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Wonderful, often angst-ridden music, (opening of Tatra); disarmingly beautiful tunes (Lady Godiva theme), and, well...more angst-ridden music, (Eternal Longing). Great music for walking through rainy streets without an umbrella after a breakup if you get my point. : )
When it comes to the B-listers, Novak, IMHO is one of the real deals. There's a little bit of Tchaikovsky, a little bit of R. Strauss, delivered with Dvorak's accent. A bit of Schrekernian drunken ecstasy in places as well, but without the miles of bluster. His music rarely lapses into a ramble, his harmonies are pungent in all the right places, and his narrative arcs are well-constructed and satisfying. Relatively concise, too; for a composer with Post-romantic leanings. In the end, Novak was his own man.
This will be my first JoAnne Falletta/Buffalo recording. My previous Novak was kindly produced by Virgin and Chandos, though the Chandos was marred by their signature glassy string sound of the time.
Yes, fine music indeed. Novak was an accomplished composer, overshadowed by the popularity of Dvorak here in the U.S., but extremely popular as Dvorak's student and successor at home.
For a taste of the recording you refer to, there is a video of Falletta and the Buffalo band playing some of this fine tone poem on Vimeo here .
There are several other good recordings, including Ancerl and Pesek. My personal choice for this work is an excellent CD of Novak music played by the Czech Philharmonic, conducted by Karel Sejna. The CD I have also includes Novak's "Moravian-Slovak Suite," which is IMO even better than "In the Tatra Mountains." (The Tatra tone poem was also included on another CD, but coupled with music by Fibich.)
From the video clip, I have decided not ti buy the Falletta/Buffalo CD. The audio may be better, but I prefer the Czech orchestra's performance.
"Life without music is a mistake" (Nietzsche)
But I'm also glad to see Falleta and Buffalo tackling this music.
You can get lossless downloads of the Sejna very cheaply from Supraphonline. Get his Martinu Double Concerto!
Ugh, sorry the subject got munged.
I highly recommend this composer. Very memorable music.
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