Live recordings


Opening Concert of Prague Spring 2004

Prague Symphony Orchestra

Jiří Kout

live on 12th May 2004, Smetana Hall, Prague

Bedřich Smetana: My Country

My Country is the only full-length cycle of symphonic poems ever composed. It annually opens the Prague Spring Festival, in 2004 the Prague Symphony Orchestra performed it under the baton of Jiří Kout.

Jiří Kout (1937) began his career as an organ student at the Prague Conservatory, later on at the Academy of Music he concentrated on conducting. His first post as a conductor was at the Pilsen Opera. From there he moved on to the National Theatre Opera in Prague. At the same time he guest conducted the Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Czech Philharmonic. In 1978 he left Czechoslovakia for Germany to conduct the Düsseldorf Opera. In 1985 he was appointed Generalmusicdirektor in Saarbrücken. By then he had become famous, appearing in Munich, Vienna, Hamburg, Paris, Los Angeles, Chicago, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and many other opera houses and with numerous symphony orchestras, becoming chief of the Deutsche Oper in Berlin being one of the peaks of his career. Kout has become an expert on Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, Leoš Janáček and many other outstanding composers. In 1992 he returned to the Czech Republic to conduct a number of operas at the National Theatre.

My Country is very well-known to the Czech orchestras, every conductor, however, approaches it differently. Kout is a fanatic for precision, but at the same time he brings out the emotional content of each score. His performance of Smetana´s work offers a memorable experience.

director: Adam Rezek
time: 77 min.