The recording of the 2021 Prague Spring Festival opening concert, at which Smetana’s Má vlast (My homeland) was performed by the Collegium 1704 orchestra under the baton of Václav Luks, has now been released by the Belgian label Accent, which has been cooperating with the orchestra for a long time.
“We approach Smetana’s legacy with great respect and deep humility for the great Czech tradition of interpretation of this work. Our performance is not a museum reconstruction, but a reminder of the aesthetic ideals of the romantic interpretation of Smetana’s time, which can be an inspiration for contemporary performers and audiences,” says the conductor Václav Luks about the recording.
“This performance of My Homeland left us with immense joy and encouragement, even though the whole project was created in extremely difficult conditions of pandemic measures. The energy of the musicians of the Collegium 1704 orchestra and the tireless research of the founder and the conductor Václav Luks have brought a timeless account of the seemingly familiar and explored work of Bedřich Smetana. The joy of the concert is now enhanced by this audio recording,” said Pavel Trojan, the director of Prague Spring.
The opening concert of Prague Spring 2021 was received with enthusiasm by both the audience and the critics. “No fake romance. Collegium 1704 opened Prague Spring in a groundbreaking way,” wrote music publicist Dita Hradecká for aktualne.cz after the concert.
The opening concert of Prague Spring 2021 was broadcast live by Czech Television and Czech Radio. The recording, which was released on CD with an iconic photograph from the Invasion 68 series by the world-renowned Czech photographer Josef Koudelka, was created in the Smetana Hall of the Municipal House on 12 and 13 May 2021. The music was directed by Markéta Janáčková, and the master of sound was Filip Beneš. The CD will be available in Czech and international distributions, on the websites collegium1704.com and festival.cz, as well as at the Collegium 1704 concerts in the Rudolfinum.