Smetana, Tchaikovsky and an ode to Brahms: it just doesn't get any more romantic. Nikolaj Znaider plays the solo in Tchaikovsky's beautiful Violin Concerto. Smetana's Má Vlast (My fatherland) is an unabashed paean to Bohemia, in the Czech Republic. In the famous second movement, Vltava, we can hear the Moldau slowly flowing through the vast, rolling hills. Echoes of history resonate in the first movement, about the old Vysehrad castle in Prague, and in Šárka, which tells the tale of female warriors winning victory in a mythical battle.
Weites Land (Distant Country) by Detlev Glanert is a respectful homage to Brahms, and more specifically to his Fourth Symphony. The hugely talented Glanert, closely affiliated to the Concertgebouw Orchestra as a composer for years, arranges this for orchestra like no other.
All of this in the eminently capable hands of Semyon Bychkov, a beloved guest conductor at the Concertgebouw Orchestra from as far back as 1984.