Friday Night Music: The National River, And A Bat

For those who don’t know the music I’ll be talking about here, a brief exposition.

The Moldau (Vlatan) River is regarded as the Czechs’ national river.  Read about it here, then listen to the music here (not the one embedded in the article).

The young conductor, Nejc Bečan, is one I’ve never heard before, but his direction of the orchestra is absolutely stunning, and the rendition of Bedrich Smetana’s Vlatan is the best I’ve ever heard.  It’s about a 15-minute piece, and it’ll make your evening.

Switching gears, here’s an old favorite, Strauss’s overture of Die Fledermaus.  But instead of an energetic young conductor, we have the old maestro Georges Pretre, and instead of a young orchestra, we have a performance from the seasoned pros of the Vienna Philharmonic.  It is probably my favorite rendition, and I’ve heard plenty.  It lasts about ten minutes.

Take, therefore, less than half an hour from your hectic routine, sit back, and enjoy.


  1. The Moldau has been my favorite piece of music ever since I discovered that there’s more to music than Gene Autrey singing “Goodby Old Paint. I’m a leaving Cheyenne” on a yellow disk.
    My parents who weren’t new year’s eve partyers always played their tape of Die Fledermaus that evening. My dad had a thing for Kiri Te Kanawa who sang as Rosalinde in that version.

  2. The Moldau, and Finlandia (and I’m sure others – Beethoven’s Fifth, and Ninth?), are the sounds of a people yearning to be free.

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