) FROM AMAZON

CD INFORMATION - SUPRAPHON 11 0657-2 (SYMPHONIES 2 AND 3)

 

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