Bedřich Smetana was born in Bohemia on 2 March 1824 and died in Prague on 12 May 1884. Generally regarded as the father of Czech music, he also wrote the work which most people regard as the father of Czech operas - The Bartered Bride. Nonetheless, his output was richly varied despite his deafness in later life.
CD Spotlight. Vibrant and Adventurous - Gerald Fenech listens to more recordings by the Danish conductor Thomas Jensen. '... another jewel in the Thomas Jensen treasure-trove ...'
Ensemble. Looking Back and Forward - Mike Wheeler was at the first concert in Nottingham Royal Concert Hall's orchestral season
CD Spotlight. Fresh and Startlingly Immediate - Forgotten recordings from George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, unreservedly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... the music is dispatched with energetic vigour, which was the hallmark of all Szell's performances.'
Ensemble. Particularly Irresistible - Music by Smetana, Martinů and Dvořák from Laura van der Heijden, Pietari Inkinen and the Prague Symphony Orchestra impresses Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Many Levels - Chamber music by Mozart and Smetana, heard by Howard Smith. '... judged to perfection ...'
Ensemble. A Blistering Whirlwind - More from the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Love's Eternal Empire - Music by Janácek and Suk impresses Bill Newman
Nicely Judged - A recital by harpist Anneleen Lenaerts impresses Mike Wheeler
Bizarre Perception - Alistair Hinton discusses a recent article on English music by David Hamilton
Music for Musicians Only? - The public turns a deaf ear to improvised music. As for classical music, Jan Dahlstedt claims that having abandoned improvisation, classical music entered a sidetrack from which it has never escaped, thus badly stifling creative progress. If he is guilty of heresy or may have a point, read on and judge for yourself.
DVD Spotlight. Mozart and Smetana - The Nobilis Trio at Steinway Hall, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... musically pleasurable.'
Ensemble. A Majestic Reading - Mike Wheeler is impressed by Sibelius, Bach and Smetana from Pietari Inkinen and the CBSO
Ensemble. Rapt and Radiant - Sarah Connolly, The Hallé Orchestra and Mark Elder visit Derby, and Mike Wheeler was in the audience
Ensemble. New Light - A performance by Christian Knapp and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. An original statement - Claudio Bohorquez plays Dvorák, appreciated by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Muscular performance - Rex Harley is left breathless listening to violinist Chloë Hanslip
Ensemble. Czech spirit - Lawrence Budmen is impressed by Zdenek Macal and the New World Symphony
Ensemble. Matched to perfection - Rex Harley closes his eyes and enjoys the Gould Piano Trio
Four is hardly a crowd - Bill Newman enjoys an evening's entertainment by Piano 40 at London's Purcell Room, Wednesday 5 February 2003
Ensemble. Hour of Magic - Malcolm Miller is enthralled by seldom-heard East European music
CD Spotlight - Definitely among the greats. '... Podvalová's Sárka is a celebrated interpretation.' A Marie Podvalová operatic recital, with Roderic Dunnett
CD Spotlight - Burnished colours. '... these readings are heartfelt and do not disappoint.' Smetana's chamber music on the Supraphon label, with David Wilkins