This is a companion
to the other Ančerl/Supraphon I have reviewed of late.
While the other drew on Russian concert favourites this disc
draws together classics of the last century; two of which are
with speaker. Those two are designed for children with the Britten
a didactic piece; the Prokofiev an entertaining fable shot through
with moral currents.
1962 Petrushka is in stereo while the other tracks
are mono. Ančerl's is a specially good Petrushka with crackling energy, split-second precision from
the Czech orchestra and a far from faceless characterisation.
The Czech PO's first trumpet is much better in this than in
their recording of Pictures at an Exhibition. This player is
a Dennis Brain of the trumpet section - listen to him at 3.03
in track 3.
surprised me from one point of view. His interpretation brought
to the surface far more of the Rimskian fantasy than I had noticed
previously. Also the linkages backwards and forwards in time
with Le Sacre and
The Firebird are
other two pieces are charmingly done, evidently produced by
adding the Shilling track, three or four years after the music
tracks were made. Shilling, speaking in the early sixties, is
less mannered than Sargent in the Beulah recording of the Britten.
The playing in both works is high-spirited with Ančerl
reminding us of Romeo and
Juliet, a work contemporary with Peter
and the Wolf. Regrettably each work is allotted only
a single track.
good notes from Supraphon though, sadly, nothing about Eric
cracking stereo Petrushka
lacking only in richness of recorded sound. The charming Prokofiev
and Britten pieces are recorded in mono.