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Dvorak : Symphony No.9 & The Water Goblin [DVD AUDIO] [DVD Audio, PAL]

Nikolaus Harnoncourt DVD Audio
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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On Friday 2 October 2009 Nikolaus Harnoncourt was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Gramophone awards ceremony in London.

Celebrating his 80th birthday in 2009, Nikolaus Harnoncourt was born in Berlin, grew up in Graz (Austria) and studied the cello in Vienna, where from 1952 to 1969 he was a cellist with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. In 1972 he became Professor for ... Read more in Amazon's Nikolaus Harnoncourt Store

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Product details

  • DVD Audio (27 Mar 2006)
  • Please Note: This is a DVD-Audio disc which is playable on most DVD players as well as all DVD-Audio players.
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: DVD Audio, PAL
  • Label: CLASSICAL
  • ASIN: B000059ZHF
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 378,398 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. "Dvorak : Symphony No.9 in E minor Op.95, 'From the New World' : I Adagio - Allegro molto"
2. "Dvorak : Symphony No.9 in E minor Op.95, 'From the New World' : II Largo"
3. "Dvorak : Symphony No.9 in E minor Op.95, 'From the New World' : III Scherzo - Molto vivace"
4. "Dvorak : Symphony No.9 in E minor Op.95, 'From the New World' : IV Allegro con fuoco"
5. Dvorak : The Water Goblin Op.107

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A towering performance... 24 Aug 2005
Format:DVD Audio|Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this recordings. The main work is one of my favourite symphonies and Harnonocourt is one of the most respected conductors in the world, and is here conducting one of the finest orchestras.
Upon hearing it, it became clear that it easily lives up to my expectations. This much recorded masterpiece sounds fresh in his hands. This is the work of a conductor who has thought deeply about the score and he brings it to wonderful life. He has the measure of the whole thing and all four movements are just spot on, in particular he has the measure of the finale in all its moods. And the cor anglais solo in the largo is most affecting. It is a live recording, but the audience are thankfully unobtrusive throughout.
And The Water Goblin is no mere makeweight. Once again it is a searching performance that brings new light onto the work. It is a studio recording.
The sound quality of this DVD is impeccible. The surround sound adding punch and presence to the music in a way that stereo never could.
The only extra is a short historical timeline. It doesn't add much.
This is a disc I would recommend to all music lovers. For Dvorak fans it is almost worth buying a DVD Audio surround system just to hear this recording in all its surround sound glory.
Good quality, classical DVD Audio discs are still a bit thin on the ground, but hopefully that situation will change as more are released.
All in all an excellent release that goes someway towards justifying the new format.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By I. Giles HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This disc, very well recorded in 1999, enters a hotly competitive market where any new entry will have to be very special indeed to even get a mention. This disc undoubtedly succeeds on every level.

The recording itself is very good with good internal balances within a natural acoustic. Nothing is unduly highlighted and the stage depth is convincing. The performance of the symphony includes the important first movement repeat so the balance of the symphony is established correctly.

Harnoncourt manages to achieve a number of frequently contradictory results. The performance has clearly been carefully thought through and in a way that is typical of Harnoncourt. Every detail is made to have impact. This level of preparation could lead to a perfect but dull performance. Not so here. This performance has all the excitement and thrill of a top quality and vibrant 'live' performance and thus achieves the best of both worlds - considered but spontaneous performance.

The Water Goblin is one of the dark tales that Dvorak, towards the end of his career, set in his series of tone poems. These are founded on Czech folk tales, all of which contain stories centred around gruesome events. In this tale the Water Goblin abducts a girl and takes her to the watery depths to be his wife. The girl eventually returns to her mother but this story, typically, does not have a happy ending. To find out more you will need to buy a recording! These tales presumably appealed to Dvorak as they gave him so many opportunities to explore imaginative orchestral effects which he clearly relished. Harnoncourt makes the most of them too.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This new CD has been attracting rave reviews elsewhere, and having now heard it for myself I can understand why.
Nikolaus Harnoncourt brings a freshness and depth to this well-performed work, giving it a beautiful, juicy, rich texture full of excitement.
Dvorak's "The Water Goblin" also receives the Harnoncourt treatment, which, again, sounds so full of vitality.
This is one CD I have enjoyed listening to several times, and, I'm sure, will continue to do so for a long time to come.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
It takes a skilled conductor to make Dvorak nostalgic and thoughtful while still being fun, but Harnoncourt meets the challenge head on. This is a beautiful reading, one that never ceases to amaze with its insight. And what orchestra could be more suited for the music than the Concertgebouw? Harnoncourt connects wonderfully with the orchestra; rarely has a conductor fit so perfectly with the Concertgebouw. In the end, as with Harnoncourt's Schubert with the same orchestra, I get the idea that Harnoncourt deserves the most credit for the success of the music, but only an orchestra of the highest rank could capture his vision. The Concertgebouw does so effortlessly.

