Rudolfinum, Dvorak Hall, Prague
Catriona Morison, mezzo-soprano / Christian Immler, baritone / Czech Philharmonic / Semyon Bychkov
"Detlev Glanert's Prague Symphony proves to be an astonishingly fluid, subtle yet attention-grabbing structure which sees two well-balanced soloists fully engaged… Gradually, a life curve of emotions emerges: euphoria, togetherness, isolation, depression, dying; the vocal expressions of woman and man merging into one personality."
"Twelve tightly linked songs – or more accurately, short texts compiled and recast as fierce vocals – are sung by a bass-baritone and mezzo-soprano, with orchestral backing that ranges from violent outbursts to quiet contemplation… an interior duologue depicting the pain of being human."
"Like Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony, or Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, this is effectively a large-scale song-cycle braided by lavish, sometimes sumptuous, orchestral writing... Glanert has combined fragments from Franz Kafka’s letters, diaries and notebooks into a sort of emotional journey for two voices who move from isolation into a tentative union, and then onwards to face a clouded, even threatening, future together... the multi-coloured orchestration at which Glanert excels attractively sets scenes and deepens moods... the Prague Symphony deserves to thrive and to spread."
The Arts Desk