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FIBICH, Z.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 - Symphonic Poems: Othello / Záboj, Slavoj and Luděk / Toman and the Woodsprite (Czech National Symphony, Štilec)


Naxos 8.573197

   ClassicsToday.com, June 2015
   Classical Net, February 2015
   American Record Guide, November 2014
   Audio Video Club of Atlanta, October 2014
   MusicWeb International, September 2014
   MusicWeb International, September 2014
   Gramophone, September 2014
   BBC Music Magazine, September 2014
   WFMT (Chicago), August 2014
   WQXR (New York), August 2014
   MusicWeb International, August 2014
   Film Music: The Neglected Art, August 2014
   ClassicalCDReview.com, August 2014
   Infodad.com, July 2014
   Audiophile Audition, July 2014
   David's Review Corner, July 2014

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David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, June 2015

…it’s good to have this ongoing series, especially as it’s very well played and recorded, and Marek Štilec offers compelling interpretations of all five pieces. The music is fun.

This is turning out to be an excellent series, and a convenient way to fill out your collection of Czech romantic orchestral music. © 2015 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



Brian Wigman
Classical Net, February 2015

[These] excellent tone poems…are colorful gems of absolute music without ever feeling simply imitative.

…Naxos has found yet another idiomatic and well-stocked Czech ensemble with which to record…they are admirable and nicely captured. Marek Štilec continues to be a name to watch, as well as this whole project. © 2015 Classical Net Read complete review



Roger Hecht
American Record Guide, November 2014

The performances are powerful and exciting, and the sound is some of the best from Naxos. You might find these works scattered among Supraphon recordings, but the ones I have heard are no better than these. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, October 2014

Energetic young conductor Marek Štilec and the Czech National Symphony Orcestra bring vibrant new life to the music of the little known 19th century composer Zdenìk Fibich. © 2014 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review



Nick Barnard
MusicWeb International, September 2014

…appealing and attractive music winningly performed. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Rob Maynard
MusicWeb International, September 2014

…these assured and completely idiomatic performances are quite enough on their own to demonstrate [Štilec’s] expert professional credentials.

I look forward with the greatest enthusiasm to listening to the remaining releases in this engrossing and enlightening series. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Rob Cowan
Gramophone, September 2014

Conductor Marek Štilec has been fastidious about sticking to authentic sources, correcting errors, restoring passages that were previously cut and so on…he and his Czech National Symphony Orchestra…provide us with performances that are adequate to the task of appreciating some little-known and attractive Romantic music. Excellent notes by Richard Whitehouse. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




Jan Smaczny
BBC Music Magazine, September 2014

…elegantly performed symphonic poems. © 2014 BBC Music Magazine



Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), August 2014

These symphonic poems span the best part of his career, starting with Othello, which emphasizes the intertwined fates of Shakespeare’s main characters. More nationalist in character, Záboj, Slavoj and Luděk impressed Smetana when he was working on Má vlast, while Toman and the Wood Nymph is an evocative and tragic tale of supernatural romantic yearnings. The Tempest encapsulates Shakespeare’s story, and Spring depicts the season in all its variety. © 2014 WFMT (Chicago) Read complete review




WQXR (New York), August 2014

This is the latest installment in the Czech National Symphony’s cycle dedicated to the Czech composer Zdenek Fibich (1850-1900), the last of which we told you about in September. Fibich fell into the cracks of music history, having been born just after Dvořák, just before Janáček, and ultimately overshadowed by them both. Unlike the Czech nationalists, his music looked more broadly towards Western-European late Romanticism, which is probably why he lacked enduring advocates at home. © 2014 WQXR (New York)



Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, August 2014

This is a most attractive collection and is much more than a merely worthy successor to the first two volumes.

The recordings are agreeably detailed and with plenty of dynamic contrast.

All who are already friends of Ma Vlast and the Dvořák late tone-poems will want to hear this and can expect to find new friends. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Film Music: The Neglected Art, August 2014

…this is a pleasant experience of tone poems well played by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marek Stilec and recorded by CNSO Studios. © 2014 Film Music: A Neglected Art Read complete review



Robert Benson
ClassicalCDReview.com, August 2014

Should you wish to investigate music of a lesser Czech composer, here it is, well played by a smallish orchestra and very well recorded. Naxos is to be commended for making his music available for the curious, at a modest price. © 2014 ClassicalCDReview.com Read complete review



Infodad.com, July 2014

The tone poems heard here, all of them very well-orchestrated and played with considerable élan, continue to show what this series’ first two volumes did: that Fibich is most certainly deserving of the rediscovery that he is now beginning to receive. © 2014 Infodad.com Read complete review




Gary Lemco
Audiophile Audition, July 2014

The revitalization of the music of Zdenek Fibich…continues with this survey…of orchestral works, several of which demonstrate genuine power over the required forces.

The 1875 symphonic poem Zaboj, Slavoj and Ludek takes its literary cue from the 1817 nationalist poem by Vaclav Hanka…the sprawling piece does cohere quite as successfully as Othello…Still, much in the spectacular, brassy fashion of Liszt’s Mazeppa or Vysehrad from Smetana’s Ma Vlast, a heartfelt grandeur suffuses the score, which Stilec and his Czech National Symphony execute in the grand style.

Critical consensus lauds Fibich’s third symphonic poem, Toman and the Wood Nymph…The piece works because of its tight-knit structure, captivating rhythms, and feverishly intense, transparent scoring, including some effective colors from the tympani, cymbals, and triangle.

Fibich’s pantheistic side emerges in Spring (1881), in which clarinet, horns, and harp will play a major role in conveying the idea of Nature’s power of renewal…we feel the strong influence of both Smetana and Dvořák in their expression of dance and song. Late in the score solo flute, oboe, and strings add their distinctive glories to the color effects. This music might be construed as the Czech equivalent of a Nature mood-piece by Delius. And if that analogy works for you, you have a disc you are bound to enjoy several times over. © 2014 Audiophile Audition Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2014

Following on from the Naxos release of the first two symphonies by Zdeněk Fibich, Marek Štilec conducts the Czech National Symphony in five Symphonic Poems. They are all hugely enjoyable, Othello certainly a neglected masterpiece, its distant trumpet fanfares heralding the arrival of the Moor as the first of the characters Fibich portrays with such keenly felt observations of Shakespeare’s tragedy. The scoring is imaginative, with the various scenes and people involved being linked into a cohesive whole as it leads to a conclusion lost in sadness. I could equally eulogise on The Tempest as it bursts upon the scene with a raging storm that eventually subsides to reveal the beautiful island. I reviewed Štilec’s two previous Fibich discs, but this one is in a new première league status, the brass suitably exciting, while the strings pack a potent weight. Very good and punchy sound. Most strongly recommended. © 2014 David’s Review Corner





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