Nation's soul laid bare by Smetana

Jane Jones reviews Harnoncourt and the Vienna Phil's rendition of Smetana's Má Vlast

Composer: Smetana
Repertoire: Má Vlast
Artists: Vienna Phil/Harnoncourt
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Orchestral
Label: RCA 82876 54331 2

This is a vivid and colourful description of Smetana’s Bohemia, where ancient myths and legends are his inspiration alongside the physical landmarks and beauty of his country. Despite Smetana’s fervent nationalism, the emotional appeal of his music is unclouded by sentiment. Sometimes a little overly solemn, Harnoncourt draws out these musical contrasts with some graceful individual performances