Author Topic: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles  (Read 9957 times)

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Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2013, 05:01:52 AM »
I have Kubelik, Kertesz, Anguélove, Suitner, Rowicki, Neumann along with dozens of single discs, twofers, threefers  :D . Not a fan of K & K; don't like the recorded sound of the Kertesz cycle and he's too often in a rush. I have the feeling Kubelik wasn't into the early symphonies; sounds like it anyway.

For a complete cycle I recommend Rowicki (Neumann takes the Silver; Suitner the Bronze). Rowicki's is beautifully recorded; naturally balanced but with good inner detail in best Philips tradition. For numbers 1 through 5 no one has done them better than Rowicki. He takes the early symphonies seriously, makes no cuts, and plays the hell out of them. His 6 is among the best too. Re-hearing his Seventh and Eighth Symphonies recently, I was surprised that I'd once thought less highly of them. In fact, they are damn good. The LSO has a precision that rivals Szell's orchestra and a really fine brass section; spectacular horns!  A bonus, and a very substantial bonus are the overtures that come with his set. You must here his Othello!

Individual discs: Mackerras/Czech Phil is by far my favorite 6 (I'm surprised Brian didn't mention him; I think it was his recommendation...or am I having a senior moment  :D ) It gets complicated with 7, 8 and 9. There are so many good performances and recordings.

In 8 you know I look for good and audible horn trills in the last movement, along with a prominent trumpet playing the counter melody to the flute solo about two minutes into the movement (it's astonishing how many otherwise good performances bury the trumpet). Karajan's Vienna boys do a terrific job with the trills. For horns you just can't beat Vienna (they play almost as well for Chung). A big thank you to Scarpia who recommended this CD last year:



Szell and I go way back with the Ninth but Dohnänyi has the better recording. Paita is...different. Insanely fast in the outer movements but with one of the slowest, most emotionally milked Largos. Time almost stands still (nearly 16 minutes long). With Bernstein, time does stand still (18+)

1. Rowicki, Neumann
2. Rowicki, Anguélov
3. Rowicki, Neumann
4. Rowicki, Neumann, Pesek
5. Rowicki
6. Mackerras, Rowicki, Dohnänyi
7. Davis (LSO Live), Szell, Bernstein, Rowicki
8. Karajan/WP, Rowicki, Szell, Chung, Neumann (not great horns but I like how he drives the Finale a bit more leisurely than most)
9. Dohnänyi, Szell, Paita, Bernstein/Israel, Karajan/Berlin (the angry one  8) )


Sarge
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 05:56:44 AM by Sergeant Rock »
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline ChamberNut

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2013, 05:04:23 AM »
I have Kubelik, Kertesz, Anguélove, Suitner, Rowicki, Neumann along with dozens of single discs, twofers, threefers  :D . Not a fan of K & K; don't like the recorded sound of the Kertesz cycle and he's too often in a rush. I have the feeling Kubelik wasn't into the early symphonies; sounds like it anyway.

For a complete cycle I recommend Rowicki (Neumann takes the Silver; Suitner the Bronze). Rowicki's is beautifully recorded; naturally balanced but with good inner detail in best Philips tradition. For numbers 1 through 5 no one has done them better than Rowicki. He takes the early symphonies seriously, makes no cuts, and plays the hell out of them. His 6 is among the best too. Re-hearing his Seventh and Eighth Symphonies recently, I was surprised that I'd once thought less highly of them. In fact, they are damn good. The LSO has a precision that rivals Szell's orchestra and a really fine brass section; spectacular horns!  A bonus, and a very substantial bonus are the overtures that come with his set. You must here his Othello!

Individual discs: Mackerras/Czech Phil is by far my favorite 6 (I'm surprised Brian didn't mention him; I think it was his recommendation...or am I having a senior moment  :D ) It gets complicated with 7, 8 and 9. There are so many good performances and recordings.

In 8 you know I look for good and audible horn trills in the last movement, along with a prominent trumpet playing the counter melody to the flute solo about two minutes into the movement (it's astonishing how many otherwise good performances bury the trumpet). Karajan's Vienna boys do a terrific job with the trills. For horns you just can't beat Vienna (they play almost as well for Chung). A big thank you to Scarpia who recommended this CD last year:



Szell and I go way back with the Ninth but Dohnänyi has the better recording. Paita is...different. Insanely fast in the outer movements but with one of the slowest, most emotionally milked Largos. Time almost stands still (nearly 16 minutes long). With Bernstein, time does stand still (18+)

