La Monnaie ¦ Concerts ¦ Taras Bulba ¦ Intro
This concert offers a superb selection of Czech music from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. When Czech nationalism began to raise its voice against the Habsburg rulers, Bedřich Smetana was one of the first to reflect this patriotism in his music. With his cycle of six symphonic poems entitled Má vlast, which includes The Moldau, he paid tribute to the beauty of his native country. Antonín Dvořák continued in this direction but tried to find more of a connection with the European mainstream, which is evident in his masterly Cello Concerto. Finally, Leoš Janáček succeeded in letting the essence of the Czech language penetrate his musical style in his ‘speech melodies’, and with orchestral works such as Taras Bulba, a rhapsody based on Gogol, he put his very own stamp on European music.
Cossacks Reborn © Guy Martin