GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: hornteacher on April 07, 2007, 05:41:48 AM

Title: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on April 07, 2007, 05:41:48 AM
I'll snag this thread to honor one of my all time favorites: Antonin Dvorak

Here's his Wikipedia Entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonin_Dvorak


Here's a great book on Dvorak with CDs included!

http://www.amazon.com/Dvorak-Romantic-Versatile-Unlocking-Masters/dp/1574671073/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-4456605-3214401?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1175956371&sr=1-1


My Personal Dvorak Dozen

1 - Symphony 9 "New World"
2 - Cello Concerto
3 - Symphony 8
4 - String Quartet 12 "American"
5 - Piano Quintet Op 81
6 - Symphony 7
7 - Serenade for Winds Op 44
8 - Slavonic Dances Op 46
9 - Violin Concerto
10 - String Quintet Op 97
11 - String Serenade Op 22
12 - Carnival Overture


My Favorite Dvorak CD
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=118764&album_group=5


My 2nd Favorite Dvorak CD
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Drilldown?name_id1=3313&name_role1=1&comp_id=933&bcorder=15&name_id=24534&name_role=2


Welcome all Dvorak fans to the Dvorak Den!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Harry on April 07, 2007, 05:44:05 AM
Count me in dear friend, a avid collector of Dvoraks music! ;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on April 07, 2007, 05:46:44 AM
Count me in dear friend, a avid collector of Dvoraks music! ;D

I feel the love already.   8)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 07, 2007, 05:55:40 AM
With the sole exception of the solo piano music, I have the complete works of Dvorak. My list resembles hornteacher's in most ways, excepting the 9th symphony not being atop. IMO, the 6th, 7th and 8th are superior, but hey, that's just me.

In any case, the chamber music must occupy most of the top positions. And little pieces are as good as large ones. Try the bagatelles for strings for example. The "Dvorak Miniatures" disk on Supraphon (SU 3391-2) by the Panocha Quartet is a treasure trove of beautiful little works. Highly recommended!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Lethevich on April 07, 2007, 06:02:53 AM
Favourites:

1. Cello concerto
2. The Water Goblin
3. Symphony no.7
4. The Noon Witch
5. Piano trio no.4
6. String quartet no.13
7. String serenade*
8. Symphony no.6
9. Symphony no.8
10. The Wood Dove
11. Stabat Mater
12. Piano quintet, op.81

Need to buy more chamber discs. At the moment my favourite is this one:

(http://www.supraphon.com/!img_katalog/SU3545_2_xl.gif)

*I think Diegobueno recommended me this as being similar to the Tchaikovsky one - it's super.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 07, 2007, 06:07:41 AM
Favourites:

1. Cello concerto
2. The Water Goblin
3. Symphony no.7
4. The Noon Witch
5. Piano trio no.4
6. String quartet no.13
7. String serenade*
8. Symphony no.6
9. Symphony no.8
10. The Wood Dove
11. Stabat Mater
12. Piano quintet, op.81

Need to buy more chamber discs. At the moment my favourite is this one:

(http://www.supraphon.com/!img_katalog/SU3545_2_xl.gif)

*I think Diegobueno recommended me this as being similar to the Tchaikovsky one - it's super.

Lethe,
I like that Piano Trio #3 even better than the Dumky! The one in f. Give it a listen on that superb disk you recommend and see if you don't agree. Splendid work!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: BachQ on April 07, 2007, 06:08:52 AM
Favourites:

1. Cello concerto
2. The Water Goblin
3. Symphony no.7
4. The Noon Witch
5. Piano trio no.4
6. String quartet no.13
7. String serenade*
8. Symphony no.6
9. Symphony no.8
10. The Wood Dove
11. Stabat Mater
12. Piano quintet, op.81

My top 5:

Cello Concerto in b minor
Symphony no. 7 in d minor  :)
Symphony no. 9
Violin Concerto
Carnival Overture
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: lukeottevanger on April 07, 2007, 06:11:28 AM

In any case, the chamber music must occupy most of the top positions. And little pieces are as good as large ones.

Man after my own heart! ;) I've just said something similar on the Brahms thread, and the same applies to Dvorak too, you are right - even more so, if anything.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Bogey on April 07, 2007, 06:16:02 AM
Some of my favorites, but not much new to add to what others have posted:

Cello Concerto-Rostropovich/Giulini/LPO or Rostropovich/HvK/BPO

String Quartet 12 "American"-Smentana Quartet (Live recording)

Symphony 9 "New World"-Bernstein/NYPO or Marriner/Minnesota Orchestra

Slavonic Dances Op 46-Szell/Cleveland

Legends Op. 59-Zinman/Rochester PO


Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Lethevich on April 07, 2007, 06:26:06 AM
Man after my own heart! ;) I've just said something similar on the Brahms thread, and the same applies to Dvorak too, you are right - even more so, if anything.

I guess like the Haydn thread, supporters of his obscure pieces should probably start some heavy promotion of them before we get into too much talk about which set of syms 7-9 is the best :P

Not obscure, but the symphonic poems op.107-111 are IMO at the pinnacle of his orchestral output (almost frighteningly melodic and colourful), but can be a little overlooked next to the slavonic dances and symphonies.

I think that one of my next musical aims will be to collect lots of his chamber music - beyond the SQs, trios and piano quintets.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 07, 2007, 07:05:00 AM
I guess like the Haydn thread, supporters of his obscure pieces should probably start some heavy promotion of them before we get into too much talk about which set of syms 7-9 is the best :P

Not obscure, but the symphonic poems op.107-111 are IMO at the pinnacle of his orchestral output (almost frighteningly melodic and colourful), but can be a little overlooked next to the slavonic dances and symphonies.

I think that one of my next musical aims will be to collect lots of his chamber music - beyond the SQs, trios and piano quintets.

Yes. It won't be long before the symphonists take over. ::)

I have a superb disk of the Tone Poems - Czech PO / Chalabala. I have 2 or 3 other versions too, but since I got this one I don't listen to the others. Try it and see, I think you will be taken too! :)

8)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Lethevich on April 07, 2007, 07:11:08 AM
I have a superb disk of the Tone Poems - Czech PO / Chalabala. I have 2 or 3 other versions too, but since I got this one I don't listen to the others. Try it and see, I think you will be taken too! :)

Hmm, I will definitely investigate. My two current ones are N. Järvi/Chandos (my current favourite, though many would probably consider it unspectacular) and Kubelik/DG Trio (good performances with not ideal sound quality - although far from historic).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 07, 2007, 10:27:57 AM
I'll snag this thread to honor one of my all time favorites: Antonin Dvorak.................

Welcome all Dvorak fans to the Dvorak Den!

Hornteacher - yes, Dvorak is certainly one of my favorite composers, and one of the tops for me in the 19th century; own most of his chamber works (my favorite by him) and plenty of orchestral works, including a couple of symphonic cycles; but do need to look into another set of Symphonic Poems - have the 2-CD set by Jarvi which receives good reviews but seems to be lacking that Dvorak gusto!.   
BTW - thanks for the recommendation on the book - looked at that on Amazon a year ago, but then forgot to buy it -  :-\  :D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: rappy on April 07, 2007, 11:49:16 AM
Why is his 8th symphony so damn great?!
Imagine you'd just won a million dollars - there would be no other piece of music you could turn on in that situation!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Burchest on April 07, 2007, 12:03:09 PM
I too am a big fan of Dvorak. His 6th, 7th and 8th symphonies occupy the top spots in that genre for me although the the 1979 recording of the 9th by the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Kirill Kondrashin is a stand alone marvel. The cello concerto along with the violin and piano concertos are more than delightful works. I also enjoy his Serenades, Symphonic Poems, String Quartets, Stabat Mater, the Overtures the two Orchestral Suites. The Slavonic Rhapsodies are rich with melody. In all I would have to say he is one of my favorite composers.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Bogey on April 07, 2007, 04:14:58 PM
What recording do all of you enjoy for Humoresque in G flat major, Op. 101 no 7?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 07, 2007, 04:41:52 PM
What recording do all of you enjoy for Humoresque in G flat major, Op. 101 no 7?

