Each Wednesday during October, we've been featuring concert performances from the Czech Philharmonic playing music by Czech composers as a way of bringing all that energy to you. And along the way, it's been fun to share with you some impressions and experiences from last spring, when I actuallly did finally land in Prague with a WGBH LearningTour. Feel free to browse through previous notes about the Czech Philharmonic, Prague's pivotal role in the Art Nouveau movement, and a bit about a particular intersection between Czech cuisine and history.
And to cap off the series, today's performance features the Symphony No. 2 by Bohuslav Martinu, one of the seriously underrated composers of the last century. Emerging from the tradition of Josef Suk (with whom Martinu studied) and Antonin Dvorak (with whom Suk studied), Martinu was also captivated by trends in music that caught fire in Paris in the 1920's. It lent that gritty, energetic Czech language he inherited a certain kaleidoscopic brightness, a quality that was challenged by the very troubled times in which he lived. He eventually found support from our own area, at Tanglewood and through the support of Serge Koussevitzky. If you enjoy today's performance, I'd urge you to look further into Martinu's music, through an excellent set of the symphonies from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and conductor Bryden Thomson on the Chandos label.