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Classic Dvorak from Istvan Kertesz
on 27 August 2009
These four Dvorak Symphonies from Istvan Kertesz - whose early, accidental death was a tragedy - were pretty much the bees'-knees in the early seventies, give or take the odd Kubelik. At that time nobody quite found the slavonic inflexion as well as these two, and the LSO's playing and Decca's ffss sound made Kertesz's complete set the must-have. Just listen to the flamboyance of the horns in the finale of the Eighth Symphony. It's a pity that this double album leapfrogs the delicious Sixth, but the Fifth is great too. These days the sound feels slightly leaner in comparison with, say, Mackerras, who matches Kertesz in every other respect too and for me is the present must-have, but anyone wanting the Dvorak Symphonies at their best - and economically - can scarcely do better than this and the complementary volumes from Kertesz.