Bill - I have about 2 dozen CDs of Dvorak's music, but absolutely no 'solo piano' discs! I have had my 'eye' on the Brilliant set shown below, but don't know the reviews - would appreciate comments from others concerning this part of his output - thanks.  Dave  :)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000AYYTGW.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on April 07, 2007, 04:49:47 PM
 
BTW - thanks for the recommendation on the book - looked at that on Amazon a year ago, but then forgot to buy it -  :-\  :D

Yes, its got the two things I like most in a book, organized structure and BIG PRINT!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Bogey on April 07, 2007, 04:58:04 PM
Bill - I have about 2 dozen CDs of Dvorak's music, but absolutely no 'solo piano' discs! I have had my 'eye' on the Brilliant set shown below, but don't know the reviews - would appreciate comments from others concerning this part of his output - thanks.  Dave  :)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000AYYTGW.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)

Dave,
I am seeing this piece performed on other instruments than piano.  It was originally written for piano, correct?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: George on April 07, 2007, 05:22:56 PM
What recording do all of you enjoy for Humoresque in G flat major, Op. 101 no 7?

I was just going to say that I don't have this one, but then I just checked my favorite guidebook and it seems I do. It's Art Tatum. I've put it on for a spin and he sure has fun with this one, melding the jazz and classical styles nicely.

If I were to get the whole set or any Dvorak set (I have nothing beyond the Tatum), I'd go for Kvapil on Supraphon.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 07, 2007, 05:32:55 PM
Dave,
I am seeing this piece performed on other instruments than piano.  It was originally written for piano, correct?

Bill - yes, I assumed that you meant the 'piano' version (here's a listing of the Brilliant Box (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2005/Sep05/Dvorak_Poroshina_92606.htm)) - but, I guess the work could certainly be played in other ways;  I'll 'bow' to those in the know since I don't even own a version of this work in any modality - let's see what others may say - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Bogey on April 07, 2007, 06:12:25 PM
I was just going to say that I don't have this one, but then I just checked my favorite guidebook and it seems I do. It's Art Tatum. I've put it on for a spin and he sure has fun with this one, melding the jazz and classical styles nicely.

If I were to get the whole set or any Dvorak set (I have nothing beyond the Tatum), I'd go for Kvapil on Supraphon.

Bill - yes, I assumed that you meant the 'piano' version (here's a listing of the Brilliant Box (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2005/Sep05/Dvorak_Poroshina_92606.htm)) - but, I guess the work could certainly be played in other ways;  I'll 'bow' to those in the know since I don't even own a version of this work in any modality - let's see what others may say - Dave  :)

I have it by Firkusny on MMG/Vox label.  I did not know I had it either. :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on April 07, 2007, 07:49:44 PM
Stefan Veselka has an excellent solo piano box, too.

Anyways...

I LOVE DVORAK!!!!
Especially the Symphony No. 7, Symphony No. 8, Symphony No. 6, Symphony No. 9, Symphony No. 5, Symphony No. 2, Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto, Piano Concerto, Slavonic Dances, Slavonic Rhapsodies, Hussite Song, In Nature's Realm overture, Carnival overture, Othello overture, symphonic poem cycle, string quartets, string quintet, piano trios ... oh who am I kidding. Especially everything!   :D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Guido on April 10, 2007, 01:40:44 AM
While obviously he wrote a great amount of genius orchestral works (Cello concerto, last symphonies, tone poems, etc.), his orchestration being amongst the absolute finest of the Romantic era, the Chamber music is where he is most consistantly brilliant IMO - his ability to create almost orchestral textures with very limited forces is astonishing.

I'm another one who prefers the 3rd piano trio (op.65) to the Dumky - its an absolute stonker of a work. Really its the 5th of course as two early ones were lost/destroyed. There is also a lost cello sonata, where the solo cello part is all that remains (I havent seen it). The early cello cocerto in A minor from 1965 is very beautiful if far too long (25,8,23 minutes as movement timings respectively!), but of course cannot match the masterpiece that is the B minor concerto. There is quite an unconvincing orchestration and recording out there, but there is an exceptionally good version of the original cello/piano score (Dvorak never orchestrated it himself) played by Jiri Barta.

The numerous miniatures are also absolute gems
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Harry on April 10, 2007, 02:01:19 AM
Bill - I have about 2 dozen CDs of Dvorak's music, but absolutely no 'solo piano' discs! I have had my 'eye' on the Brilliant set shown below, but don't know the reviews - would appreciate comments from others concerning this part of his output - thanks.  Dave  :)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000AYYTGW.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)

Well here it is Dave!
I found them to be superb, recordingwise, but also artistically they are sound.
Beautiful works to boot.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: val on April 10, 2007, 03:44:10 AM
Me too, I love Dvorak music.

First and above all the sublime piano Trio opus 65.

The opera Russalka (the first act and the last scenes of the 3rd are wonderful).

The 6th Symphony with the sublime Adagio and the exciting Furiant of the Scherzo.

The unforgettable Quartet opus 106.

The popular effervescence of Carnaval, the violin Concerto, the 8th Symphony.

The colors of the orchestra in the Water Goblin, the Noon Witch and the Golden spinning wheel.

The melancholy of the dances of Trio opus 90 and the perfect balance of the piano Quintet opus 81.

This is a magical world.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Bogey on April 10, 2007, 03:45:34 AM
Well here it is Dave!
I found them to be superb, recordingwise, but also artistically they are sound.
Beautiful works to boot.

That will do it for me....just put it toward the top of my wish list.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Harry on April 10, 2007, 04:05:44 AM
That will do it for me....just put it toward the top of my wish list.

Well if you don't like it, I will move shortly, so no pain for me involved here! ;D
But seriously, I played this box many times, and could not find fault with it.
A full blooded and warmly recorded interpretation, and with enough distance to keep it lucid.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: karlhenning on April 10, 2007, 04:57:49 AM
Prague Waltzes, I tell you!

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00004YMLT.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Harry on April 10, 2007, 05:00:15 AM
Prague Waltzes, I tell you!

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00004YMLT.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)

And the Legends not to forget, fine recording this is.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 10, 2007, 05:47:29 AM
That will do it for me....just put it toward the top of my wish list.

Harry - thanks for the comments - I think a Brilliant box of Dvoark's Solo Piano music is about to enter both of our CD collections!  :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Harry on April 10, 2007, 05:57:16 AM
Harry - thanks for the comments - I think a Brilliant box of Dvoark's Solo Piano music is about to enter both of our CD collections!  :)

You will both not regret it, or a eat my hat, which I don't have! ;D

The Dvoark's is good though, I laughed for quite a while!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 10, 2007, 06:13:16 AM
You will both not regret it, or a eat my hat, which I don't have! ;D

Harry - I'll send you a hat or two (the latter just for the future -  ;D) - I have a half dozen or so to keep the sun off my balding head on trips to the Carolina-Georgia coast in the summer!  :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Harry on April 10, 2007, 06:18:23 AM
Harry - I'll send you a hat or two (the latter just for the future -  ;D) - I have a half dozen or so to keep the sun off my balding head on trips to the Carolina-Georgia coast in the summer!  :)

Well they come in handy,not only for eating but because my head is growing not that many hairs anymore as they use to, so it burns from time to time, when I walk in the Dutch sun. ;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on April 13, 2007, 10:42:08 AM
Just been listening to Dvorak's Serenade for Winds.  Anyone else familiar with this marvellous piece?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 10:45:07 AM
Just been listening to Dvorak's Serenade for Winds.  Anyone else familiar with this marvellous piece?

Of course, its one of his most popular works.
I have the Philips recording with Marriner, but am non to pleased with that, so some recommendations would come in handy!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on April 13, 2007, 10:54:33 AM
Of course, its one of his most popular works.
I have the Philips recording with Marriner, but am non to pleased with that, so some recommendations would come in handy!

This is the one I have, and its a great recording (the coupling is the String Serenade)

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=72494
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 11:03:38 AM
Will try to get some samples of that!
Thanks.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 13, 2007, 11:57:37 AM
Just been listening to Dvorak's Serenade for Winds.  Anyone else familiar with this marvellous piece?

