Live recordings

100th Anniversary
of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

Biblical Songs, Op. 99
Slavonic Rhapsody No. 3 in A flat, Op. 45
Othello, overture, Op. 93
Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 "From the New World"
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

Jiří Bělohlávek (Biblical Songs, Slavonic Rhapsody),
Gerd Albrecht (Othello, Symphony No. 9)

Dagmar Pecková - mezzosoprano

live on 4th January 1996, Rudolfinum, Prague

100th Anniversary of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

One hundred years ago, on 4th January 1896, a new ensemble consisting of members of Prague’s National Opera first performed under the name of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Though it struggled for survival for the first two decades, with the foundation of independent Czechoslovakia in 1918 the situation started to change for the better. Under chief conductor Václav Talich (1919-42) the orchestra reached international acclaim. Rafael Kubelík continued to refine the Czech PO’s style until 1948 when the communist coup made him leave the country. The post-war development of the orchestra was linked with two outstanding conductors, Karel Ančerl (1950-68) and Václav Neumann (1968-90). The CPO became a virtuoso ensemble of a brilliant sound and it has worked with many of the world’s leading conductors and has toured all over the world. In 1990, Václav Neumann passed the baton over to his pupil Jiří Bělohlávek, a conductor of international renown. In 1992, Gerd Albrecht, Hamburg general music director, was elected to the post by the orchestra’s members.

The programme of the concert is the same as when, a hundred years ago, Antonín Dvořák conducted his own works. Slavonic Rhapsody is closely related to the style of Slavonic Dances. Biblical Songs is a cycle to the text of Psalms, remarkable for its profound emotionality and faith. The overture deals with the motif of jealousy, thus the name Othello. Symphony No. 9, reflecting Dvořák’s impressions from the New World, was first performed in 1893 at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and since then has become one of the most famous symphonies.

director: Adam Rezek
time: 95 min.