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ALLA BREVE

October 04, 1987|HARLOW ROBINSON

FIBICH: "SPRING"; "THE ROMANCE OF SPRING"; "AT TWILIGHT"; "A NIGHT AT KARLSTEIN." Nad'a Sormova, soprano; Karel Prusa, bass; Prague Radio Chorus; Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Frantisek Vajnar. Supraphon PCM/Digital 33C37-7909 (compact disc). Czech composer Zdenek Fibich (1850-1900) has never achieved the fame of his countrymen Smetana, Dvorak and Janacek, and although this selection of his orchestral and choral music contains some pleasing moments, it does not make a pressing case for reevaluating his place in musical history. Enormously influenced by Wagner but lacking his harmonic genius, Fibich's heavily romantic and often overcomposed music reflects the gentle beauty of Bohemia. The performances here are appropriately juicy and lively.

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