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DvorŠk : Symphony No.8 & The Noon Witch
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DvorŠk : Symphony No.8 & The Noon Witch

Nikolaus Harnoncourt & Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
1 May 2006 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 13 Sep 2005
  • Release Date: 13 Sep 2005
  • Label: Warner Classics International
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 50:43
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001F69OF0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,276 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Dvorak afresh - how could one expect differently.... 10 Jan 2000
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
From the firts note of the opening to the last of the finale, the audience in the Amsterdam concertgebouw was completely captivated by Harnoncourts vision on Dvorak music. A shattering applause burst loose over the performers afterwards, indicating that a true form of musical communication had been established between audience and performers. As no other, Harnoncourt is an ideal guide in this music. The thorough understanding that he seems to have on how to create and hold tension, building it piece by piece from beginning to end is absolutely unique. Under his direction the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, one of the finest in the world, was pushed to a musical extreme. The recording is superbly handled by Teldec, and I found that in the living room the raw emotions came back full force. A definite must for those that would like to (re)discover Dvorak, and a definite must for those who have scoffed Dvorak as a second-rate composer. Harnoncourt proves the contrary.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A definitive Dvorak 8th Symphony 20 Jan 2001
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Much to my surprise, Nikolaus Harnoncourt is proving to be as adept in conducting the works of great late 19th Century composers such as Dvorak as he is with Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. This [is] one of the freshest, most vivid accounts of Dvorak's 8th Symphony that I've heard. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra provides a rousing, stirring performance. As usual, Teldec's sound engineers ensure that the sound is superbly well-balanced; no orchestral section is emphasized at the expense of another. I loved Sir Colin Davis' version of this symphony with the same orchestra that Phillips recorded a long time ago, but Harnoncourt's version is far superior.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Burnished gold--the best modern Dvorak Eighth? 16 Jan 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I find myself giving unstinted praise to almost every note of Dvorak played by the Royal Concergebouw uner Harnoncourt. They sound incredibly warm and natural, especialy in this excellent recording form Teldec in 1998. Unlike most conductors Harnoncourt doesn't take this music for granted, and he is careful, as always, to invent his onw style for it. In this case the style is classical and refined; nothing breaks out into brassy noise or Czech folksiness.

These virtues sound like they could lead to emotional aridity, but Dvorak is already so open and easy that it's refreshing to hear him braced with some classicism. At bottom it's not any external quality that makes Harnoncourt's Dvorak outstanding but his instinct for melodic line, which here is unerring despite the relaxed pace in the first and last movements. I've never joined the ciritcal stampede to praise Szell's unyielding, brusque way with Dvorak, so it's a relief to find a world-class conductor being so heartfelt in this music.

In all, everything fits so well together that I'd rate this the best modern Dvorak Eighth I've ever heard. The tone poem that serves as a filer, The Noon Witch, is splenidly done, too. At oer 13 min. it's not just an afterthought but a major installment in Dvorak's cycle taken from Czech folk tales.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Supremely perfect 20 April 2009
By Eric Gross - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
While I love much of the music of Dvorak, his 8th symphony has tended to leave me a little cold - until now. Harnoncourt's performance is nothing short of breathtaking. His phrasing is consistently perfect (yes - perfect), but the feeling he imparts to this music is electrifying. While not quite as widely performed as his 9th Symphony, the 8th is till a battle horse of the classical repetoire, yet hearing Harnoncourt's performance was, and continues to be, like hearing the Dvorak Eighth for the first time. If you like Dvorak, do yourself a very big favor and pick up this CD.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Dvorak so deep and profound yet still full of vitality and a humor--a winner beyond words 30 Jan 2012
By Andrew R. Barnard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Harnoncourt is one of those conductors who seem to be able to dig deeper into music without losing any of the charm. What's so remarkable about this disc, featuring the stunning Concertgebouw, is that his re-thinking leads to even more charm. I certainly can't think of anything that is left wanting; this is genuine music making that is full of sincerity.

Where do I start? The 8th Symphony is one that is tough to ruin; full of soaring melodies and delightful folksiness, it would take a lot for an interpreter to ruin it. It should be natural then to try to dig deeper into the music and say something that surpasses the "good". I recently listened to Lorin Maazel's account of this same symphony with the wonderful Vienna Phil. He tried to argue that the gold in the work was not in the humor, making warm autumnal music. I thought his efforts were worth hearing, but it seemed that he left out fun that should have stayed in. I was eager to grab this Harnoncourt; based on his recording of the "New World" that I already owned, I had high expectations, hoping he could take an autumnal approach similar to Maazel, only with more vitality and humor. And that's exactly what I got. I feel unworthy to write this review because there's an almost religious quality about it that makes me feel that I'm walking on sacred ground. By now I'm probably sounding redundant, but what it so mesmerizing is the fact that this belies what one would expect from a thinking persons' Dvorak. Seriously, how often does the profound go hand-in-hand with humor and wit? And, to add to our miracle, the two elements seem to come forth stronger when combined than they would separately. Such an interpretation is beyond great.

Am I the only one who thinks that Dvorak's late tone poems are on the same level as the symphonies? There's so much charm and drama in the works that they're simply a treat to hear. Harnoncourt retains the inspiration that was evidenced in the 8th, making the Noon Witch a rich experience. Idiomatic and cheery, Harnoncourt once again digs deep, bringing the awful tale to life. From beginning to end, I was breathless as I witnessed this recording. Again, this is beyond great.

In closing, I trust it will go without saying that I think you should grab this disc. I'm enthusiastic about many recordings, but it's no everyday event that I'm as blown over as I am here. Whether you're a Dvorak connoisseur or new to the composer, there's too much here to pass buy. Grab it, sit back, and prepare for a recording that will leave you deeply moved and bursting with joy all at once. Ten stars.
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