For fans of Vaclav Talich, Supraphon's Talich Special Edition has been a wonderful way to get all the great Czech conductor's recorded legacy: his magnificent Dvorák
, his glorious Smetana
, his heartrending Suk
, his sublime Mozart
, and his other marvelous recordings. Unfortunately, Talich's recorded legacy is slender, and by the time Supraphon reached this 17th volume, there wasn't a lot left to fill the two discs: three movements from his 1929 "Má Vlast," his 1940 recordings of Blodek's "In the Well," Kovarovic's "Miner's Polka," Smetana's "Our Lasses" and "Libuse Overture," his 1953 recording of Smetana's recitative and aria from Act II of "The Two Widows," and his 1954 recording of Smetana's "Introduction" and Polka from "Prague Carnival." The second disc includes 1954 live performances of Janácek
's Suite from "The Cunning Little Vixen," Suk's "The Swans and Peacocks Game" from "A Fairy Tale," and Dvorák's symphonic poem "The Noon Witch," along with four excerpts of Talich speaking. The performances, all played by "his" Czech Philharmonic, are at least excellent and some are as good as the best the conductor ever recorded. Though not for the casual classical music fan, the dedicated Talich fan will have to hear them all. Given the age and condition of these recordings, Supraphon's engineers have done a superb job of restoring them to life.