Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Slovenian youth orchestra impresses in Smetana's Moldau

Gimnazija Kranj Symphony Orchestra
Gimnazija Kranj Symphony Orchestra
I get all sorts of mail, people sending my information on concerts and recordings. Everything gets glanced at, but one recent one caught my eye because the correspondent said that the recording had been made by a youth orchestra. It proved to be the Gimnazija Kranj Symphony Orchestra, a youth orchestra based at Gimnazija Kranj which is a school in Slovenia. The recording was a YouTube video of Smetana's The Moldau from Ma Vlast made as part of the Gimnazija Kranj Christmas Concert in 2015 at the Gallus Hall in Cankarjev dom convention and cultural centre in Ljubljana. (Most of the links are to sites in Slovenian but Google Translate does wonders).

After the break I have embedded the video of Smetana's Moldau with the orchestra conducted by Nejc Bečan and filmed by Primož Zevnik. You can also catch the orchestra's recording of Rimsky Korsakov's Scheherezade on YouTube.


  1. Excellent performance by youth from First Lady Melania's country! I hope we in Wilmington [NC] Symphony play Moldau comparably well next month.

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  2. Hello: Since I was quite young, The Moldau has been one of my favorites. I hadn't heard in years (I am no longer 'quite young' and in fact am not young at all. I went to YouTube to listen to several versions and then found this, by Gimnazija Kranj, and nearly wept. I agree this is a very extraordinary performance. Conducted and adapted beautifully and of course, the players were fantastic. I will cherish this recording forever!

    Thank you Slovenia and Gimnazija Kranj!

    Beautiful, simply and completely and stunningly beautiful!

    Michael Vaughn
    Seattle, USA

  3. I have just discovered this Gimnazija Kranj orchestra, with it's superb conductor Nejc Becan. I have been playing various peices for days! I am transported by the way ach instrument seems so distinct and clear. I have to say it seems a cut above other orchestras. I hope you are on Facebook. You can find me there under Virginia Franklin. I live in Florida USA. I will be looking for you because I would like to follow you.

  4. I'm not a music critic, however I can feel great energy from this orchestra ...Die Moldau is the absolutely the most passionate performance I have ever heard.

  5. As I watched this performance the notion that it was performed by a youth orchestra didn't pass, even fleetingly, through my mind.
    A wonderful composition by Smetana; a masterful conducting interpretation, matched by an impressive performance by the orchestra.
    Thank you.

  6. Recently discovered - WONDERFUL orchestra!

  7. Recently discovered - WONDERFUL orchestra!


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