Recently the Supraphon record company organised a small celebration to mark the 15th anniversary of the first CD released in Czechoslovakia, in May 1987, the first ever in the whole of Eastern Europe. The first digital recording made in Czechoslovakia featured Bedrich Smetana's cycle of symphonic poems "My Country" played by the Czech Philharmonic under the baton of Vaclav Smetacek. More then 50,000 copies were quickly sold, and a new era for Supraphon began: in the course of the next five years, classic vinyl releases gradually diminished from
Tamizdat is a Prague-based company which distributes music from all over Central and Eastern Europe, and helps groups find an audience in the west. Tamizdat is also working on a project to preserve underground recordings made during the Communist era. Company director Mathew Covey spoke to Ian Willoughby, and began by explaining what exactly Tamizdat does.
A concert given last week by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra at Prague's Rudolfinum featured two British artists - conductor Jonathan Darlington and soprano singer Patricia Rozario. Mr. Darlington currently works as the chief guest conductor at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf and Duisburg in Germany. One of the operas he introduced to this famous opera house was Jenufa by the Czech composer Leos Janacek. In the season 2000/2001 he gave guest performances in Lausanne, Vancouver, Paris and Bordeaux and for next autumn he has been preparing another opera by Janacek, The Little Cunning Vixen, for the Champs Elysee Theatre in Paris. He has more than 200 symphony compositions in his repertoire including works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Mendelsson. For his Prague performance he chose Tchaikovski's Symphonic fantasy Francesca di Rimini, a cycle of songs by Benjamin Britten and Prokofiev's 6th symphony: