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Burghauser Seven Reliefs

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Superb music in scintillating performances June 12 2009
By G.D. - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Among Supraphon's long series of releases commemorating Karel Ancerl we find, in addition to various good to excellent performances of standard repertoire, several interesting releases containing music by less well-established Czech composers. This is a prime example - in fact, this disc contains some marvelous music, in thoroughly superb performances, and is nothing short of a must to anyone even mildly interested in expanding their musical horizons.

Jarmil Burgahauser's Seven Reliefs for Large Orchestra dates from 1962 and is written in an avant-garde oriented language very much of its time, yet this stirring, even gripping, music easily transcends any historical confinements. The music is visceral, energetic and colorful, utilizing the various orchestral forces and combinations of these in impressively imaginative ways. The Czech Philharmonic dispatches this utterly absorbing music with dazzling skill and textural shadings and Karel Ancerl's ability to build tensions and climaxes is simply to marvel at.

The ambitious 50 minute symphony by Vaclav Dobias stands in sharp contrast; tonal and with a rather tradition-oriented harmonic language (for a stylistic reference, think the Alexander Moyzes symphonies, and if that doesn't help, Kodály, Bartok and Prokofiev), it is still a superb work that would have deserved a life at least at the fringes of the standard repertoire. It is urgently intense, full of drama and dizzyingly spinning dynamic counterpoint, turbulent and imaginatively orchestrated with brass and strings often crashing together in contrapuntal confrontation. The pensive Adagio is the only respite, but even this one carries a nervous tension. Ancerl drives it on for all it's worth with fiery power, and the Czech Philharmonic responds with playing that is little short of remarkable. The sound-quality is surprisingly vivid as well - sometimes a little bright, but usually with impressive depth. This is, in short, a quite remarkable issue; strongly recommended.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Final Golden Ancerls Jan. 8 2006
By Michael Brad Richman - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Those familiar with my reviews on Amazon will know of my love for Supraphon's "Gold Edition" Karel Ancerl CDs. Well I recently picked up the final six volumes in this collection (vols 37-42) and I have to say they are as delightful as the first 36 sets. Volume 40 features Ancerl and the Czech PO performing Jarmil Burghauser's "Seven Reliefs for Large Orchestra" and Vaclav Dobias' 2nd Symphony, in stereo recordings from 1964 and 1960 respectively. Ancerl was best known for the music of his native country and for showcasing the works of 20th Century composers, so it is only natural that he championed the modern Czech music presented here. Both pieces prove a challenging listen, but they are thoroughly enjoyable. In all, this title is part of a fitting to conclusion to a great series and a great conductor.