Live recordings

Bedřich Smetana
My Country

Opening Concert of Prague Spring 1998

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

Vladimír Válek

live on 12th May 1998, Smetana Hall, Prague

Bedřich Smetana: My Country

The cycle of symphonic poems My Country by Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884) was written more than a hundred years ago (1874-79) at a time when the efforts of the Czech nation to achieve cultural emancipation were coming to a head. In search of the nation’s roots and self-confidence the artists turned to the country’s history, legends and the beautiful landscape, and so did Smetana in the cycle My Country.

The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1996. Through its long collaboration with the most outstanding conductors - Václav Talich, Rafael Kubelík, Karel Ančerl, Václav Neumann and many visiting conductors, it has acquired a specific sound and achieved an irreplaceable position among international orchestras.

Vladimír Válek is principal conductor of the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra and also conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. He began his career with several Czech orchestras and then, for a whole decade led the Prague Symphony Orchestra. In 1985, he became chief conductor of the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, which he transformed into an orchestra that went far beyond the requirements of recording for radio. He has conducted the CPO many times, and in 1996, became its conductor-in-residence, and has realized many successful international tours, concerts and recordings with the orchestra.

director: Tomáš Šimerda
time: 80 min.