The late Patric Standford may have written these short pieces deliberately to provoke our feedback. If so, his success is reflected in the rich range of readers' comments appearing at the foot of most of the pages.
The Česká filharmonie (Czech Philharmonic Orchestra) is a high profile and award-winning symphony orchestra based in Prague. Originally the orchestra of the Prague National Theatre, the first concert under the orchestra's current name took place on 4 January 1896, with Dvořák conducting his own compositions.
The orchestra first became known internationally whilst Václav Talich was principal conductor. Since then, the orchestra's chief conductors have included Rafael Kubelík, Karel Ančerl, Václav Neumann, Jiří Bělohlávek, Gerd Albrecht, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Zdeněk Mácal, Eliahu Inbal and Semyon Bychkov.
CD Spotlight. On Buoyant Form - Orchestral music by Andrew Downes, heard by Roderic Dunnett. '... varied, innovative, involving and absorbing.'
Ensemble. A Worthy Successor - Tomáš Netopil steps in to conduct the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in Nottingham, impressing Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Moods and Textures - Dvorák's Slavonic Dances played by the Czech Philharmonic, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'There is balance and lightness here, not achieved by many other orchestras.'
CD Spotlight. Vivid and Colourful - Janácek from the Czech Philharmonic, recommended by Stephen Francis Vasta. 'It's good to hear Neumann in such fine form.'
Ensemble. Freshness and Vitality - Mike Wheeler listens to the Czech Philharmonic
CD Spotlight. An Awkward Mix - Contemporary music for strings, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... Burwasser sets himself apart from the others with music that exhibits a strong sense of form and proportion ...'
Ensemble. Warmth and Clarity - Smetana, Beethoven and Dvořák from The Czech Philharmonic, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Tonal Clarity - Music by Jonathan Little, heard by Patric Standford. '... beautifully performed ...'
CD Spotlight. Great Performances - Dvorák's Cello and Piano Concertos, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... it's a pleasure to hear Mstislav Rostropovich at this early stage of his career ...'
Ensemble. An Ecstatic Success - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Sagra Musicale Malatestiana
CD Spotlight. Quite Magical - Marin Alsop conducts Dvorák Symphonies, enjoyed by Howard Smith. 'The Baltimores' finale sings and blazes with equal compulsion ...'
Ensemble. Refreshingly Different - Mike Wheeler listens to the Prague Symphony Orchestra
Ensemble. A Glowing Performance - The Czech Philharmonic on tour, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Profile. Life and experience - The Czech conductor Jirí Belohlávek talks to Roderic Dunnett
Orchestral Polyphony - 'A "dream" performance, magical, sensuous, dramatic in turn, marvellously controlled during every gear change.' Admiring Suk's use of the orchestra - with Bill Newman