Did Mahler do Czech dancing?

Did Mahler do Czech dancing?


norman lebrecht

May 24, 2019

From the new Lebrecht Album of the Week:

Never a flamboyant conductor, Jiri Belohlavek goes for large dynamic contrasts in the opening movement, pushing the Czech Philharmonic to the edge of its comfort zone. The third movement Vivace sounds more Mahlerian than ever (did Mahler always dance best in Czech?) and the two adagio finales reach deep into the human soul…

Read on here.

And here.


  • Steven says:

    So is this Belohlavek’s second recording of Asrael with the Czech Philharmonic, then? I own a Chandos recording from 1992 with the same performers playing the same piece. Also, when listing great interpreters, I wouldn’t necessarily discount Petrenko with the Komische Oper Orchestra on CPO.

    • Robert Groen says:

      Or Kubelik. Or Pesek. Or Hrusa. Or……take your pick. This touching memorial to Antonin and Ottilie is finally getting the exposure it deserves.

  • MacroV says:

    I lived in Prague 2014-17 and Asrael was on the first program I heard with Belohlavek and the Czech Philharmonic. I imagine the recording comes from those performances. I knew the piece from recordings but it was great to finally hear it live with these performers. I just wish the Czech Philharmonic would make Asrael a regular part of their tour repertoire, but everyone wants to hear them play New World, it seems.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Josef Suk’s Asrael –
    Conducted by Jiri Belohlavek –
    The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra –
    I can’t understand why Mahler’s name is in the title of this posting, or why his picture is shown below.
    Clickbait perhaps?

  • barry guerrero says:

    I’ve been wondering about this recording and now I know. Thank you Norman. The excerpts sound great and I plan to buy it. I’m also glad you take such an interest in Czech music.