Label news: Czechs get deal

Label news: Czechs get deal


norman lebrecht

February 03, 2022

The Dutch enterprise Pentatone has announced a long-term partnership with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and its condcutors Semyon Bychkov and Jakub Hrůša.

They are planning, in addition to Dvorak & Co, Pentatone’s first Mahler cycle, starting in April with Mahler’s 4th symphony with Chen Reiss as finale soloist.


  • Micaelo Cassetti says:

    Excellent news!!
    I like the Czech Phil…

    • Karl says:

      I will always remember getting to hear them live on tour in 1990. They barely fit on the stage in the medium sized hall. It’s still the only time I have ever heard a Martinu Symphony in concert.

  • NYMike says:

    Both conductors are fine musicians.

  • Gustavo says:

    Starting with Mahler 4: just like Jakub Hrusa with the Bambergers on ACCENTUS.

    Both cycles will provide further opportunities to analyse whether there is such thing as “the Bohemian sound” in today’s modern ensembles and how that could be defined.

  • JB says:

    Semyon Bychkov is a really fine conductor and it’s good that the Czech Phil are getting a recording deal. However, I’m not sure the Mahler I have heard from Bychkov so far is anything special. Perhaps that will change with the chance to perform and then record a cycle with a single orchestra.

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      I saw/heard an excellent Mahler 6 with Bychkov/Vienna Phil. while on tour in Berkeley, Ca. Then again, M6 is one of the V.P.O.’s big ‘signature’ works, along with Bruckner 5 and 8, “Elektra” (as the Staatsoper Orchester), “Alpensinfonie” and – for some reason – Bartok’s “Miraculous Mandarin” (they do it often) . . . among various other things, obviously.

      There’s also a very fine DVD of Bychkov conducting Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” in Cologne with Torsten Kerl and Waltraud Meier.

      I have Decca cd of Tchaikovsky’s “Manfred” Symphony with Bychkov/Czech Phil. that’s really very good. He’s well liked as a guest conductor in San Francisco. Anyway, well see. As someone pointed, we certainly don’t need more Mahler. But as a Mahler junkie myself, I’m game. And there are several very good Martinu symphony cycles already.

  • Frank says:

    Do we really need more Mahler? It’s done to death schmuck that has precious little music or innovation, just self-serving egotism on a page for those can’t really tell quality when they listen. Martinu is where it’s at!

    • The View from America says:


    • Karl says:

      Agreed. Martinu is vastly underrated and underplayed. There are only 7 complete cycles of his symphonies. I bet the 4th would go over well with audiences if it ever gets played in concert.

      • Barry Guerrero says:

        I know the Martinu symphonies quite well. I like them. I also think seven complete cycles is plenty as well. I’m not sure they would ever get much better than what’s already been done by J. Belohlavek, Brydon Thomson, Vladimir Valek, Neemi Jarvi, Vaclav Neumann and Karel Ancerel. Maybe so.

  • MacroV says:

    If I’m not mistaken, they’re already in the middle of recording a Mahler cycle with Bychkov. They’ve played a lot of them in concert the past couple years, anyway.

    They are a wonderful orchestra, in any case, so I’m glad to see this. Now they just need to get that new hall built.

  • Save the MET says:

    Supraphon which was the long time official label of the CP must not be happy with this.

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      Supraphon is successfully recording other Czech and Slovak orchestras in cities other than Prague. They’ll be fine.