1. Rowicki, Neumann
2. Rowicki, Anguélov
3. Rowicki, Neumann
4. Rowicki, Neumann, Pesek
5. Rowicki
6. Mackerras, Rowicki, Dohnänyi
7. Davis (LSO Live), Szell, Bernstein, Rowicki
8. Karajan/WP, Rowicki, Chung, Neumann (not great horns but I like how he drives the Finale a bit more leisurely than most)
9. Dohnänyi, Szell, Paita, Bernstein/Israel), Karajan/Berlin (the angry one  8) )


Sarge

Does no one share any love for Libor Pesek's recordings of the Dvorak symphonies?   :(
Location:  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2013, 05:07:11 AM »
Does no one share any love for Libor Pesek's recordings of the Dvorak symphonies?   :(

I've only heard his Fourth (an Annie recommendation). Like it a lot but maybe not so much that it makes me want to invest in the entire cycle. Convince me otherwise, Nut  8)

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Online Brian

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2013, 05:15:43 AM »
Drasko reminds me to say that when I was talking about Neumann, I was talking about "the purple box."

Have you heard Dohnanyi/Cleveland in this one? He's an absolute must. Jansons is pretty good in #5.
Jansons was my first Fifth and it is indeed pretty good. The only Dohnanyi/Cleveland I have is the Eighth...

Mackerras/Czech Phil is by far my favorite 6 (I'm surprised Brian didn't mention him; I think it was his recommendation...or am I having a senior moment  :D )

OH YEAH THAT CD IS FANTASTIC. Great Golden Spinning Wheel, probably my favorite recording of that, too.

By the way, now I'm really sad I'm moving house because I just want to sit around listening to different Dvorak cycles nonstop.

Offline ChamberNut

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2013, 05:19:02 AM »
I've only heard his Fourth (an Annie recommendation). Like it a lot but maybe not so much that it makes me want to invest in the entire cycle. Convince me otherwise, Nut  8)

Sarge

Well, that is a good one, Sarge.  As that is my favourite Dvorak symphony.  ;D

I will not try to convince you.  Although we have many, many shared interests in composers and works, I don't know if I've ever encountered a situation where we both have a shared favourite recording of anything.   :D  And that is not a bad thing, only a noticeable interesting thing.

So, in light of this information, perhaps you should stay away from Pesek/Dvorak.   :laugh:
Location:  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2013, 05:25:15 AM »
So, in light of this information, perhaps you should stay away from Pesek/Dvorak.   :laugh:

Yeah, maybe you're right  ;)

Do you think this a fair assessment of the cycles:

"Overall these performances [Pesek] lack the biting dramatic edge of Kubelik, Rowicki, and Kertész, and instead offer a more bucolic lyricism."

A bucolic lyricism in Dvorak is certainly no bad thing...but I have Neumann for that. I wonder what Pesek would add.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline ChamberNut

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2013, 05:29:32 AM »
Yeah, maybe you're right  ;)

Do you think this a fair assessment of the cycles:

"Overall these performances [Pesek] lack the biting dramatic edge of Kubelik, Rowicki, and Kertész, and instead offer a more bucolic lyricism."

A bucolic lyricism in Dvorak is certainly no bad thing...but I have Neumann for that. I wonder what Pesek would add.

Sarge

Yes, perhaps that is a fair assessment.  :)
Location:  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2013, 05:31:11 AM »
OH YEAH THAT CD IS FANTASTIC. Great Golden Spinning Wheel, probably my favorite recording of that, too.

Ah, so it was you. Whew...my memory is intact  ;D  Yes, I recall now we discussed Harnoncourt vs Mack in the Spinning Wheel. I think I marginally preferred the former but they are both superb.

By the way, now I'm really sad I'm moving house because I just want to sit around listening to different Dvorak cycles nonstop.

That's what I've been doing. Listening to Dvorak non-stop this afternoon, prep'ing for my reply to this thread. Nice way to spend a Sunday  8)

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Online Brian

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2013, 05:42:58 AM »
Ah, so it was you. Whew...my memory is intact  ;D  Yes, I recall now we discussed Harnoncourt vs Mack in the Spinning Wheel. I think I marginally preferred the former but they are both superb.

That's what I've been doing. Listening to Dvorak non-stop this afternoon, prep'ing for my reply to this thread. Nice way to spend a Sunday  8)

Sarge
I actually am listening to Mac's Spinning Wheel while finishing up some business. Now you've made me want to put on Harnoncourt's. But I have to go to the old place and load up all my clothes and books and kitchen gadgets and the bed frame and bring them back here  :(

EDIT: By the way, somebody mentioned Ivan Fischer's Seventh with his Budapest Festival Orch. That's another extremely good CD I forgot to mention, with another unusually dark conception of the symphony, if my memory's working right.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2013, 05:48:57 AM »
EDIT: By the way, somebody mentioned Ivan Fischer's Seventh with his Budapest Festival Orch. That's another extremely good CD I forgot to mention, with another unusually dark conception of the symphony, if my memory's working right.

