- Má Vlast (My Fatherland), symphonic poems (6), JB 1:112
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Bedrich Smetana's "Má Vlast" (My Fatherland) is a symphonic cycle for orchestra, consisting of six movements on aspects of Bohemian and Moravian history and legends. It is one of the most beloved works in Czech Romantic music, and while the second movement, "Vltava (Die Moldau)," has long been a concert favorite, the complete work has become better known to listeners through long-play recordings. This hybrid SACD release from Tudor Records presents "Má Vlast" in a spectacular performance by Jakub Hrusa and the Bamberg Symphony, and their evocative rendition conveys imagery of rugged fortresses and mountains, as well as the beauty of the Czech countryside. Hrusa inspires his orchestra to play with vivid sonorities, lively rhythms, and crisp articulation, and the music is infused with a deep feeling of nobility and strength. Smetana's love for his country is convincingly portrayed in this passionate performance, and the myriad details of his score are fully audible in the rich and spacious sound of the multichannel recording. Highly recommended.