Live recordings

Bedřich Smetana
My Country

Opening Concert of Prague Spring 1997

Prague Symphony Orchestra

Gaetano Delogu

live on 12th May 1997, Smetana Hall, Prague

Bedřich Smetana: My Country

The 52nd year of the International Music Festival Prague Spring opened as usual with Smetana’s cycle of symphonic poems My Country, this time performed by the Prague Symphony Orchestra with its then chief conductor, Gaetano Delogu.

The Prague Symphony Orchestra is an outstanding ensemble with international acclaim and a long history dating back to 1934. For many years it has belonged to the buttresses of the symphonic concerts of Prague Spring. My Country has been a stable and irreplaceable part of PSO’s repertoire. The orchestra has performed Smetana’s cycle at tens of concerts at home and abroad, and its presentation has been a matter of prestige for each of its chief conductors.

The opening of Prague Spring was undoubtedly an important event also for Gaetano Delogu, chief conductor of PSO from 1995 to 1998. He achieved his first international success in 1968, winning the Mitropoulos competition in New York. Then he became assistant to Leonard Bernstein and George Szell, and for many years worked with the symphony orchestra of Denver. Gaetano Delogu is a sought-after guest conductor for all important European and international orchestras.

The fact that in 1997 Prague Spring was opened by PSO also has a more prosaic reason than PSO’s artistic qualities. After three years of "exile", PSO returned to its home, to the Municipal House, where the orchestra had stayed for years. This unique Art Nouveau building, situated in the middle of the capital, went through a general reconstruction between 1994-97 for the first time since its opening in 1912. So, together with the beautiful music, we can admire the splendour of the concert hall.

director: Adam Rezek
time: 78 min.