Dvořák: Saint Ludmila (2CD)

Current Stock:
Adriana Kohútková, Karla Bytnarová, Tomáš Černý, Ondrej Šalin, Peter Mikuláš, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Slovak Philharmonic Choir, Leo Svárovsky

Alfonso Romero Asenjo’s distinguished career has resulted in numerous awards and distinctions, highlighting an unmistakable and very particular musical language whose appetite for spirituality and selective use of the avant-garde is now an established aspect of the so-called ‘Generacion del 51.’ The String Symphony has a cinematic restlessness that conjures hauntingly unsettling images, while the Cello Concerto pits the luminous and extended melodic phrases of the soloist against dense darkness from the orchestra. The Concerto for Two Violins is in part a tribute to J.S. Bach’s work in the same setting, endowing Baroque resources with a mysterious and attractive modernity.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



Dvorak Svatá Ludmila (St. Ludmila), Op. 71, B. 144

  1. Part I: Introduction - Chorus: Tmy vrátily se v skrýše skal a lesů (Darkness has returned to the nooks in the rocks and forests) (Priests)
  2. Part I: Recitative: Vesno smavá, Vesno snivá (Smiling Spring, dreamy Spring) (Peasant)
  3. Part I: Chorus: Květy, jimiž Vesna vábí (Flowers with which Spring attracts) (People)
  4. Part I: Chorus: Svaté jitro jest (The morning is sacred) (Priests, People)
  5. Part I: Aria: Od dětství ku oltáři mne vodil svatý cit (From childhood a holy emotion led me to the altar) (Ludmila)
  6. Part I: Vždy bozi s námi jsou, kam bludný krok se šine (The gods are always with us, wherever the mistaken step edges slowly forward) (Chorus)
  7. Part I: Sem rychle Vesny květ (Here quickly the flower of Spring) (Peasant)
  8. Part I: Aria: Do prachu s Vámi! Jeden jest Bůh! (Into the dust with you! There is one god!) (Ivan, Chorus)
  9. Part I: Kdo onen muž, jejž nestih's nebe blesk? (Who is this man, whom lightning in the heavens did not strike) (Chorus)
  10. Part I: Aria: Ó dovol, o dovol (Oh, allow me the courage) (Ludmila)
  11. Part I: Vše láme se a bortí v chaos tmavý (Everything breaks and crumbles into a dark chaos) (Chorus)



  1. Part II: Introduction - Recitative: Ó, v jaké šeré lesní stíny (Oh, into what dim forest shadows) - Aria: Já neměla ti víry dáti (I ought not have believed you) (Svatava)
  2. Part II: Duet: Ted' ptám se tě: co najít chceš? (Now I ask you: what do you want to find?) (Svatava, Ludmila)
  3. Part II: Aria: Já neklamal se, bud' vítána, dcero! (I was not under any illusion, be welcome, daughter!) (Ivan)
  4. Part II: Ó jaký obraz oku mému (Oh, what a picture to my eye) (Bořivoj, Chorus)
  5. Part II: Recitative: Ach, ona, po níž srdce moje prahne (Oh, she for whom my heart pines) (Bořivoj, Ivan)
  6. Part II: Aria: Ó, cestu ukaž mi, jak ji mám dobýt (Oh, show me the way, how I am to conquer her) (Bořivoj)
  7. Part II: Recitative: Ó, kterak mohu zvednout k tobě zraku (Oh, how can I raise my eyes to you) (Ludmila)
  8. Part II: Ó běda, nechce slyšet jeho lkání! (Oh, woe, she does not want to hear his lamenting!) (Chorus)
  9. Part II: Recitative: Jak z krásného snu náhle procitlý (How, suddenly awake from a beautiful dream) (Bořivoj, Ivan)
  10. Part II: Quartet: Já hledala jsem záři toho jitra (I looked for the glow of that morn) (Ludmila, Svatava, Bořivoj, Ivan, Chorus)
  11. Part III: Introduction - Hospodine, pomiluj ny! (Lord, have mercy on us!) (Chorus)
  12. Part III: Duet: Ó, nech juž skanout nad našimi čely (Oh, allow now to drop on our foreheads) (Bořivoj, Ludmila)
  13. Part III: Duchu svatý, sestup v nachu (Holy spirit, descend in purple) (Ivan, Priests)
  14. Part III: Ó zněte, písně, zněte k nebes báni (Oh, resound, songs, resound to the dome of heaven) (Chorus, Svatava, Ivan)
  15. Part III: Hospodine, pomiluj ny! (Lord, have mercy on us!) (Ludmila, Svatava, Bořivoj, Ivan, Chorus)

The Classical Music Collector

"Now this was a surprise: I’ve heard symphonies, concertos, string quartets, even an opera by Dvořák, but I was not aware that he had written a large-scale oratorio. Yet more remarkably, the work was commissioned for the Leeds Festival; however, the work was not well-received and Dvořák  rewrote it. This later version was premièred in Prague in 1901. Despite its apparent religious theme, the oratorio is a declaration of Czech nationalism, and uses a libretto by the Czech lyric poet Jaroslav Vrchlický. It has been popular in the Czech cultural world ever since. The work is characteristic Dvořák, expressive and tuneful, but with dramatic and unexpectedly Handelian turns. This new recording from Naxos is given by Slovak performers, and has an idiomatic flavour. It will undoubtedly please Dvořák fans to encounter an unfamiliar work of his, but Saint Ludmila  will likely also appeal to lovers of the oratorio genre." - Chris Dench