A breath of Central European history, history of the second half of the 20th century wafts around the album Bohemia Tales. As a result of the post-war events with their terrible expulsions, an entire symphony orchestra was transplanted from the East to the West. We are talking about the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, which was active in Prague as German Symphony Orchestra and was not tolerated there after 1945. Such a complete, involuntary orchestra exodus is not the order of the day, even in the wake of the chaos of war. Nor is it the case that a medium-sized city, in this case Bamberg, offered the Prague symphony orchestra from Prague a new home town as Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. For the city and the whole country, it proved to be a stroke of luck, as the current Staatsorchester is considered one of the top ensembles of the whole country, which profited from the art of the Bambergers in the fifties and sixties, when the orchestra also provided smaller towns with concerts of symphonic music. And to a happy ending the young chief conductor of the ensemble currently comes from the Czech Republic. In a short period of time, the ensemble has succeeded in fusing Bohemian sound culture with the special lean sound of the orchestra. On Bohemian Tales, however, he has the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio at his disposal, which carries Bohemian genes in its DNA, which the Czech Rafael Kubelik implanted in him during his time as chief conductor, and whose existence the orchestra under the direction of Jakub Hrůša has now rediscovered. And all this with musicians who are miles away from Kubelik's work and who have since gained completely different genes that have nothing in common with the Bohemian ones.
The soloist on the album dedicated to the Bohemian composer is the 46-year-old violinist Augustin Hadelich, a German and US citizen, who has made a name for himself in recent years as a very special, warm-hearted musician. In the case of Antonín's violin concerto Dvořák this rare quality proves to be the ideal access to this deeply Bohemian romantic music, which captivates with its natural beauty just as much as the cello concerto Dvořáks, which is much more frequently performed in concert halls. The communication between soloist and orchestra/conductor leaves nothing to be desired here. Even the icon of the interpretation of the violin concerto, Nathan Milstein, must have liked the fact that here, in addition to his own star, a new star appears in the firmament of outstanding interpretations, shining as brightly as his own. Bohemian Tales is clearly a must have, if only because of the unusually coherent interpretation of this concerto.
In addition to the violin concerto Antonín Dvořáks, Bohemian Tales shines with chamber music compositions by the Bohemian composer and his compatriots Leoš Janáček and Josef Suk. Pianist Charles Owen is a competent partner for violinist Augustin Hadelich, who explains his chamber music side in the booklet on Bohemian Tales: "These are pieces that are very stirring and therefore a lot of fun to play, because when I play them I am totally moved by the characters and emotions of these pieces. All three composers have in common that they were very much influenced by the folk music of their country, each in his own way. Even if Dvořák and Janáček are totally opposite, this music has its common origin in folk music". Exactly this connection of the Bohemian composers with folk music is revealed naturally and wonderfully relaxed on the album Bohemian Tales.
Augustin Hadelich, violin
Charles Owen, piano
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Jakub Hruša, conductor