Agree completely w/ Harry - love the Dvorak Serenades - own a CD from the 1980s w/ one of my favorite groups, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra - has the string & wind serenades (Op. 22 & 44); apparently, now OOP, but Arkiv Music (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=146317) is offering the same disc as a CD-R (but w/o the liner notes!) - I bought this years ago, and would certainly be open to some 'newer' interpretations.  :)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/d5/ef/1cf54310fca06a2656722010._AA240_.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on April 29, 2007, 12:06:02 PM
Found a top-notch recording of the American Quartet Op 96 and Quintet Op 97 here:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=61476
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Steve on April 29, 2007, 12:14:31 PM
After a period of nearly neglecting this work, I dug through my collection, for my recording of the moving Dvorak Cellokonzert in h-moll. In honor of the passing of our dear friend, Mstilaw Rostropovich, I played it yesterday. I cannot recall a more powerful element of the Cello Repotoire. Simply delightful.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/518RAYJSR2L._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Israfel the Black on April 29, 2007, 12:56:33 PM
After a period of nearly neglecting this work, I dug through my collection, for my recording of the moving Dvorak Cellokonzert in h-moll. In honor of the passing of our dear friend, Mstilaw Rostropovich, I played it yesterday. I cannot recall a more powerful element of the Cello Repotoire. Simply delightful.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/518RAYJSR2L._AA240_.jpg)

I favor the somewhat underappreciated du Pre/Celibidache recording with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. It's the longest interpretation of the Dvorak, but the passion of both du Pre and the orchestra is truly breathtaking. The Rostropovich/Karajan is a close second for me, however.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41RS1563A7L._AA240_.jpg)



Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Bogey on April 29, 2007, 01:01:07 PM
After a period of nearly neglecting this work, I dug through my collection, for my recording of the moving Dvorak Cellokonzert in h-moll. In honor of the passing of our dear friend, Mstilaw Rostropovich, I played it yesterday. I cannot recall a more powerful element of the Cello Repotoire. Simply delightful.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/518RAYJSR2L._AA240_.jpg)
I favor the somewhat underappreciated du Pre/Celibidache recording with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. It's the longest interpretation of the Dvorak, but the passion of both du Pre and the orchestra is truly breathtaking. The Rostropovich/Karajan is a close second for me, however.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41RS1563A7L._AA240_.jpg)

This is one of those pieces where you can have 6 or 7 recordings and still not mind a couple more.... :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Israfel the Black on April 29, 2007, 01:15:18 PM
True, indeed.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 29, 2007, 01:43:40 PM
Found a top-notch recording  (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=61476) of the American Quartet Op 96 and Quintet Op 97 here - click 'top-notch recording' -  :)

HT - recent recording from a 'new' Talich group - great review - price is steep, though - but bet it is good (having recordings from previous Talich quartets) -  :D

This might be a good opportunity to start some posts on Dvorak's String Quartet output - believe he wrote 14 or so of these works; I own only 6 of the SQs by this composer, and certainly would like to not only 'expand' my collection, but possibly do some 'updating' -  8)

SQs, Nos. 8 & 11 w/ the Vlach Quartet Prague on Naxos (4* rating Amazon)
SQs, Nos. 9 & 10 w/ the American String Quartet on Nonesuch - 1986! Can't find an image but well recommended then!
SQs, Nos. 12 & 14 w/ the Takacs Quartet on London

Own the ones above (and for a long time); so, please 'what' are some 'current' recommendations, plus have none of the first half of his SQ output - are these worth a consideration?  Thanks, all -  ;D

(http://www.naxos.com/images/cds/553372.gif)  (http://www.ksanti.net/free-reed/images/reviews/cds/takacs.JPG)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: AnthonyAthletic on April 29, 2007, 01:50:19 PM
Every now and again, the smaller labels in this case Discover throw up a Gem recording.

This is their's; the 12th "American" & 13th.  Wonderful playing from the Travnicek Quartet, one of my favourite Dvorak discs. 

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Siedler on April 29, 2007, 03:12:46 PM
Just been listening to Dvorak's Serenade for Winds.  Anyone else familiar with this marvellous piece?
Oh yes, indeed, it's gorgeous. I have only heard the version that my library has, it's the Orpheus one coupled with the equally beautiful String Serenade.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on April 29, 2007, 04:53:56 PM
HT - recent recording from a 'new' Talich group - great review - price is steep, though - but bet it is good (having recordings from previous Talich quartets) -  :D

This might be a good opportunity to start some posts on Dvorak's String Quartet output - believe he wrote 14 or so of these works; I own only 6 of the SQs by this composer, and certainly would like to not only 'expand' my collection, but possibly do some 'updating' -  8)

SQs, Nos. 8 & 11 w/ the Vlach Quartet Prague on Naxos (4* rating Amazon)
SQs, Nos. 9 & 10 w/ the American String Quartet on Nonesuch - 1986! Can't find an image but well recommended then!
SQs, Nos. 12 & 14 w/ the Takacs Quartet on London

Own the ones above (and for a long time); so, please 'what' are some 'current' recommendations, plus have none of the first half of his SQ output - are these worth a consideration?  Thanks, all -  ;D

(http://www.naxos.com/images/cds/553372.gif)  (http://www.ksanti.net/free-reed/images/reviews/cds/takacs.JPG)

Here's another great one:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=8788

Dvorak Piano Quintet and SQ #10
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on April 29, 2007, 04:56:27 PM
This is one of those pieces where you can have 6 or 7 recordings and still not mind a couple more.... :)


Like this one: (my personal favorite)

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=102169
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Que on April 29, 2007, 08:56:56 PM
Agree completely w/ Harry - love the Dvorak Serenades - own a CD from the 1980s w/ one of my favorite groups, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra - has the string & wind serenades (Op. 22 & 44); apparently, now OOP, but Arkiv Music (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=146317) is offering the same disc as a CD-R (but w/o the liner notes!) - I bought this years ago, and would certainly be open to some 'newer' interpretations.  :)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/d5/ef/1cf54310fca06a2656722010._AA240_.L.jpg)

This one is superb - as authentically Czech as can be. Magic! :)
Recordings are good, but not new ('66/'78).

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/61H7QQKS2JL._SS500_.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on June 29, 2007, 02:19:19 PM
Can we discuss Dvorak's 7th Symphony for a moment?  I have read several texts that essentially all say the same two things about the 7th:

1) It is Dvorak's greatest symphony
2) It is the most Brahmsian of Dvorak's symphonies

My question is this: how can the 7th be considered Dvorak's greatest symphony if he is copying the style of another composer (granted Brahms is a very good one to emulate)?

I've even seen one writer put it like this: "the 6th is Dvorak doing Beethoven, the 7th is Dvorak doing Brahms, the 8th and 9th are pure Dvorak."

Personally, I find the 8th and 9th easier to latch on to than the 7th but would like to study it more.  Any thoughts on why historians describe the 7th as they do?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: MishaK on June 29, 2007, 02:29:35 PM
I favor the somewhat underappreciated du Pre/Celibidache recording with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. It's the longest interpretation of the Dvorak, but the passion of both du Pre and the orchestra is truly breathtaking. The Rostropovich/Karajan is a close second for me, however.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41RS1563A7L._AA240_.jpg)






The Celi/Du Pre is outstanding. My favorite! It is also available as an individual CD thus:

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/411ZERB68EL._AA240_.jpg)

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mark G. Simon on June 29, 2007, 06:01:40 PM
My question is this: how can the 7th be considered Dvorak's greatest symphony if he is copying the style of another composer (granted Brahms is a very good one to emulate)?

Good point. I agree with you. Dvorak was best when being himself. The D minor is a very fine symphony, but the last two are the great ones.

IMHO.

Quote
  Any thoughts on why historians describe the 7th as they do?

They like music that sounds like Brahms better than music that sounds like Dvorak.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: JoshLilly on July 16, 2007, 10:09:37 AM
Didn't read the whole thread here, sorry if this was already covered.

I have two complete sets of Dvořák's symphonies, one conducted by Kubelik, and the other ... I forget, but it was issued in 3 boxes on Philips in those 2-CD boxes, grouped as Early Symphonies Vol I and II and Late Symphonies. I'm not really happy with 6, 7, 8, or 9 on the Philips set for some reason, so I'm looking for something else. I like the Kubelik performances way more for those (especially 6), but the sound quality is bad; I think these were from the 1970s. I've heard people praise the sound quality, but those people have to be on drugs - they have that "unclean" sound that all recordings made from before at least 1980 seem to have.

