Smetana: Má vlast – Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Claus Peter Flor
By gathering six symphonic poems under the title Má vlast (My Country), Bedrich Smetana created what is probably the most extensive portrayal of any geographical region in the history of music. In his cycle (composed between 1874 and 1879) Smetana combined the new genre of symphonic poem, a term coined by Liszt in 1854, with the then highly fashionable ideals of nationalistic music. The result was an instant success – not just on Smetana‘s home ground, but also internationally – and the various parts (especially ‘The Moldau’) remain favourites in concert halls all over the world. Female warriors, Christian reformers, mediaeval fortresses, and peasant festivals – all these appear in the broad fresco in which Smetana depicted his beloved Bohemia. Ranging from the idyllic to the grandiose, the music is here performed by Claus Peter Flor and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, a team whose recording of the Asrael Symphony by Smetana’s compatriot Josef Suk made a great impact on its release in 2009.