Pentatone Exclusive

Smetana: Ma Vlast (My Homeland)

Czech Philharmonic, Semyon Bychkov


It is Exclusively Available at NativeDSD in Stereo DSD 512, DSD 256, DSD 128, DSD 64 and DXD.

Original Recording Format: PCM 96 kHz
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Celebrating 200th Anniversary of Bedřich Smetana’s Birth

The Czech Philharmonic and its Chief Conductor and Music Director Semyon Bychkov present a new recording of Bedřich Smetana’s masterpiece Má vlast (My Homeland).

It is Exclusively Available at NativeDSD in Stereo DSD 512, DSD 256, DSD 128, DSD 64 and DXD.

The album celebrates both the bicentenary of Smetana’s birth and, the start of 2024’s Year of Czech Music which has been celebrated every ten years since Smetana’s 100th anniversary in 1924. Má vlast is a potent symbol of the Czech Republic’s turbulent political history and has played an important role in the Czech national movement.

Contemplating the landscape, history, and legends of Bohemia, Má vlast is best known for its world-famous Moldau melody.For Bychkov, who was born in Russia before emigrating to the United States, and now lives in France, the question of ‘the homeland’ is particularly poignant – how to take pride in the best of its heritage, while also coming to terms with its darker pages. For the Orchestra to revisit this seminal piece with Bychkov, with whom it has developed such a close working relationship over the past few years, makes the recording all the more personal and topical. 

The Czech Philharmonic is one of the world’s orchestral gems, recognized for its rich tradition with the Czech masters as well as European repertoire.

Semyon Bychkov who is internationally renowned for his interpretations of the core repertoire, began his tenure with the Orchestra at the start of the 2018/19 season.Together, they have so far recorded for Pentatone Mahler’s First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Symphonies (2022-2023), part of the complete Mahler cycle to be released by the label. The Orchestra is also featured on the album Folk Songs (2023) recorded by Magdalena Kožená and Sir Simon Rattle. 


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Ma Vlast: JB1:112 - I. Vysehrad
Ma Vlast: JB1:112 - II. Vltava
Ma Vlast: JB1:112 - III. Sarka
Ma Vlast: JB1:112 - IV. Z ceskych luhu a haju
Ma Vlast: JB1:112 - V. Tabor
Ma Vlast: JB1:112 - VI. Blanik

Total time: 01:21:44

Additional information





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Executive Producers

Robert Hanč (Czech Philharmonic) & Renaud Loranger (Pentatone)



Original Recording Format

Recording, Editing & Mastering

Holger Urbach

Recording Location

Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum, Prague

Sound Engineer

Stephan Reh

Release DateMarch 1, 2024

Press reviews

The Classic Review

But Pentatone’s new recording is in a class of its own. I was continually struck by the incredible dynamic range and almost voluptuous orchestral sound. Up to now, Jakub Hrůša’s recording with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra (Tudor) has offered the best sound (and is also the finest non-Czech Philharmonic performance available). But Pentatone’s work is even finer, and despite the overall excellence of the Bamberg performance, it doesn’t match the level of playing heard here.

MusicWeb International

I enjoyed this performance of Má Vlast very much indeed, The Czech Philharmonic plays superbly throughout. The musicians must know this music inside out but there’s never any trace of routine. Everything sounds fresh and exciting. I’m sure that Semyon Bychkov has encouraged the orchestra to approach the music as if it were new to them; certainly, he conducts with empathy and conviction.


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