Will investigate. I like my D minor dark.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline ChamberNut

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2013, 05:51:29 AM »
Will investigate. I like my D minor dark.

Sarge

 ;D  I like all minor works dark!  :D  Just like chocolate.
Location:  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Offline trung224

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2013, 06:42:50 AM »
  I don't have many Dvorak cycle, but to my ear, Kertesz and Suitner are the first choice for complete cycle. Suitner, despite some not-too-great brass playing, offers the lyrical quality, and Kertesz, on the other hand, is exciting in most of symphonies. Rowicki, though superb in the early symphony, suffers from the middle-of-the-road interpreattion in the great 7,8,9. I don't like Kubelik's cycle because his Orchestra, BPO, is IMHO not really suite with Dvorak's music.
   For individual:
  I think Rowicki is best from the first to sixth symphony, with addition of Mackerras and Talich's Sixth.
   For the seventh, Sejna, Talich, Kubelik, Szell, Ivan Fischer all are great but my preferences go to Giulini's performances on BBC legends and Silvestri's on EMI.
  The competition on the Eight is even tougher with Kubelik's BPO, Szell, Karajan's VPO, Kertesz, Talich, Mackerras and my now favorite, Tennstedt on BBC legends.
   For the Ninth, Fricsay is my first choice although Szell, Tennstedt's on Testament, Kertesz's VPO, Ancerl, Bernstein's NYPO, Harnoncourt all are great.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2013, 08:35:12 AM »
Rowicki, though superb in the early symphony, suffers from the middle-of-the-road interpreattion in the great 7,8,9.

I wish Rowicki's 7th were "darker" but it's certainly an exciting performance.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

kyjo

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2013, 08:41:04 AM »
I wish Rowicki's 7th were "darker" but it's certainly an exciting performance.

Sarge

Yeah, that's the only problem I have with Rowicki's performances, particularly of the minor-key symphonies. He could have dug a little deeper into the pathos and drama in these works, but he brings a freshness and vitality to them that rather makes up for it. But yeah, no. 7 is probably the weakest performance in the Rowicki cycle, and that's actually saying a lot! Szell and Kertesz remain my top choices for this work.

Online Brian

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2013, 09:09:40 AM »
Talich's Sixth.
Oh goodness, thank you for mentioning this. Talich's Sixth is a truly great account, my favorite slow movement reading (I think 13 minutes? veeery slow). Thinking about that symphony, it is definitely in my top four with Mackerras, Suitner, and Kubelik. And Rowicki. Top five, whatever :D

Offline Daverz

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2013, 11:28:49 AM »
Does no one share any love for Libor Pesek's recordings of the Dvorak symphonies?   :(

I only have a disk with 7 & 8.  Back in the early CD days, his 7 was one of the better ones. 

You can get it for a penny now (well, plus $3.98 shipping and handling.)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00000DNX7/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used

Offline betterthanfine

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2013, 11:40:51 AM »
I'm still getting to know these symphonies myself, but does anyone share my love for Kondrashin's 9th on Decca?

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2013, 12:25:17 PM »
I feel like the odd man out, as few of my choices have been mentioned...but then I haven't heard as much as some of you.

For 5 I like Jansons. For 6 I like the Belohlavek on Chandos, which I don't think has been available for ages.

I had LPs of Rostropovich's 6 and 7 with the LPO. Some critics have panned them, but I liked their rough & tough approach. Also fond memories of a Giulini/CSO 8th on DG.

I like Dohnanyi's 7 and 8, and also Davis/Conc'bouw. Not really interested in anyone's 9th; heard this symphony too often in my formative listening years.

I'm still getting to know these symphonies myself, but does anyone share my love for Kondrashin's 9th on Decca?

That was the one I played to death, so I suppose I loved it at one time  :)
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Offline Daverz

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2013, 01:52:15 PM »
I note that Brilliant has combined the Suitner symphony cycle with the Kuchar recordings of orchestral works with the Janacek Philharmonic.  I have not heard the Suitner recordings, but I really like this Kuchar set.

Offline Pat B

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies: Complete Sets & Singles
« Reply #39 on: September 22, 2013, 02:44:45 PM »
One more vote for that Szell 7-9 set. My favorite 7 and 8, and a very good 9.

For 9, my faves are Kertesz's first recording (VPO) and Fricsay.


« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 06:42:19 PM by Pat B »