Music on location

Antonín Dvořák
Serenade for Strings, Op. 22
Mazurka for Violin and Orchestra in E minor, Op. 49

The Prague Philharmonia

Jiří Bělohlávek

František Novotný - violin

A. Dvořák: Serenade for Strings in E,  Mazurka in E minor

The Prague Philharmonia was established in 1994 to join musicians of the young generation. Its founder and chief conductor, Jiří Bělohlávek, has been successful in forging the young musicians into an ensemble with unusually coherent sections, where technical perfection and the spontaneous musicality of the individual players is complemented by enormous vitality and, at the same time, an indispensable dose of artistic humility and responsibility. The ensemble interprets scores ranging from works for small string and wind ensembles to full symphony orchestra. In its repertoire, the orchestra focuses on the masterpieces of the classical and romantic eras and on music of the twentieth century. Though young, it has performed at many outstanding venues round the world and has recorded over 30 CDs.

František Novotný studied at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno. He has taken part in about twenty international violin competitions successfully. He has taken master classes with the international violin virtuosos and pedagogues, Zakhar Bron and Viktor Tretiakov. From 1987 to 1995, he was a soloist with the Brno State Philharmonic. He performs extensively in Europe, Japan and the USA. F. Novotný’s achievements include a tour round the USA, his concert in Carnegie Hall, and a CD recording with the Prague Philharmonia of complete works for violin and orchestra by Antonín Dvořák.

Jiří Bělohlávek ranks among the most outstanding Czech and international conductors. Each of his artistic creations is built upon detailed and intimate knowledge of the musical work in question, which Bělohlávek then reinforces with thorough and punctilious preparation of his ensemble and with his unusually rich perception of orchestral sound colour. He is a fanatic for detail and perfect preparation, which allows him to surrender himself completely to the inspiration of the moment during the performance. The balance of intellect and emotional input gives his interpretations the stamp of perfection.

The same is true for this recording of Dvořák’s charming pieces. The atmosphere is enhanced by the picturesque setting of the Summer Refectory at Strahov Monastery, Prague.

director: Adam Rezek
time: 37 min.