Foerster: Cyrano de Bergerac Suite; Shakespeare Suite

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LABELS: Supraphon
WORKS: Cyrano de Bergerac Suite; Shakespeare Suite
PERFORMER: Czech PO, Prague SO/Václav Smetácek
CATALOGUE NO: SU 3041-2 AAD/DDD (1978/85)
Foerster’s compositional voice is not quite as distinctive as those of his contemporaries, Suk and Novák, but his richly Romantic scores certainly deserve attention. The Cyrano de Bergerac Suite is one of his finest scores, bittersweet, generously lyrical and with moments of almost Straussian passion. Apart from a penetrating study of Lady Macbeth, the Shakespeare Suite is a good deal lighter, though still full of memorable moments. Václav Smetácek’s responsive conducting, matched by superb playing from the Czech Philharmonic, could hardly be bettered in this repertoire. Jan Smaczny