So... what else is out there? Anything newer? I'm checking around amazon.com but they don't always provide sound samples, and I'm interested in opinions of anything newer that people think is good. Sound quality is just very important to me; I still play my Kubelik set for the last 4 symphonies, but despite this being about as good as the 1970s could get, the sound quality just distracts and detracts.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on July 16, 2007, 10:23:32 AM
Sounds like you have the Rowicki/London SO set. I am surprised you think that since I think that set is a primary recommendation. ANYWAY if you want fabulous DDD sound AND top-notch performance I would check out the Neumann/Czech PO set on Supraphon which has has been reissued at midprice.

This (http://www.amazon.com/Dvor%C3%A1k-Symphonies-Nos-1-9-Box/dp/B00008GQ8A/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-8731929-0487120?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1184613762&sr=8-1) is what I am referring to.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41CP67YW2ZL._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: JoshLilly on July 16, 2007, 10:30:13 AM
No no, don't get me wrong. I like the Rowicki/London SO set very much, but I'm just not totally satisfied with the last 4 symphonies. Well, to be honest, the performance of the 6th is on the sunny side of tolerable, but for the 7th, I'm not happy with the 1st, 3rd, or 4th movements - they just don't feel "harsh" enough to me where I feel they should be harsh, at least in a way I've heard it done in other recordings that I prefer. The 8th and 9th on that set I don't listen to any more, I have to say. The performance of the 5th though is maybe my favourite of all! I really like it, and also the 3rd. The others are more than fine. Anyway, bang for the buck, the Philips Duo collection is really great. I got it for the low price and was very happy with it.

I'm interested in that set you mention. I'm not at all familiar with it. Thanks for the recommendation!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mahlertitan on July 16, 2007, 12:11:48 PM
Dvorak is one of those melodic geniuses. Like Tchaikovsky, beautiful melodies just flows from his pen, my favourites are:

American Suite in A major for Orchestra B. 190 (op. 98b)

Symphony no.4 in D minor

5 Prague waltzes B. 99

and of course, the famous ones, like the 6,7,8,9, symphonies, piano quintet in A, and the american quartet
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on July 16, 2007, 01:08:53 PM
No no, don't get me wrong. I like the Rowicki/London SO set very much, but I'm just not totally satisfied with the last 4 symphonies. Well, to be honest, the performance of the 6th is on the sunny side of tolerable, but for the 7th, I'm not happy with the 1st, 3rd, or 4th movements - they just don't feel "harsh" enough to me where I feel they should be harsh, at least in a way I've heard it done in other recordings that I prefer. The 8th and 9th on that set I don't listen to any more, I have to say. The performance of the 5th though is maybe my favourite of all! I really like it, and also the 3rd. The others are more than fine. Anyway, bang for the buck, the Philips Duo collection is really great. I got it for the low price and was very happy with it.

I'm interested in that set you mention. I'm not at all familiar with it. Thanks for the recommendation!

If you like it "harsh" I'd also suggest the classic Kertesz set on DECCA. Not the most refined playing in the world but full of pointy rhythm and characterful accents. #7 is probably the highlight of that set.

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Lethevich on July 16, 2007, 05:02:12 PM
I also second the Supraphon Neumann, the sound is very clear. I find the cycle more solid than the label's newer one with Válek (plus that's a mix of studio and live).

For some reason I found the Kertesz infuriating to listen to, I'm glad I sampled before buying.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on July 16, 2007, 06:57:01 PM
Its not part of a set, but this Mackerras CD is my favorite version of the 8th and 9th (both recorded live).  Gorgeous.

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=118764&album_group=5
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on July 17, 2007, 02:40:20 AM
Its not part of a set, but this Mackerras CD is my favorite version of the 8th and 9th (both recorded live).  Gorgeous.

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=118764&album_group=5

I don't have that one, but I have this Mackerras 7-9:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/414E707FXFL._AA240_.jpg)

Also I think everyone should own Colin Davis Amsterdam 7th and Bernstein's NYPO 9th.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on August 28, 2007, 03:20:43 PM
Just got this Symphony Cycle.  Its really quite good.  A very pleasant surprise!  Anyone else heard this one?

http://tinyurl.com/3528ee (http://tinyurl.com/3528ee)


Edit: GB - added tinyurl
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: karlhenning on December 18, 2007, 07:05:49 PM
(Can't believe this thread fell into such obscurity.)

TTT
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on December 18, 2007, 07:11:52 PM
(Can't believe this thread fell into such obscurity.)

TTT

I KNOW!  Shame.

Just listened to the 7th Symphony.......again.  That 2nd movement is gorgeous.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: rappy on December 19, 2007, 10:35:13 AM
Not only the 2nd (at least if you've got: Dohnanyi/ClvO)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: ChamberNut on December 19, 2007, 11:26:33 AM
My Personal Dvorak Favorites

1 - Cello Concerto
2 - Symphony 8
3 - Symphony 7
4 - Piano Trio 'Dumky'
5 - Piano Quintet Op. 81
6 - Serenade for Winds Op 44
7 - American Suite

This is a composer that I have yet to delve into other than his symphonies.  2008 will see me checking out his string quartets and other chamber music, as well as his violin and piano concerti.  Looking forward to discovering more Dvorak  :)


Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on December 19, 2007, 01:54:25 PM
2008 will see me checking out his string quartets and other chamber music, as well as his violin and piano concerti.

My friend you are in for a treat.  The SQ #10, 12, and 14 are my personal favorites.  Love the violin concerto as well.  I think its very underrated, or maybe just overshadowed by the Cello Concerto (which is understandable but still unfair).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: karlhenning on December 20, 2007, 12:54:39 PM
Some thoughts on revisiting the Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, The Bells of Zlonice

Well, I enjoy listening to it, and I don't find that it tries my patience.  I respect the dissatisfaction that others feel towards the piece, of course;  but somehow my own experience is otherwise.

1.  Yes, it's broader than his subsequent symphonies.

2.  Yes, this is a score which passed out of his life before he might have refined it, as he is known to have refined the later symphonies.

3.  So let us acknowledge that, had Dvorak remained in possession of this score, he would likely have subjected it to a revision process which it were impossible for anyone who is not Dvorak to duplicate.  And so this hypothetical revised First Symphony (hereinafter RFS) would be music a notch or more better than the symphony as we've got it.

4.  I don't find myself dissatisfied with the symphony as it is, just because if there were a RFS, it would be better.

5.  In any event, the piece as it is, I enjoy listening to, and I don't find that it tries my patience. Maybe I don't listen to it more than once or twice in a year, where there are other Dvorak pieces I revisit much more frequently and urgently.  That's fine, too.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Bogey on January 09, 2008, 08:44:16 PM
(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/55/550632.jpg)

Harry,
You asked for a quick review of my recent listening.  Though I was planning on listening to Symphonies 1 and 3, I found that I kept looping through just No. 1 today.  First, here are the times you requested:

1st Movement 11:07
2nd Movement 12:54
3rd Movement 8:50
4th Movement 10:08

My review of this 1st Symphony is based on not owning another, so please keep this in mind.  Fortunately, I enjoyed this recording very much.  The Adagio molto was a highlight for sure.  A lot of passion here.  I found that the winds were featured quite a bit throughout this performance and rarely drifted into the background.  Fortunately their playing was first rate IMO.  The brass also seemed to be at the forefront throughout much of the performance, and may be one reason our friend hornteacher liked this set. ;D  The strings, on the other hand were powerful in spots, but definitely not the feature here.  A bit more volume from the folks running the board may have been warrented, but the winds sure were fun to have as a focal point.  Overall, not "overly" rich, but definitely heading in that direction.  I will update when I listen to further symphonies from this set.

Overall, it has made me a fan of this 1st Symphony, and I can see myself replaying it often (I believe I played it 4 times through today without tiring of it).  I seem to be a sucker for composers' No. 1's.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Harry on January 09, 2008, 11:28:52 PM
(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/55/550632.jpg)

Harry,
You asked for a quick review of my recent listening.  Though I was planning on listening to Symphonies 1 and 3, I found that I kept looping through just No. 1 today.  First, here are the times you requested:

1st Movement 11:07
2nd Movement 12:54
3rd Movement 8:50
4th Movement 10:08

My review of this 1st Symphony is based on not owning another, so please keep this in mind.  Fortunately, I enjoyed this recording very much.  The Adagio molto was a highlight for sure.  A lot of passion here.  I found that the winds were featured quite a bit throughout this performance and rarely drifted into the background.  Fortunately their playing was first rate IMO.  The brass also seemed to be at the forefront throughout much of the performance, and may be one reason our friend hornteacher liked this set. ;D  The strings, on the other hand were powerful in spots, but definitely not the feature here.  A bit more volume from the folks running the board may have been warrented, but the winds sure were fun to have as a focal point.  Overall, not "overly" rich, but definitely heading in that direction.  I will update when I listen to further symphonies from this set.

