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A completely recommendable modern version to join countless others of repute,
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This review is from: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, From the New World (Audio CD)
This disc, well played and recorded in 2007, enters a particularly crowded and competitive field. It has a number of advantages not the least being its bargain price point. That in itself would be insufficient if the musical values were not first class, but in this case they are.
In particular the Symphonic Variations are given a warm and cohesive reading that binds the piece together in a way that does not always occur. Some of the problem lies in the shortness and ordinariness of the chosen theme. The quality of the music that Dvorak wrote is not in doubt as it is full of interest both passing and accumulatively. However, in the hands of conducting that has not got a firm grip on its direction, the variations can often lose focus and concentration can drift.
The symphony is given a warmly affectionate reading that has the benefit of tight orchestral control which is able to rise to the climatic points as well as provide sensitive playing in the less demonstrative moments. This is a very good performance, but there again, so are so many others.
I would suggest that for seasoned collectors who already own several alternative noteworthy recordings of the symphony in particular, there is little incentive to rush out and buy yet another copy. However, for those dipping their toes into the Dvorakian waters at the start of a collecting career, this disc will suffice very well indeed. That would still leave the opportunity to investigate other performances at a later date offering more forthright conducting input for example which would give an alternative view. Conductors from the past such as Ancerl, Reiner, Szell and Barbirolli spring readily to mind. There are countless others!