Jiří Bělohlávek, conductor
Smetana Hall, Prague, 22 May 2015
The Prague Spring music festival is an institution in the Czech capital and it was a privilege to hear the resurgent Czech Philharmonic orchestra in the marvellously resonant Smetana Hall.
|The Smetana Hall in Prague|
The primal nature of the eruptions in the first movement were also particularly arresting in this hall which has a wooden floor on the first floor up within the town hall complex. The brass sound loomed up from the back of the orchestra and together with the percussion created a vibration that could be felt coming up through the legs of your seat.
Only the off-stage horn solo was not entirely achieved in the Scherzo. The on-stage string sound was heavy and obscured the distant calls. However Belohlavek’s interpretation was assured throughout, and very satisfying at its conclusion.
|Steinbach am Attersee, Austria where Mahler wrote some of the Third Symphony|