Overall, it has made me a fan of this 1st Symphony, and I can see myself replaying it often (I believe I played it 4 times through today without tiring of it).  I seem to be a sucker for composers' No. 1's.

I am pleased to hear that Bill, and first of all let me thank you for this elaborate review.
The timings are fastly different from Kubelik, the set I have and love.
M 1 13:30
M 2 11:08.
M 3 9:35.
M 4 13:36.
So overall Anguelov is a lot faster, apart from the third movement. And I think that's good, for some parts within the different movements were to slow for my liking, certainly if you look at the first measures of the first movement, which is somewhat plodding along. It needs a fast merry go off, to make it work. The Bells, are after all, movement. The first was always a favourite with me too. The brass has a lot of important entries in all movements, so its good to hear that works well. Keep me informed of your progress, especially the timings and sound. I am so curious what you make of the second movement of the second symphony, "Poco Adagio", that thrills me everytime, due to the fine wind playing, Clarinet/Hobo.....
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on January 10, 2008, 04:38:22 PM
(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/55/550632.jpg)

The brass also seemed to be at the forefront throughout much of the performance, and may be one reason our friend hornteacher liked this set. ;D

Hadn't thought about it that way before but you're probably right.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on January 10, 2008, 05:16:42 PM
Bogey, hope you continue to post your thoughts on this cycle, as I had been greatly looking forward to hearing your thoughts. The First Symphony - will have to give this another spin now; there are not many people who become fans of the symphony on first listening, unfortunately, so it is great you are one of them.  :)  Incidentally, this set is a major step forward as far as the orchestra is concerned. In its old Naxos days, the Slovak Radio Symphony's brass was rather unimpressive (probably due to the engineering), although the winds have always been first-class.

And Harry, the second movement of the Second is really neat, as it gradually increases in tension and feeling during its progress. The last two movements are like firecrackers, aren't they - when I listen to them, I feel as if they pass by in only a matter of seconds, whereas they are actually about ten minutes apiece!  :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on January 10, 2008, 05:53:13 PM

Overall, it has made me a fan of this 1st Symphony, and I can see myself replaying it often (I believe I played it 4 times through today without tiring of it).  I seem to be a sucker for composers' No. 1's.
Whoa, the First certainly has a surprising little ending! I didn't remember the last few notes being that way; it caught me off guard.  :D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Harry on January 11, 2008, 12:09:58 AM
And Harry, the second movement of the Second is really neat, as it gradually increases in tension and feeling during its progress. The last two movements are like firecrackers, aren't they - when I listen to them, I feel as if they pass by in only a matter of seconds, whereas they are actually about ten minutes apiece!  :)


Spot on Brian..... :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Bogey on January 11, 2008, 05:39:00 AM
About to start my maiden listen of No. 2.  Will report out tonight.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Harry on January 11, 2008, 05:45:51 AM
About to start my maiden listen of No. 2.  Will report out tonight.

Bill my friend, it is almost night here, so........ ;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Bogey on January 12, 2008, 08:25:38 PM
(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/55/550632.jpg)

Symphony No. 2 Report

Times
1st Movement 11:40
2nd Movement 13:07
3rd Movement 12:14
4th Movement 11:05

I believe I found a new parallel between Dvorak's 2nd and Beethoven's 2nd.  They are both enjoyable, but not overly memorable when put up against against their other works....at least for me.  This one also had some "leaness" to it that would have been fine had it been consistent throughout.  Also, there were some points when the brass could have really punctuated the work, but instead I found myself going back and turning up the volume during those missed opportunities.  I will say this though, once again the winds are absolutely fabulous.  Enough so that I am still pleased to have this No. 2 on the shelf.  At about the 5:15 mark of the first movement to about the 6 minute mark is a an example of their sheer beauty.  However, the wind examples are too numerous to nail all of them down. 

On a side note, I would like to hear the likes of Segerstam/Helsinki tackle this one, but alas, I believe they have not tackled much in the way of Dvorak.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 13, 2008, 08:59:58 AM
Also, there were some points when the brass could have really punctuated the work, but istead I found myself going back and turning up the volume during those missed opportunities.

Hey, Bill. I just sampled Anguelov's set at JPC (and Neumann's too). I'm not going to make a final judgment based on a few clips but from what little I heard there was nothing to make me change my mind about early Dvorak symphony performances: Rowicki and the LSO still rule in 1-4. I like Rowicki's emphasis on rhythm and structure, and high drama--and love the London brass! Here's a sample I ripped so you can hear what I mean: the Scherzo from the Second:

http://rapidshare.com/files/83507323/Dvorak2Scherzo.mp3.html

The horns are magnificent; listen how Rowicki gives them their head in the introduction: great, glorious whoops! (The horns are recessed in Anguelov and Suitner, and almost inaudible in Neumann.) And then from 2:20 to 3:00 first the trombones are spotlit, then trumpets, then those horns again. The horns are incredible in the Trio too. They give me goosebumps.

I heard nothing terribly wrong with Anguelov (and much to like) but I don't think his early symphonies would thrill me like Rowicki's. No shame in that: I haven't heard better from anyone else either, including Kertesz, Kubelik, Suitner.

I do agree with Josh Lilly about Rowicki's 7-9: solid performances that don't match the best (but then there's such formidable competition here). But Rowicki's cycle is broken into three parts. The early and middle symphonies can be bought separately.

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Bogey on January 13, 2008, 09:07:42 AM
Thanks Sarge!  I will look into your rec.  I am begeinning to find out that like so many other composers, one recording of each symphony may not be enough for me, as the early Dvorak's do have much to offer IMO.  Hope all is well your way.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 13, 2008, 09:17:27 AM
Thanks Sarge!  I will look into your rec.  I am begeinning to find out that like so many other composers, one recording of each symphony may not be enough for me, as they early Dvorak's do have much to offer IMO.

They do, and it's a pity they're overlooked generally, in the concert halls and the recording studios. For example, I wish Dohnányi and Cleveland would have recorded the complete cycle.

Funny story: when I was dating the future Mrs. Rock, I gave her the Rowicki set (the big box of LPs). She dutifully began listening with the First, then the Second and so forth. She never got beyond the Fourth. She was so taken with the first four (and especially the D minor) that she saw no point in listening to the rest! Just kept repeating the first four. That went on for months and I couldn't get her to budge. Her enthusiasm made me listen to them with more attention and I too fell in love with them.

Hope all is well your way.

Fair to middlin'. Growing old sucks  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mozart on January 19, 2008, 11:58:27 PM
Anyone else like the op 5 quintet? I find it to be better of the 2 piano quintets, but maybe I'm an idiot.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Israfel the Black on January 26, 2008, 06:40:06 AM
Anyone else like the op 5 quintet? I find it to be better of the 2 piano quintets, but maybe I'm an idiot.

While I would not say I like it more than the Op. 81 Quintet, the Op. 5 is quite close in equaling it. The second movement is simply marvelous.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: jwinter on August 20, 2008, 04:34:44 PM
Well, I'll give this thread a bump and see if anyone bites.  :)

Dvorak is a composer that has definitely grown on me over the past few months.  Up until then I admit I'd pretty much limited myself to the warhorses, but I've been listening to quite a bit of Dvorak lately, and enjoying it a lot. 

I notice that there are several orchestral works that I don't yet have on my shelves, notably:

Slavonic Rhapsodies
Serenades
Violin Concerto (I only have 1, Oistrakh/Ancerl, which is excellent but in old mono sound)

My chamber music selection is also fairly sparse -- right now I have the Brilliant Classics chamber music box: (http://www.amazon.com/Dvor%C3%A1k-Chamber-Music-Box-Set/dp/B000850JT4/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1219282102&sr=8-1)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71CZ21BJBXL._SL500_AA240_.jpg),
the Prague Quartet set of the SQs
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51b6ihrQXoL._SL500_AA240_.jpg),
and another disc of Arthur Rubinstein in the Piano Quintet
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KkdIafg7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg).

