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Dvorak - Symphony 9; Serenade for Strings Import
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Antonin Dvorak - Rudolf Kempe SYMPHONY No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 "From the New World" 1. I. Adagio; allegro molto 2. II. Largo 3. III. Scherzo 4. IV. Allegro con fuoco London Symphony Orchestra / Eugene Ormandy Serenade for Strings in E Major, Op. 22 5. I Moderato 6. II. Tempo di valse 7. III: Scherzo: Vivace 8. IV. Larghetto 9. V. Finale: Allegro vivace Munich Philharmonic / Rudolf Kempe TotalTime 72:28
Top customer reviews
Ormandy recorded this symphony many times, this performance appearing on CBS in 1969 [nul points to Sony for supplying no information about the performances] and both the original recording and its 1990 digital remastering leave something to be desired. However, he shapes the music with great understanding, is not tempted into sentimentality and surely gains something by working with an orchestra not fully moulded to deliver his familiar Philadelphia sound. This is not the carefree Czech playing in recordings by Talich, Kubelik, Ancerl or Neumann, but it nevertheless impresses by its attention to detail and passion. The brass and timpani players, in particular, respond stylishly to Ormandy’s direction.
Almost miraculously, Ormandy reveals a freshness and spontaneity that bely the work’s frequent, and often rather routine, performances. This is undoubtedly one of the finest performances on record from a conductor who had a vast repertoire but who, in my opinion, frequently failed to reach the very heart of the music he was conducting.
The ‘filler’ is certainly much more than this, even if the Munich string players cannot match their London, Berlin or Viennese equivalents. However, what we hear is a master communicator creating a magical performance that is suffused with great fluency and articulation. Once again, some may miss authentic Czech music-making in the final movement, Allegro vivace, but there is no doubt that Kempe knows the score, which was completed in only 12 days in 1875, and reveals the stylistic contrasts and interplay of strings in a manner that comes close to chamber music in its intensity. The rapport between players and conductor is evident from the very opening and results in a performance of great spontaneity and joy.
The recording, released in 1975, has much better sound quality than the earlier work. It ranks very high in the list of recorded performances of this energetic and life-affirming work.
The leaflet text by Uwe Kraemer, translated by Paul Gregory, is informative without being revelatory. Each work receives an outstanding performance and, together on this budget-priced CD, represent great value for money. Unreservedly recommended.
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