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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy successor to Chalabala, Ancerl, Kertesz, Kubelik and Jarvi, 25 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Dvorák: Symphonic Poems (Audio CD)
There have been several significant steps in the introduction and development of fine recordings of these wonderful pieces and I have been with them all of the way!

Firstly the story starts with two ground-breaking Supraphon collections by Chalabala and Ancerl. These alerted the collecting world including myself to Dvorakian wonders beyond the later symphonies. Next came Kertesz with a great technical step forward using Decca technology and the world class dramatic playing of the LSO. This was followed by Kubelik on DGG with more of a Slavonic feel built in and provided by his Bavarian orchestra. That was followed by Jarvi's accounts which were initially issued as additional atems to the individual discs ot the symphonies. The symphonic poems are now available separately as a 'twofer.' Now we have Harnoncourt and the current culmination of this progressive development.

Harnoncourt provides all the drama of Kertesz coupled with some of the Slavonic awareness of Kubelik plus his own probing mentality which searches out even more of the orchestral detail of these scores aided by the playing on the great Dutch orchestra. This combination gives the works something of a symphonic feel. This is a fine new addition to the previous fine recordings from the preceding generations and no-one buying it is likely to be disappointed. More likely they will be caught up in Dvorak's wonderful musical imagination as he sets these stories with unforgettable music. The recording is very fine too.

I would not wish to be without either the Kertesz or the Kubelik recordings and I still treasure them for their special insights but if pressed to own just one I might easily plump for this group with Harnoncourt or the 'twofer' with Jarvi. Jarvi offers a degree more excitement interpretively backed up by really thrilling orchestral playing and a particularly 'open' recorded sound rather than Harnoncourt's relatively weighty interpretations and sound. The two Supraphon issues sadly no longer compete on simple recorded sound. In musical terms they are still to be remembered with grateful affection.

For new purchasers, along with the excellent Jarvi set, this is a really fine investment and a good place to start. For collectors I would advise that all four sets, Kertesz, Kubelik, Jarvi and Harnoncourt, are essential purchases each with their own individual insights to offer! So go forth and multiply (musically speaking)!
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Feb 2013 14:09:03 GMT
Yi-Peng says:
Have you heard the Järvi Chandos twofer? What do you think of it? I ask because these versions are fine too. It really helps that the Järvi set includes the Hero's Song as an extra. Most recordings of the tone poems only focus on the Erben quartet of orchestral ballads but Järvi includes that non-Erben poem in his set.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2013 14:53:03 GMT
I. Giles says:
In my opinion the Jarvi twofer set is the best set to buy. It has excellent performances and sound and also is more complete than most other options. Best wishes,
Ian Giles

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2013 05:54:00 GMT
Yi-Peng says:
I'm so pleased you think well of that transversal. Why not consider updating your review to include this choice? I'm sure it's as darned good as any on the market now.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2013 08:17:22 GMT
I. Giles says:
Hi Yi-Peng,
I have followed your advice as you will now read. I can't imagine how I managed to miss out references to the Jarvi set in the first review bearing in mind my liking for it, so many thanks. Ian Giles

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jan 2015 10:38:39 GMT
Why repeat the comments section in your main post?

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jan 2015 10:52:26 GMT
I. Giles says:
Simply because I thought it might be interesting and missed by some readers. I have now deleted them following on from your own comment. Best wishes, Ian Giles.
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Review Details

Item

Reviewer

I. Giles
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

Location: Argyll, Scotland

Top Reviewer Ranking: 20