Václav Talich
Confidence and humility

Václav Talich (28.5.1883– 16.3.1961) was one of the most famous Czech and European conductors. He moulded the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in the early years of its existence and later on the National Theatre Opera in Prague. He had started his music career as a violinist (he was a pupil of Otakar Ševčík), gradually concentrating solely on conducting. In 1919 he was appointed chief of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, holding the post until 1941. He performed as a guest conductor in Italy, Austria, England, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Poland, Hungary, Belgium and France. He collaborated with a great number of outstanding soloists, such as Emmy Destinn, Rudolf Firkušný, Jan Kubelík, Vladimir Horowitz, Mstislav Rostropovich and Sviatoslav Richter. He drew inspiration from his friendship with the leading Czech composers – Josef Suk, Vítězslav Novák, Leoš Janáček and Bohuslav Martinů. He demanded strict discipline and dedication in interpretation, giving the music emotional strength.

Václav Talich´s life was a dramatic one. He faced conflicts during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia during World War II, as well as after the communist coup in February 1948 when he was persecuted.

The documentary follows all the important points in the conductor´s life, lets Talich´s contemporaries talk about him and gathers exceptional and long forgotten film and photographic material. The use of hitherto unknown film clips and the unique presentation of them lend the documentary a notable value.

Václav Talich: Confidence and humility

director: Martin Suchánek
time: 48 min.