Smetana: The Bartered Bride

LABELS: Supraphon
WORKS: The Bartered Bride
PERFORMER: Drahomíra Tikalova, Ivo Zídek, Eduard Haken; Prague National Theatre Chorus & Orchestra/Zdenek Chalabala
CATALOGUE NO: SU 0040-2 AAD Reissue
Orchestrally, this is one of the most effervescent performances of The Bartered Bride ever recorded. Chalabala’s orchestra matches his infectious direction with flexible, characterful playing. Not all the vocal performances match up to this high standard. The men are mostly very creditable, but Drahomíra Tikalová as Marenka gets alarmingly squally above the stave. This limitation aside, the set has much to recommend it. Jan Smaczny