Antoni Wit and his excellent Polish National Radio Orchestra give us a superbly played and consistently imaginative account. The spacious opening of Vyšehrad, marginally slower than usual, glows with romantic evocation; equally the flutes, trickling down from the sources of the Vltava, captivate the ear and the famous string-tune is unusually gracious and relaxed. The opening of Sárka brings tingling melodrama, which subsides naturally for the jaunty theme which follows. From Bohemia’s Woods and Fields opens with opulent expansiveness, and later the ethereal high string entry is exquisitely made. Tábor develops great weight and gravitas. The warm resonance of the Concert Hall of Polish Radio in Katowice seems right for this very individual reading, full of fantasy, which goes automatically to the top of the list alongside Kubelik’s distinguished, and justly renowed, 1990 Czech Philharmonic version on Supraphon, which is rather special.
The Chandos notes recall how Smetana was once accused by the press of being "tainted with Wagnerism": Wit's measured approached brings home this Germanic element more than in any other performance. His is a romantic interpretation, full of rich textures ... The Polish orchestra contributes to the conviction of the conductor's readings through the sensitivity of its phrasing and the richness of its sound ... Wit has great sympathy for the music and reveals subtleties that other performances often overlook in their quest for high drama
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