The highlight of this disc is the Carnival Overture, one of Dvorak's most melodic and happy overtures. There are a number of recordings of this overture on record, but Andre Previn's account is one of the most exciting and satisfying versions I've heard to date. The playing by the orchestra is very clean and crisp (and caught wonderfully by Telarc).
The reason that I give this disc a 4 star rating instead of 5 is the performance of Dvorak's 9th Symphony. As one of the most recognizable and popular symphonies in the orchestral repetoire, the competition is fierce for making a record that really stands out above the crowd. In my opinion, this performance fails to do so. Although, not a horrible performance by any means, Previn leads a performance that just isn't up to par with my favorites (which include Bernstein's recording from the 60's, Karajan's recording from the 70s, Dohnanyi's recording from the 80's, and Kertesz's recording from the 60's).
There are two main problems with this recording. One, the tempos in the first, third, and fourth movement seem a little sluggish. While a slower tempo can be effective in some situations, this symphony doesn't fare well from sluggish tempos. As you listen you feel that the symphony is just plodding along. The second thing that I don't like is the lack of accents in the strings. My favorite recordings of the 9th symphony all use the string sections to great effect with strong emphasis on the accents Dvorak wrote. Previn's performance sounds like he has told the string players to disregard any accents, which makes the performance sound less invigorating and too polished.
Having stated my qualms with this recording, I would like to note that the recording is still a good one. As I said before, by no means is it a bad recording of this incredible work. It's just not at the top of my list. It's been in Telarc's catalogue for almost 15 years which stands as a testament not only to it being a quality recording but also a testament to the popularity of the piece. Also, you won't be displeased with the Carnival Overture. I don't regret buying this CD just because the overture is so good.