# Composer: Bedrich Smetana
# Orchestra: Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio
# Conductor: Rafael Kubelik
# Vinyl (1984)
# Number of Discs: 2
# Format: Flac
# Label: Orfeo
# DR-Analysis: DR 12
# ASIN: B000028AYB
# Size: 1.53 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory
“A man has one birthplace, one fatherland, one country – he can have only one country – and the place of his birth is the most important factor in his life.” Thus spoke Stravinsky at a banquet upon his return to Moscow in 1962. Poor Kubelik. He must have resigned himself to the fact that he would never see his beloved homeland again when he strode to the podium in May 1984 to conduct this performance of Má Vlast: the Iron Curtain was firmly in place and one glorified corpse after another sat enthroned in the Kremlin.
As I understand it, this is the third of Kubelik’s four performances of Smetana’s cycle. Exilic and optimistic in turns, perhaps it does not supplant his last version which was recorded upon his triumphal return to Prague (Smetana: Má Vlast). Even so, this is superlative in every way, underwritten as it is by the luscious tones of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (the articulation of the strings throughout is wondrous). The survey commences with Vysehrad where Kubelik gives full vent to its longing and nostalgia `of distant times and mighty deeds’. Vltava has been frequently recorded, not least by Karajan on multiple occasions; it’s almost a Slavic retort to Wagner’s Rheinfahrt. Boatman Kubelik ferries us through its eddies and white-water with immense éclat until we reach the quays of the Czech capital where apotheosis ensues. From Bohemia’s Woods and Fields is suitably bucolic in its plenitude. The bombast of Sarka, Tabor and Blanik is tempered and poeticised.
The Orfeo recording might be somewhat lacking in amplitude but it is not afflicted with digital glare or an over-prominent treble. There is plenty of air around the instruments. In short, it is fine enough.
Mention should also be made of the cover. It’s marvellous: Prague, the city of gold.
Analyzed folder: /96k Smetana – Ma Vlast – Kubelik
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR13 -1.65 dB -20.06 dB A Vysehrad.wav
DR13 -1.73 dB -19.88 dB B1 Die Moldau.wav
DR13 -1.96 dB -19.41 dB B2 Sarka.wav
DR12 -1.83 dB -18.40 dB C Aus Boehmens Hain und Flur.wav
DR12 -1.68 dB -18.53 dB D1 Tabor.wav
DR13 -1.57 dB -19.53 dB D2 Blanik.wav
Number of files: 6
Official DR value: DR12
- RCM: Okki Nokki
- TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
- System: Special Edition Denon DL 103
- Phono stage: Pro-Ject Phono Box II
- Pre Amp: Unison Research Unico Pre (Tube)
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
- Software: iZotope RX Advanced v2.02, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Light de-Clicking with ClickRepair, significant clicks manually removing, no De-Noising
If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music. Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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