Smetana: Swedish Symphonic Poems
Svárovský, Leoš; Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
The symphonic poems Smetana wrote during his stay in Sweden were composed during a pivotal time in his life. Financial prospects at first seemed better in Gothenberg than in his native country, while the dual influences of Berlioz and Liszt were informing the direction of his music. Richard III is not a programmatic drama, but focuses instead on the haunting scene before the Battle of Bosworth in Shakespeare’s play. Wallenstein’s Camp is symphonically structured, while Hakon Jarl dramatizes the life of the tyrannical Viking warrior with memorable flair. The Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra was established in 1949 by the esteemed conductors Vaclav Talich and L’udovit Rajter. Since then, the orchestra has performed under the batons of some of the world’s greatest conductors. The Slovak Philharmonic has made numerous recordings and has toured extensively throughout the world.