Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein (1583-1634) was a rather nasty sort who came to a sticky end. He caused mayhem during the Thirty Years War and had a pack of soldiers who could do anything they wanted as long as they took orders in battle. Schiller wrote trilogy of plays on Wallenstein's exploits and Smetana took one of these up as a symphonic poem.
Smetana: Symphonic Poem - Wallerstein's Camp, Op. 14
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Rafael Kubelík
Mercury 16000 & 16001
(Matrix Nos. KMC 044048 - KMC 044051 from Supraphon)
Prague? 1st December 1943
1 Flac , Here at Mediafire. [about 83Mb]
Kubelík recorded for Supraphon three tone poems in December 1943. He began with Wallenstein's Camp op. 14 on the 1st December, before setting down Hakon Jarl op.16 on the 10th and Richard III op. 11 on the 13th.
The recording is problematic. When played at 78rpm the first side is some quarter of a tone higher than the following three, the microphone seems to have been moved or possibly the musicians too. There are number of wrong notes and also some rather odd sounds coming from the orchestra, in a couple of places the sound is either compressed or almost inaudible. Despite this it is just fantastic, Kubelík and the orchestra drive the music along and just about hold it all together. The work really needs to prevent it becoming either stodgy or boring, something I think afflicts many recordings of the piece. During the war Kubelík really had to struggle to keep the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra going and even had to defend Czech music in its programs; how he was allowed to set anything down is a wonder in itself.
I assume that the Mercury pressing were issued before Kubelík defected to the West in 1948. The recording was also issued on an LP too - I wonder if that sounds any better.
|Mrs Smetana [No. 2] & Mr Smetana in 1862|
I have included with the music an image of the record album together with the notes by David Hall that accompanied the records.