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Dvorak Symphonies 8 & 9 (From the New World)
on 12 September 2003
A splendid bargain in every way. This recording is, as the series suggests "A Legendary Recording from the Deutsche Gramophon Catalogue." Kubelik brings a sense of mystery, and a cheery air to Dvorak. I have heard the Karajan recording from 1965, and although it is good, this recording does win with flying colours.
In 8, Kubelik does not hesitate to slow down, indeed some bits are daringly slow, especially the third movement, but he then compensates by whipping things back up into a vigorous tempo in the finale. Watch out for some bouncy rhythms in the first movement, exciting fanfares, and bouncy timpani playing in the second movement.
In the almost too well known Ninth (From the New World), this makes outstanding value for money. An essential acquisition for any Dvorak lover, and for anyone new to Dvorak. The romantically expressive opening is particularly telling. The largo is a moving, enjoyable solo from the cor anglais at a nice steady speed. The scherzo is not as much of a tap dance as Sir Colin Davis' LSO Live recording, but does come close behind. The finale is quicker than any other recordings I have heard, but only slightly.
In general, this recording is a truly great one, that any classical music lover should not be without, and at this price, it makes outstanding value for money.