I enjoyed this performance as such. Four stars refer to the extraordinary dynamic range on the stereo SACD layer. Nevertheless I was a little put off by the sound which I attribute to the location and the fact that (presumably) it was live. I've never been to the Barbican, but I've heard that it is hard to record in. Apparently it is necessary to mic very closely. I listened to this disc on a Sony SACD/DVD player with a middling amplifier and pretty nice but not exceptional speakers. I listened to it as an SACD in stereo. (My multi-channel system has much better speakers and amplification, but is down temporarily while I build an in-the-wall equipment cabinet.)
My only complaint with this Dvorak is that some string passages border on strident. I most certainly did not find the sound "muddy" or "congested". The dynamic range is thrilling. It is exemplary!
Janos Gardonyi concluded his review with: "I fail to understand why they fool around with the sound these days, this so called Hybrid SACD is just awful. The regular digital DDD or ADD sound is much better."
Folks should know that a "Hybrid SACD" is a very special disc and the reason for buying one is because you own or anticipate purchase of an SACD player in the future. The Hybrid part refers to being able to play the disc on a regular CD player. You are not listening to an SACD in that case - you are listening to a regular CD - these discs have 2 layers.
SACDs usually are not only far better at providing the natural instrumental timbres, they also are far less likely to sound muddy or congested in complex passages. The LSO Live series is somehwat anomalous in my experience. They have great dynamic range, they do not sound muddy but on many, the treble is troubling. But I will reiterate: You CANNOT possibly evaluate an SACD as such by listening to it's redbook CD layer. This Dvorak disc is great heard as an SACD, except for that strangely ascerbic treble.
I look forward to hearing this in multi-channel sound. BTW When multi-channel recordings are done correctly, you aren't aware of the rear speakers till you revert to stereo; then you feel a sense of deprivation because the multi-channel experience had transported you into the concert hall and suddenly going back to stereo it all collapses!