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Mr. Hywel Jenkins (Somerset, England)

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Symphonies 7, 8 And 9, Symphonic Variations (Mackerras)
Symphonies 7, 8 And 9, Symphonic Variations (Mackerras)

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Dvorak, 27 Aug 2009
There are few musicians alive today who more consistently find the magic in whatever genre they touch than the great Sir Charles Mackerras, forever youthful even in his early eighties. This genius manages to refresh our ears in even in the most familiar repertoire - witness his truly wonderful album of the last four Mozart Symphonies with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra - and his training in Brno gives him a special edge in Slavonic repertoire. This superb album of the last three Dvorak Symphonies and the Symphonic Variations combines that magical Slavonic inflexion which was the special province of Kertesz and Kubelik in the early seventies with excellent recording to spear right to the heart of these works - the dark drama of the first movement of No 7, the serendipity of the scherzos of Nos 7 and 8, the complete abandon of the horns in the finale of No 8 (which even out-Kerteszes Kertesz!) and the wistful final coda of No 9 are all surely pretty much par excellence. In addition there is a sensitive account of the beautiful Violin Romance, Op 11, from Stephanie Gonley. In short, you must have this magical music-making even if you already have these works in other performances, and at the CfP double-album price you can't go wrong!

Dvorak: Symphonies Nos.5, 7, 8 & 9
Dvorak: Symphonies Nos.5, 7, 8 & 9
Price: 9.23

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Dvorak from Istvan Kertesz, 27 Aug 2009
These four Dvorak Symphonies from Istvan Kertesz - whose early, accidental death was a tragedy - were pretty much the bees'-knees in the early seventies, give or take the odd Kubelik. At that time nobody quite found the slavonic inflexion as well as these two, and the LSO's playing and Decca's ffss sound made Kertesz's complete set the must-have. Just listen to the flamboyance of the horns in the finale of the Eighth Symphony. It's a pity that this double album leapfrogs the delicious Sixth, but the Fifth is great too. These days the sound feels slightly leaner in comparison with, say, Mackerras, who matches Kertesz in every other respect too and for me is the present must-have, but anyone wanting the Dvorak Symphonies at their best - and economically - can scarcely do better than this and the complementary volumes from Kertesz.

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