Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Martinů and Bělohlávek Prom 15 2009

Jiří Bělohlávek continues to work wonders. He's changing the face of music in Britain. Not since Kubelik in the late 1940's has there been a conductor who understands the syntax of Slavic music because he is a native speaker. It really does make a difference. He's also good because he's prepared to bring more of the repertoire into prominence. It helps, too, that he knows everyone and can bring in good musicians that we might otherwise miss. Read about his Janacek Prom 2008 Osud, his recording of The Excursions of Mr Broucek and the wonderful Martinů Julietta with Magdalena Kozena.

Take note. Bělohlávek will be conducting the biggest ever series of Martinů symphonies ever heard in Britain later this year at the Barbican. In New York, Alan Gilbert will be weaning audiences onto the composer too. This Prom was a taster for the future. Here's a review by my friend Douglas Cooksey (read his report on the Risor Festival in Norway) who doesn't like Martinů as much as I do but writes better.

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