I'd happen to be a lot less enthusiastic about Simon Rattle's recordings of Dvorak's magnificent tone poems, especially when confronted with the existing catalogue - Kertesz, Talich, Kubelik but also recently Harnoncourt come to mind.
What I find cruelly lacking in Rattle's approach is his reluctance to take any risks, avoiding all dramatic tension with a Berlin Philharmonic appearing stiffer and more immovable than ever. Too much is taken for granted here - the luxurious sound machine included - and that's exactly what this music doesn't need. Dvorak's poems need character before anything (even Nikolaus Harnoncourt with the superior Concertgebouw Orchestra understood that - just compare his "Water Goblin" with Rattle's) and as Andrew Huth in the excellent liner notes with this CD explains, Dvorak "was always anxious to be appreciated as a Czech artist" - and these symphonic poems are prime examples of Czech culture. Rattle and his plush but impersonal orchestra deliver very little in that respect, though. It's big, tame, and superficial, not helped by the rather undefined sound. Disappointing.