28th January 2019
Bychkov proved how considerable his conducting skills were in the vivid, poetic paintings with which the cosmopolitan Smetana depicted his love of home. He led the precise yet musically urgent performance effortlessly from the very beginning. “Vyšehrad” starts with two harps summoning up the old castle in the midst of the Vltava River where its dramatic fate is recreated until it finally sinks. Equally concentrated, Bychkov led the orchestra through the sound world of “Vltava”, the name the Czechs give to the Moldova. It was beautifully melodic and transparent whether in the solos from the flutes and horns, or in the tutti sections. The orchestra responded splendidly to every tiny gesture that Bychkov employed to enhance the dynamics of the wedding dance, to conjure up the foggy mists, or to tame the speed of the rapids.