Any recommendations for the rhapsodies, serenades, VC, or chamber music in general would be accepted and appreciated.  Thankee kindlee!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on August 21, 2008, 05:04:11 PM
Any recommendations for the rhapsodies, serenades, VC, or chamber music in general would be accepted and appreciated.  Thankee kindlee!

For the violin concerto, I love this one:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=101483&album_group=5

its my favorite.......at least until Hilary records it.   :)

For the serenades:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=72494
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Drasko on August 22, 2008, 06:13:23 AM
I notice that there are several orchestral works that I don't yet have on my shelves, notably:

Slavonic Rhapsodies
Serenades
Violin Concerto (I only have 1, Oistrakh/Ancerl, which is excellent but in old mono sound)

Admittedly in not very learned opinion but these should do.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51F7CFFAYAL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61H7QQKS2JL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41N07TGFYVL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on August 22, 2008, 11:20:12 AM

I notice that there are several orchestral works that I don't yet have on my shelves, notably:

Slavonic Rhapsodies
Serenades
Violin Concerto (I only have 1, Oistrakh/Ancerl, which is excellent but in old mono sound)

Any recommendations for the rhapsodies, serenades, VC, or chamber music in general would be accepted and appreciated.  Thankee kindlee!
The Rhapsodies and Serenades are very lovely works indeed! For the Serenades I highly recommend this disc from Supraphon, brand-new and in superb performances (with exceptionally clear, lovely sound and a gorgeous cover):

(http://www.emusic.com/music/images/album/279/111/668/11166854/600x600.jpg)

The Suk piece is a lovely bonus, too.

As for the Violin Concerto, you may like Ancerl's other great recording, with violinist Josef Suk, though that stereo sound is not at all the best. Other great Concerto performances would include the Ehnes on Chandos, Kaler on Naxos, or, maybe my favorite on disc, Pavel Sporcl in a live recording on Supraphon. Best of all, though, is if you have Operashare access or know someone who does - the live rendition with Gil Shaham, accompanied by the New York Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, is definitely my favorite. Haven't heard the Vengerov, but want to. :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Guido on January 15, 2009, 07:13:59 PM
What is Dvorak's piano music like? Being a cellist I know of his utterly beautiful transcription of Silent Woods op.58 for cello and orchestra which was originally for piano four hands. None of his piano music is standard repertoire as far as I am aware - anything I should look out for?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: springrite on January 15, 2009, 07:22:29 PM
What is Dvorak's piano music like? Being a cellist I know of his utterly beautiful transcription of Silent Woods op.58 for cello and orchestra which was originally for piano four hands. None of his piano music is standard repertoire as far as I am aware - anything I should look out for?

Well, the humoresque is kind of standard repertoire, if mostly for encore purposes.
His piano music sounds much like that other Czech composers at the time, from Fibich to Suk. Not sure if this description helps. Basically very well crafted music without much intended depth.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on January 15, 2009, 08:17:20 PM
What is Dvorak's piano music like? Being a cellist I know of his utterly beautiful transcription of Silent Woods op.58 for cello and orchestra which was originally for piano four hands. None of his piano music is standard repertoire as far as I am aware - anything I should look out for?

Well the Slavonic Dances were first written for four hands and they are most definitely standard repertoire.  The Piano Quintet Op 81 is also one of the finest in the genre.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Guido on January 15, 2009, 08:39:48 PM
I feared as much springrite.

I am well aware of the chamber music including piano - great stuff, my personal favourite being the piano trio no.3.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 16, 2009, 06:41:25 AM
What is Dvorak's piano music like? Being a cellist I know of his utterly beautiful transcription of Silent Woods op.58 for cello and orchestra which was originally for piano four hands. None of his piano music is standard repertoire as far as I am aware - anything I should look out for?

Well, if you want an inexpensive introduction, then the Brilliant box below w/ Inna Poroshina is an option; 5-CD set of well performed and recorded piano music; just quite pleasant but nothing 'deep & dramatic', but that may have been the composer's intent?  Brief comments by David Hurwitz HERE (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=103241)  -  :D

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2005/Sep05/Dvorak_Poroshina.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: jwinter on January 16, 2009, 07:01:39 AM
I'll second the rec for Poroshina's Dvorak -- well-played and recorded, it's quite pleasant and melodic, though I agree that the music is hardly going to crowd out Chopin or Beethoven from your affections. 

For the Slavonic Dances on 4-hand piano, I've quite enjoyed Igor & Renata Ardasev on Supraphon (http://www.amazon.com/Dvor%C3%A1k-Slavonic-Dances/dp/B0000034Z7/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1232117904&sr=1-1): 
 (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31784E3CPRL._SL500_AA130_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on January 16, 2009, 05:13:50 PM
For the Slavonic Dances on 4-hand piano, I've quite enjoyed Igor & Renata Ardasev on Supraphon (http://www.amazon.com/Dvor%C3%A1k-Slavonic-Dances/dp/B0000034Z7/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1232117904&sr=1-1): 
 (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31784E3CPRL._SL500_AA130_.jpg)

Second that choice.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: some guy on January 16, 2009, 05:39:45 PM
Wow. A thread on Dvorak that's almost two years old, and only one mention of one opera. He wrote ten, of which nine have been recorded. I have those nine. (You do know that Dvorak did consider himself to be an opera composer, no?)

Two mentions for the Stabat Mater. And none for the Te Deum or the Requiem.

I have only one thing to say to you all: Boy are YOU in for a treat!!

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mark G. Simon on January 17, 2009, 10:43:26 PM
Rusalka is finally making headway in this country, and the "Song to the Moon" is now one of the most frequently sung vocal audition piece. All the young sopranos want to sing it. I enjoyed a performance of Rusalka at the Met a few years ago with Renee Fleming in the title role.

I also love The Devil and Kate and would love to see a good production of that. The orchestration calls for both bass clarinet and contrabass clarinet. I don't know if the contrabass clarinet plays in more than a couple minutes worth of music in the opera, but it's really a cool couple of minutes (the devil is describing to Kate this wonderful castle he's going to take her to).

I've been dithering over whether I want to buy his last opera Armida. I hear the libretto is really weak. But there's a certain lure in wanting to hear music written by Dvorak in the 20th century.

I have The Jakobin on LP, but somehow it doesn't really grip me. I think I'm going to like Armida better.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: some guy on January 18, 2009, 12:08:51 AM
Wow, Mark, I envy you seeing Rusalka live with Renee Fleming. I'd willing give both eyeteeth for a chance to see that! (I saw it in Czech Republic recently, but with no one even close to as good as Ms. Fleming.)

Armida's good--the music, anyway, which is all I care about in opera, sorry! I'm a total wash when it comes to libretti. But I think the other great opera with Rusalka is Dmitrij. I think there may have only been one recording of that. You can find it, starting at 23,54 euros, on Amazon.de. (Arkiv doesn't list it at all. Amazon.com has only an out of print multivolume set that includes the overture, only.)

Just don't ask me about the libretto, that's all!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Guido on March 07, 2009, 06:24:12 AM
Have been listening to the string quartets no.13 and 14, op.106 and 105 respectivey (and rather oddly) - absolutely fantastic works - the finest quartets between Beethoven and Bartok? (or Janacek)? In fact they sound very similar in sections to the Janacek quartets and I imagine they were a strong influence on him. No.13 is particularly great...

With regards to Rusalka and Fleming, I seem to remember her saying that that was her favourite of all roles to sing.

I'd also be interested to hear more about the works post cello concerto and last string quartets... is there anything that matches the inspiration of these from the last 10 years of his life?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on March 07, 2009, 10:49:08 AM
Have been listening to the string quartets no.13 and 14, op.106 and 105 respectivey (and rather oddly) - absolutely fantastic works - the finest quartets between Beethoven and Bartok? (or Janacek)? In fact they sound very similar in sections to the Janacek quartets and I imagine they were a strong influence on him. No.13 is particularly great...

Those are 2 magnificent quartets and I'm inclined to agree with you about their stature. Almost Beethovenian in their sense of drama and overall architecture, but with that unique Dvorak voice.

