eMusic Review 0
Bedrich Smetana, a fervent Czech patriot, drew on the folk myths and musical idioms of his native Bohemia in his operas, chamber music and orchestral works — most impressively in this cycle of six tone-poems (1872-79) celebrating places and events in Czech history. Sir Colin Davis 'way with this music is particularly eloquent in the two movements depicting landscape, Vltava ("The Moldau") and Z ceských luhu a háju ("From Bohemia's Woods and Fields"). Nature here is not entirely benign; listen to the storm sequence in Vltava or the final minute of Z ceských luhu a háju, rather more intense than the bucolic titles would suggest. These heroic, fresh-air performances have some of the austere sweep of Davis 'recordings of the music of Sibelius.