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Dvorák: Symphony No.9, Serenade for Wind Instruments

István Kertész , Wiener Philharmoniker , London Symphony Orchestra Audio CD

Price: Ł6.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over Ł10. Details
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Product Description

Decca Eloquence series featuring London SO & Wiener Philharmoniker.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kertesz and Dvorak....'nuff said! 25 Jun 2014
By Daniel Fowler - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The late conductor Istvan Kertesz definitely had an affinity for Dvorak. His collection of Dvorak recordings with the London Symphony Orchestra in the 1960s introduced many to Dvorak's early symphonies and offered compelling renditions of all of the symphonies. Decca recently released a new boxed set of these works (Dvorak Complete Symphonies, Tone Poems, Overtures, Requiem), and I suggest you seek the set out if you have not heard it before. What a wonderful introduction to Dvorak's orchestral music!

This offering, on Decca's Eloquence label, also provides some compelling performances. The Serenade for Winds was recorded with the LSO in 1969, sharing many of the strengths of the Dvorak boxed set described above: great interpretation, clear and balanced recorded sound, and committed performances by the LSO musicians. Lovers of the Czech Suite should find this performance equally enjoyable.

Prior to stepping into the role of principal conductor for the LSO, Kertesz spent some time conducting the Wiener Philharmoniker. His first recording with them was this account, performed in 1961. Within the first few seconds of listening to this recording, I decided 1) the sound on this is great -- especially the way the hushed string tones blended with that first call of the horn and then the brass and 2) what a great opening atmosphere with great anticipation, explosiveness, and dancing rhythms. I've heard many performances of this symphony, and all the great versions offer strengths that set them apart from the crowd of many other serviceable renditions. This performance ebbs and swells convincingly and coherently under the guidance of Kertesz, who follows a similar outline to the later LSO performance. The Vienna Philharmonic follow his lead with expert playing that handles all of the intricacies of the individual solos, complex rhythms, and widely ranging dynamics. I keep thinking "the woodwinds really shine on this", but then my attention gets captured by truly outstanding brass playing or the compelling strings that hold the whole performance together. The recording allows me to hear all the parts clearly, blending them into a compelling whole when appropriate. Quite stellar for a 1961 recording. I would recommend that any aficionado of Dvorak's 9th give this one a listen.
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