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This was not the last recording made by the great Czech conductor Jirí Belohlávek; it was taken from festival performances in 2014. It is perhaps, however, the final Belohlávek release, and as such it makes a fine swan song. There is perhaps no Czech symphonic work outside of Dvorák's collection more widely recorded than "Má Vlast," Bedrich Smetana's collection of tone poems about the physical Czech landscape. Yet there is no sense of convention about this reading with the king of all Czech ensembles, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra: all of the six parts of "Má Vlast" are carefully shaped, and they're often thrilling. The mystery of the historical music of the castle in the opening "Vysehrad" is palpable. Sample perhaps "Vltava" (The Moldau), the second tone poem, the most familiar of them everywhere. Here it is not the usual river, dancing in regular tempo, but a set of rapids rippling with some vigor. Belohlávek's interpretations of the pieces fit together into a coherent whole, with a richly triumphant finale in "Blanik," and the Czech Philharmonic, sinewy and strong, has never sounded better. Definitive Smetana, with fine sound from Decca.