Symphony in D major Opus 18 No.4 (3) Johann Christian Bach
Drive Featured Album, from 17 August 2015 after 6pm.
Thirty years after having recorded Dvorák's complete Symphonies on Chandos, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and its laureate conductor Neeme Järvi tackle another romantic Czech composer: Julius Fučík, famed for his more than 400 polkas, marches, and waltzes, some of the best of which are featured here.
Fučík studied violin in his early years, switching later to the bassoon, with a bit of percussion and timpani on the side. Playing in Austrian regiments, he gained invaluable experience of writing for military band and became a very prolific composer of marches. The most famous of these is Entry of the Gladiators completed in 1899 and performed throughout the world, mainly in circuses, ever since.
The RSNO are on sparking form here, bringing energy, enthusiasm and precision to Fučík's effervescent Bohemian themes, upbeat brass tunes, and not a few lyrical melodies as well. A festive treat.