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Dvorak: The Symphonies

Dvorak: The Symphonies

1 Jan 2010
4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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  • Sample this album
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1
16:12
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2
13:38
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3
8:52
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4
13:08
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5
8:53
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6
10:23
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Disc 2
1
16:57
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2
9:31
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3
8:10
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4
9:38
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5
15:08
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6
15:13
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Disc 3
1
11:36
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2
10:07
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3
12:31
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4
13:26
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5
6:35
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6
9:26
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Disc 4
1
11:35
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2
15:34
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3
8:46
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4
11:21
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5
7:02
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6
7:50
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7
10:47
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Disc 5
1
10:42
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2
10:15
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3
7:44
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4
9:23
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5
9:50
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6
11:10
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7
6:02
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8
8:40
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Disc 6
1
11:33
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2
11:32
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3
7:51
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4
10:53
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5
14:15
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6
14:52
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 2010
  • Release Date: 1 Mar. 2010
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Label: Decca Music Group Ltd.
  • Copyright: (C) 2010 Decca Music Group Limited
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 7:07:01
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0036NUFGM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 294,950 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Though overshadowed by the superb Kertesz set in the LP Era on release this is a worthy competitor and an an equally valid set of interpretations. The orchestra produces a somewhat leaner texture for Rowicki that in some ways is more appropriate for Dvorak at times - certainly Vittorio Negri's original Philips engineering is absolutely top class. Don't hesitate if tempted - if possible be extravagant and have both Kertesz & Rowicki - you won't regret it I suspect - in many ways the set are complementary. Very strongly recommended!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had all the Dvorak symphonies on L.P. conducted by Kertesz in the 60'. More recently I have I bought recordings, though not complete sets, by Barbirolli, Kubelik, Dorati, Neumann and Guzenhauser [extremely good]. I borrowed the Kertesz set on C.D. from a friend with a view to purchasing it and to renew my memories of these fine performances. I also remembered hearing one or two discs in the 60's from the Rowicky set and being very,very surprised how fine they were, even better than the Kertesz versions. I listened to the Kertesz set many times, but decided to go for the Rowicky set, as a new set would mean that I would listen very carefully to the performances.
I have no regrets at all. These are wonderful performances. The sound is wonderful too, with much depth and clarity. There isn't the slightly glassy quality of the Kertesz set. The bass lines and inner detail are superb and the overall balance is perfect.
Rowicky knows when to push ahead and when to relax. His performance of 8th is as fine as Kertesz's legendary 8th [and so are the versions by Barbirolli and Dorati].Rowicki's versions of 4,5,6 and 7 are finer than Kertesz's.
My only reservation was the Carnival overture which I felt was a bit dull and plain compared with Kertesz. The other day I played it and turned up the bass and volume and it seemed a different recording, and just as fine.
I really recommend this set. The Kertesz is very fine, but these performances by Rowicki do have the edge over him, and in superior sound.
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Format: Audio CD
Much as I have always loved the Dvorak symphonies, including the early ones, it is very difficult to bring off the finales, which have a habit of sprawling or at least conveying less sense of structure than the other movements. Although the sound cannot quite match the finest of more modern sets Rowicki is a highly convincing interpreter of Dvorak's tricky fourth movements, making them seem like the true symphonic culmination that they should be. Many conductors simply fail to convince here but Rowicki demonstrates great mastery. This alone makes this set worth acquiring.
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By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Feb. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This set can be recommended enthusiastically both to collectors of the complete Dvorak symphonies and even – at this price – to more selective shoppers wanting just a particular symphony or two. Whichever you want, you will not find a bad performance here among nine symphonies and four overtures. The recorded sound is not at all bad either, although there is a particular issue with the recording of the great D minor symphony, #7.

Myself, I acquired the set for my own education in the matter of the Dvorak symphonies. At some stage in the 1950’s, it seems, the recognition finally dawned that there are 9 symphonies, not 5, by Dvorak. I can still remember a certain amount of transitional confusion as the old numbering - under which the D major featured as #1, the D minor op 70 as #2 and the New World as #5 – was being supplanted by the series-numbers that everyone accepts now. However I don’t find that the earlier symphonies nos 1-5 are even yet thought of as full participants in the Dvorak canon, the way the first five symphonies of Beethoven or Mahler are treated in relation to those masters. So this was where a complete set played its part: forget what the concert planners let us hear, forget the ingrained attitudes towards these first five and consider the Dvorak cycle as a unity. When I did that I got some surprises.

What I found myself thinking after several complete tours of the territory was that symphonies 2-5 were far better than the two most popular numbers, namely #8 and the New World. My surprise related to nos 2-5, not to nos 8 and 9, because I have always considered #8 to be thoroughly second-rate and even the New World lacks freshness in its inspiration. I pass over the Bells of Zlonice because it is too big for its boots, although interesting in its way.
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