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Watch again: Hrůša conducts Dvořák

Conductor Jakub Hrusa conducts the Philharmonia a the Battersea Arts Centre in a socially distanced performance
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Philharmonia Sessions: Hrůša conducts Dvořák

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Dvořák wears his nation’s heart on his sleeve in the Czech Suite, with its graceful Polka, stately triple-time Sousedská and energetic Furiant. So too does Jakub Hrůša, who lives and breathes the music of his homeland and loves to share it on the international stage. Hrůša’s conducting testifies to his experience of this music as movement, as well as sound.

We have friendship to thank for the first two pieces in this programme. Both were intended for Dvořák’s friend Hanuš Wihan to perform, with the composer himself at the piano. Dvořák later arranged them for cello and orchestra (and wrote his Cello Concerto for Wihan too).

As anyone who walks in the woods will know, they are never silent, but they can give us a deep sense of calm. Our opening piece, too, is profoundly peaceful, the cello singing over an orchestral backdrop sprinkled with expressive woodwind solos.

Soloist Alisa Weilerstein, recently praised for the ‘sunlit clarity’ of her playing (The Guardian), gets to show us her more extrovert side in the Rondo, whose sprightly recurring theme frames passages of increasing virtuosity.

Read the full programme notes here.

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