I too am puzzled by the discrepancy between the numbers  ???
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Guido on March 08, 2009, 04:57:13 AM
Those are 2 magnificent quartets and I'm inclined to agree with you about their stature. Almost Beethovenian in their sense of drama and overall architecture, but with that unique Dvorak voice.

I too am puzzled by the discrepancy between the numbers  ???

I think a lot of Dvorak's pieces have weird opus numbers - sometimes they are quite far from their proper chronology... still this seems a bizarre one.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on March 08, 2009, 05:32:56 AM
I think a lot of Dvorak's pieces have weird opus numbers - sometimes they are quite far from their proper chronology... still this seems a bizarre one.

In that particular case, probably just a printer's mixup. But it is known that D's publisher (Simrock?) deliberately assigned misleadlingly high numbers to some works; he thought they would sell better if they were viewed as "mature." So I've heard, anyway.

My general Dvorak rule is to avoid most stuff with an opus # lower than 50.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Que on March 08, 2009, 08:10:47 AM
Admittedly in not very learned opinion but these should do.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51F7CFFAYAL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61H7QQKS2JL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41N07TGFYVL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Most excellent choices, seconded!  :)
Save for the volin concerto for which the old "warhorse" recording by Suk/ Ančerl is still my favourite:

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/93/b5/f2ac224128a02a3018ec9010.L.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: DFO on March 08, 2009, 09:06:07 AM
My favorite version of the v.c. is Milstein-Dorati
Two works rarelly played and beautiful; string sextet and string quintet op.1
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: karlhenning on July 06, 2009, 04:56:57 AM
Organist Stuart Foster also played a transcription of his own device, of the first movement of the Dvořák New World Symphony.  Worked very nicely.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Cato on July 30, 2009, 07:30:32 AM
I have been listening - in some cases after more than 45 years    :o   - to all the Dvorak symphonies on the CD's by Witold Rowicki and the London Symphony Orchestra.  (I understand that this set – sold in three separate packages – is for some reason getting hard to find.)

I originally heard them all via the famous Istvan Kertesz cycle.
 
My impression (from decades ago) of the Symphony #1 had been that it was something of a mess, but after hearing the Rowicki version I was impressed by its form, inventive tunefulness, and energy!  As with many early works by great composers, there is an abundance of material: the first movement especially seems written by someone with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, but the ride is a merry one.  If the material throughout is not particularly memorable, it does occasionally have its moments of interest. 

The Second Symphony almost (almost!) seems like a step down in comparison: its material, in general, is rather weak. The first movement seems more tightly constructed than its parallel in the First Symphony: however, I find the little motifs Dvorak uses of minor interest.  To be sure, what he does with them in development is very good, but you end up with much ado about not too much.  The Second (Slow) Movement has some of the same problems, but the material here is better, more expressive, with some interesting interplay/conversations among the instruments.  An improvement comes in the galloping Scherzo, which has a very nice “Bohemian” dance-like theme to contrast with a slower, distant, triumphant theme in the horns and strings.  The last movement, the best of the four, begins with a long yet memorable theme which acts as a unifier for the first three movements.  Here you detect Dvorak is becoming Dvorak!  (The notes indicate several struggling revisions of the score throughout the years, implying that becoming Dvorak was not easy!   8)  )


But then comes Third Symphony: a minor masterpiece. Here the themes are much more individualistic and memorable, the form more cohesive and linked.  The first movement contains an aroma of Wagner here and there, but that should not be held against it!  The main theme is at once balletic yet with a martial subconscious: the ensuing drama is organic and proceeds with some fascinating twists and turns. The central slow movement again contains themes of a dramatic, dance-like character: at times a Brucknerian majesty is even heard.  The last movement especially shows that Dvorak has now indeed become Dvorak!  The exuberant main theme is handled with ingenuity (again, there is a Wagnerian aroma floating around, but Bohemia prevails!) and resolves the drama found in the previous movements, again in an almost Brucknerian fashion: listen to those closing bars, which besides making the local boozers sad,  :o   should convince you that Dvorak might have had some familiarity with Old Anton.  If not, it remains an interesting coincidence!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Lethevich on July 31, 2009, 05:21:30 AM
Fine post, Cato. Dvořák really does become a major player with the 3rd and 4th symphonies!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: karlhenning on July 31, 2009, 05:42:58 AM
(* applauds *)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den: In Praise of the Fourth Symphony
Post by: Cato on September 26, 2009, 03:35:59 AM
Continuing my tour of the early and middle Dvorak Symphonies: in some cases more than 40 years have gone by, since I have heard them other than in my memory.

Dvorak’s thematic genius in the Fourth Symphony shows that the balletic elements in his melodies easily contain seeds of drama, near tragedy, and ultimate conquest, as the symphony evolves.  The first movement has an opening theme swirling with the drama of despair and triumph, followed by a dance-like melody magically transporting the listener into a sighing field of wistfulness, one of Dvorak's finest creations.  The contrast between the two sections might seem too disparate, but as I mentioned, Dvorak shows you that the two are related precisely because they are so different.  

The second movement is almost Beethovenian in its somber introspection, and yet there is an echo of that marvelous dancing theme from the first movement in it.  The longest of the four movements, its drama is "novelistic" in that you often hear an unexpected yet logical transformation in the melodic characters.  Some mystery about everything remains, as well as a bit of lightness from a puckish clarinet at the end to lead into the Scherzo.

The Scherzo is a bouncing galumphing triumphant delight, and again there is a contrast between two main themes (like in the opening movement) which would not seem to mesh.  A march is heard in the center, which disintegrates into something rather mysterious for a kind of slow short trio, but then we are back suddenly to that awkward "galumphing" syncopated opening, followed by the triumphal melody.

The opening of the Finale seems almost too slight: it recalls the Scherzo, and the First Movement's beginning, but in a smaller way.  There is - again -  a Beethovenian terseness in the opening motif, and you almost wonder what can Dvorak do with such a small idea.  But with patience one hears how the drama builds and leads to another marvelously flowing melody, the counterpart to that second melody in the opening movement, and to my ear one hears an affirmation that all the contrasting dramatic struggles of the earlier movements are hereby resolved, all the mysteries are explained, and Life is good, Sabu!   0:)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on September 26, 2009, 05:52:19 AM
Third Symphony: ...  at times a Brucknerian majesty is even heard. in an almost Brucknerian fashion: listen to those closing bars, which besides making the local boozers sad,  :o   should convince you that Dvorak might have had some familiarity with Old Anton.  If not, it remains an interesting coincidence!

Very interesting! The Third Symphony was composed sometime between 1872 and 1874, at about the same time that Bruckner was working on the Symphony No 2 (so Dvorak was writing after the premieres of 00, 1 and 0, though of course we have no idea if he heard them).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 26, 2009, 06:14:53 AM
Cato - thanks for those excellent posts on the early Dvorak symphonies - enjoyed and giving me the urge to pull out one of my sets this weekend!  Dave  :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: ChamberNut on September 26, 2009, 08:28:09 AM
Cato - thanks for those excellent posts on the early Dvorak symphonies - enjoyed and giving me the urge to pull out one of my sets this weekend!  Dave  :)

Especially the first.  Don't forget the first!  ;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Cato on September 26, 2009, 12:45:32 PM
Especially the first.  Don't forget the first!  ;D

Wise guy!   8)

But, okay, for the sake of completeness, sure, The Bells of Zlonice!  0:)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Ciel_Rouge on October 01, 2009, 02:41:05 PM
I like Ivan Fischer and was delighted to see that he conducted Dvorak's Legends:

http://www.amazon.com/Dvor%C3%A1k-Legends-Dvorak/dp/B00004YMLT/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1254440255&sr=8-3-fkmr0

It is an orchestration done by the composer himself. Here is what the original piano version sounds like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbjeE22DsHU
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 01, 2009, 03:17:13 PM
My impression (from decades ago) of the Symphony #1 had been that it was something of a mess, but after hearing the Rowicki version I was impressed by its form inventive tunefulness, and energy...

Testify Cato! I've been preaching the Rowicki gospel for 34 years but have made few converts. Perhaps your post will help convince. Rowicki's performances of the early symphonies (1-4) are simply incomparable...as are his Othello and Hussite Overtures.

