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Vilém Blodek (1834-1874) Yet another talented Czech composer who died too young!


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Author Topic: Vilém Blodek (1834-1874) Yet another talented Czech composer who died too young!  (Read 71 times)
cilgwyn
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« on: February 27, 2022, 12:14:39 am »

Vilém Blodek: In the Well    Various soloists (In short:two ladies,two blokes! ;D) / girls & boys chorus/ Kühn Mixed Choir/ Prague National Theatre Orchestra/ Jan Štych      Supraphon

          

Vilém Blodek 1834-1974) What a lovely little opera! :) This one act opera,first performed in 1867,is,apparently,still performed in what was once Czechoslovakia! Or,in that part of the world,at any rate! I'm no expert on that sort of thing!! ::) At any rate,I could find very little on the web about this opera. Only one review on Amazon,which is favourable & makes a comparison with our very own Gilbert & Sullivan! An old Gramophone Magazine review makes a more appropriate comparison with Smetana!  ("The music is agreeable and well made, and the work could certainly qualify for a ‘What next?’ suggestion attached to The Bartered Bride")but goes on to say it's "some way less tuneful" and that some of it,including a "very attractive moonlight interlude – seems closer to the world of early nineteenth-century German opera than to anything specifically Czech". Needless to say,I find it very enjoyable,indeed! Okay,it lacks the catchy,extractable,"hits" of the more famous opera;but it's all very melodious and,to be honest,I think it's rather lovely in an undemanding,lyrical sort of way. Lot's of lovely choruses from the "villagers" as you might expect from an opera of this kind,set in a small 19th century village. (I love it when they use children's choirs in this kind of opera) and Blodek was,obviously,a talented orchestrator,in his own way (The Prelude last's around eight minutes,so you hear quite a bit of this before the actual opera begins). The singing is all very good. The kind you tend to expect from this label,and,unlike that Gramophone critic,I don't find the recording "harsh"! In fact,it all sounds pretty good! So,a little mystified by that remark!! All in all a bit of a find,imho! Nothing ground breaking,but a lovely listen! :) And it takes up just one cd! In fact,I really do like it! Does everything enjoyable need to be ground breaking?!!

An english libretto is included & booklet notes. The actual opera,as you might gather,takes up one cd! So,you won't need a whole evening to listen to this little gem! No need to stock up with dried food & milk! This is no opera marathon! More like an opera minathon!! ;D  By the way! Am I the only one who thinks the original Lp artwork (see above,right) was infinitely superior? I think it's rather lovely! Why oh why,would you reissue it with that amateurish looking (albeit,not unpleasant cartoon?!! :o :-\). I should add that the original Lp,which I don't own & have never heard,included fragments from an ambitious three act opera called Zitek,which was left unfinished,by the composer! Also,the libretto for In the Well,was written by Karel Sabina,who wrote the libretto of The Bartered Bride.


And,now,here's the bad news!! Long term work led to a nervous breakdown! According to Czech.net,poor Blodek "spent the last 4 years of his life in the insane hospital in Prague-Katerinky, coincidentally the same place where Smetana died 10 years later." :(
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Santo Neuenwelt
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2022, 01:41:20 am »

What short live?? He appears to have lived 140 years. (1834-1974). Pretty good innings I would say...
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2022, 08:42:44 pm »

What short live?? He appears to have lived 140 years. (1834-1974). Pretty good innings I would say...
::) ;D :-[ Yeah,1834-1974! ;D One big blooper! I remember when I 'd shut down the pc thinking,I'm sure I typed 1834-1974! But,it was the wee hours of the morning & this pc is like a snail! If only it was true?!
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