The "New World" Symphony is so familiar that it can easily pass by without moving us. It won't be here. Harnoncourt is able to add new meaning on virtually every page. In his hands, the music sounds unburdened and imaginative. After listening to this account, I feel moved, but it's more than the fun that's moving me. It's intensely personal, maybe even private, revealing that Dvorak is about more than humor. There's a depth that is moves me to the core. I wouldn't have thought of Dvorak as a composer to move me to tears, but Harnoncourt has changed all of that.

That's not to say that this performance is all seriousness. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard this symphony sound so gloriously free. The Concertgebouw is the lightest and fleetest of orchestras, and they can maneuver through all the tosses and turns in the symphony without a trace of struggle. Harnoncourt pulls out the most miniscule of details and takes every chance he gets to treat our ears with Bohemian fun. What I think is responsible for making this recording such a winner is the combination of fun and nostalgia.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great recordings of the "New World" 14 Dec 2004
By Stephan Fay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Harnoncourt offers bright colors, sprung rhythms and an orchestra that plays with total commitment.

One can hear gorgeous woodwind and brass with Harnoncourt's care for detail that uncovers fresh sounds everywhere probably never heard before.

The performance of the "Water Goblin" is even more gripping: listen to the percussion parts, relishing the narrative aspects.

This is a must buy !!!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the top choice for a digital 'New World' 26 April 2001
By Alexander Leach - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I gave a warm review to Abbado's recentish DG Berlin Philharmonic CD of this symphony, and it is still a great disc, but Harnoncourt surpasses him, I think. The superb sound on this CD brings out Harnoncourt's wonderful balancing of the orchestra, with brass and strings ideally placed, especially in the first movement. The Largo is beautifully played and all in all this is a fresh and imaginative performance.
In sheer bravura Abbado's Finale is perhaps the more exciting, but overall Harnoncourt just pips him at the post.
If you don't require DDD sound in the symphony then other recordings by Kubelik (DG), Davis (Philips) and Karajan (DG, 1964) might be worth checking out, as they are all cheaper and have excellent analogue (ADD) sound.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an overplayed `american` symphonie all new and fresh! 5 Jun 2000
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The concert during which this symphonie was recorded was one of the most impressive Harnoncourt concerts i have witnessed. From the first note played by the topform Concertgebouw orchestra the audience was completely captured by the magic of this music, by its confronting power to self, by the mirror that the artists so painfully held up to the audience. Some left weeping. Unfortunately, the disc can only capture a little bit of that atmosphere, but that which it has captured brings back the full works, and I am sure that the listener who has not attended the concert will be able to capture the very same thing.
Harnoncourt proves again that he is not only a masterfull conductor, one of the great Maestro`s of this time, but even more so that he understands what people, what you and me, are all about, and that he is able to perform music in such a way that it is meaningfull to his audience, to you and me.
The symphonie itsself ofcourse is performed so often that it has lost much of its original meaning. Mr. Harnoncourt gives us a rendition that sounds as though it has just left the composer`s pen. Thoughts and impressions from a new world.... Listening to it causes a caleidoscope of images, scenes, feelings and colours to play behind me eyes and when it is over I do not have the energy left to listen to Vodnik-the water goblin- which is just as powerfull.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New World Symphony 21 Jun 2001
By Charles B Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD Audio
This is a wonderful recording of this classic Dvorak symphony. It is really nice to hear such a vibrant, alive rendition of this old warhorse. I'm surprised others haven't commented on it. I've listened to it many times now - and played it for friends who are equally impressed. I recommend it for a DVD-audio 5.1 system without reservation.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh look at the New World Symphony 26 Jan 2001
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Nikolaus Harnoncourt's new, compelling version of the Dvorak 9th Symphony is one worth having, even if it is not a definitive account. Although Harnoncourt's changes in tempi are, admittedly, quixotic; nevertheless, they usher forth a fresh vision of the "New World" symphony that left me spellbound and speechless after the last note was played. Of course the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra gives another splendid performance. What makes their playing more rewarding on this CD - as well as on the more recently released Dvorak 8th Symphony - is its warmth and liveliness. The fine performance of the lesser known symphonic poem "The Water Goblin" is an added bonus. Together they demonstrate the strong chemistry between the conductor and his orchestra. Not since Bernard Haitink's tenure as the Concertgebouw's chief conductor have I heard this great orchestra give performances as exceptional as these in Harnoncourt's Dvorak symphony recordings. Again, Teldec's sound engineers have to be commended for their recording excellence.
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