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Cato on October 02, 2009, 12:22:21 PM
Testify Cato! I've been preaching the Rowicki gospel for 34 years but have made few converts. Perhaps your post will help convince. Rowicki's performances of the early symphonies (1-4) are simply incomparable...as are his Othello and Hussite Overtures.

Sarge

Amen!   0:)

Okay people!  If Sarge and Cato übereinstimmen, it must be true!   8) 

Order your copies today!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on December 26, 2009, 09:47:00 PM
Everyone adjust your dial, or your CD, or your Naxos Music Library, to the Humoresques for piano. No, not THAT one! What I'm interested in is No. 4, in F major. It's charming. It's sweet. It's totally wonderful.

And, I would argue to you, it's jazz! Listen to those harmonies; listen to those swingy rhythms; listen the jazzy chords. And then, just when you're starting to wonder if I'm crazy, listen in awe as Dvorak plays out the tune to "Jeepers Creepers, Where'd You Get them Peepers"!!

What an unbelievable little piece. Surely not influential, surely not the birth of jazz - but I think I can safely add Dvorak to Gottschalk as a composer who wrote jazz without knowing what jazz was, or when jazz would ever be invented. A man before his time.  8)

EDIT: No. 3 in the set is also worth listening to, as it contains some elements of early piano jazz as well.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Ciel_Rouge on December 27, 2009, 03:06:29 PM
Oh yeah? Check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYcZGPLAnHA
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on December 28, 2009, 10:43:30 AM
Oh yeah? Check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYcZGPLAnHA

If you like that, you'll love what Tatum does to Massenet's "Meditation"!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Guido on March 24, 2010, 04:57:54 AM
We all know Rusalka, but what are Dvorak's 8 other operas like? Surely there must be some good arias in there?!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on June 13, 2010, 08:14:20 PM
Well, as the Masked Dvorak Avenger, I just edited Wikipedia. The Wikipedia page for Dvorak's Seventh stated in the opening paragraph that the symphony was "reminiscent of Brahms' Symphony No 4." I changed that to "the symphony anticipates Brahms' Symphony No 4," the better to illustrate the fact that, contra popular belief, Dvorak actually came first. The two symphonies were, to be fair, written roughly at the same time.

Chronology:
Dvorak 1-5
Brahms 1
Brahms 2
Dvorak 6
Brahms 3
Dvorak 7
Brahms 4
Dvorak 8-9

This edit is part of my general campaign to get people to realize that Dvorak's influence on Brahms is underrated, and Brahms' influence on Dvorak is overrated. Next step in the battle: a MusicWeb review I'll be submitting tomorrow, blasting Marin Alsop for her new recording of the Seventh, in which she sadly attempts to "Brahmsify" the music.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: kishnevi on June 14, 2010, 06:16:56 PM
I have been listening - in some cases after more than 45 years    :o   - to all the Dvorak symphonies on the CD's by Witold Rowicki and the London Symphony Orchestra.  (I understand that this set – sold in three separate packages – is for some reason getting hard to find.)

Update on availability--
Now available in this format
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51tncgQX43L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
This is a 6 CD set, with Symphony 2 split between two discs
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on June 15, 2010, 04:54:01 PM
Well, as the Masked Dvorak Avenger, I just edited Wikipedia. The Wikipedia page for Dvorak's Seventh stated in the opening paragraph that the symphony was "reminiscent of Brahms' Symphony No 4." I changed that to "the symphony anticipates Brahms' Symphony No 4," the better to illustrate the fact that, contra popular belief, Dvorak actually came first. The two symphonies were, to be fair, written roughly at the same time.

Chronology:
Dvorak 1-5
Brahms 1
Brahms 2
Dvorak 6
Brahms 3
Dvorak 7
Brahms 4
Dvorak 8-9

This edit is part of my general campaign to get people to realize that Dvorak's influence on Brahms is underrated, and Brahms' influence on Dvorak is overrated. Next step in the battle: a MusicWeb review I'll be submitting tomorrow, blasting Marin Alsop for her new recording of the Seventh, in which she sadly attempts to "Brahmsify" the music.

Would love to read that Brian as I happen to agree with you.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: listener on June 15, 2010, 10:00:18 PM
Dvořák's Humoresque   op.101 no.7 appears, mysteriously to some, in collections of railway music.  Railfans know it as the setting for the sign "Gentlemen will please refrain..."
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on June 26, 2010, 06:48:16 AM
Who else loves the Piano Quartets? The relative neglect of them is puzzling. I've been luxuriating in this newish recording:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61jSxFrUpBL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

The first one (Op. 23) is typical early Dvorak: melodious, meandering, and charming, though without the structural integrity and concentration he later developed. The second (Op. 87) is a serious masterpiece, not inferior in my view to the Op. 81 Piano Quintet, and having one of D's best-ever slow movements.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on June 28, 2010, 05:48:12 PM
Velimir, I'm going to give that a listen in the next day or two! I've got the album with the Suk Trio and a guest, on Supraphon...

~~~~

Charles Mackerras' new album of Dvorak's Symphonic Poems is a smash and has just been designated a MusicWeb Recording of the Month by yours truly (http://bit.ly/9CEvjm). The link goes to the review. Here's a relevant excerpt, which maybe illustrates how my convictions about Dvorak's originality and his influence affect the recordings I like and dislike:

As bloody as the storylines are, the music is best described as festivals of forward-thinking orchestration, with eerie effects, dark solos for instruments like the bass clarinet, more percussion than is usual for Dvorák, and wide, even wayward rondo structures. The four tone poems, written near the end of the composer’s life, had a significant impact on the music of Leoš Janácek, who conducted the premiere of The Wild Dove in 1898, as well as on the style of the man who led The Wild Dove’s first Viennese performance: Gustav Mahler. It is fun to trace influences and listen for innovations in performances as sensitively conducted, and expertly played, as these. This is especially true because Supraphon’s booklet notes are terrific, combining summaries of each poem’s storyline with analyses of the tone poems’ place in Dvorák’s output and their influence on subsequent composers.

[...] The Noon Witch is a classic illustration of Dvorák’s genius for surprising endings, and Mackerras gets the wild last few seconds perfectly.
 
The opening seconds of Golden Spinning Wheel, with the motoric cellos coupled to gentle cymbal crashes, are almost impossible to resist. This is the longest symphonic poem and the only one with a happy ending; Mackerras turns in the best performance I’ve ever heard. Here are sharp, precise rhythms, resplendent strings in the love music and an operatic pace which generates increasing excitement and drama as the piece proceeds, even in the central episode which sounds like a new Slavonic Dance. Compare this to the relatively tame, unexcitable Simon Rattle account on EMI, and the extra thrill of the Mackerras reading is even more obvious.


(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2010/June10/Dvorak_Symphonic_Poems_SU4012-2.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 29, 2010, 06:20:35 AM
Charles Mackerras' new album of Dvorak's Symphonic Poems is a smash and has just been designated a MusicWeb Recording of the Month by yours truly (http://bit.ly/9CEvjm).

Good review, Brian. I suppose the purchase should be a no-brainer but I'm still hesitating. The Kubelik box is a classic and I'm really happy with Harnoncourt and the Concertgebouw performances which came coupled with the late symphonies and Piano Concerto. You wrote, "One might wish for more prominence for the percussion" which Harnoncourt provides (he seems to like noise ;D  Think of his Abduction from the Seraglio or Haydn Missa in tempore belli "Paukenmesse").

Anyway, my question for you is: Have you heard Harnoncourt in the tone poems and, if so, how do they compare with Mackerras?

Sarge

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on June 29, 2010, 07:51:11 AM
Good review, Brian. I suppose the purchase should be a no-brainer but I'm still hesitating. The Kubelik box is a classic and I'm really happy with Harnoncourt and the Concertgebouw performances which came coupled with the late symphonies and Piano Concerto. You wrote, "One might wish for more prominence for the percussion" which Harnoncourt provides (he seems to like noise ;D  Think of his Abduction from the Seraglio or Haydn Missa in tempore belli "Paukenmesse").

Anyway, my question for you is: Have you heard Harnoncourt in the tone poems and, if so, how do they compare with Mackerras?

Sarge

I've got Harnoncourt in The Wild Dove only, coupled to the Seventh. It really is a fantastic performance. I've just played them back to back. The Concertgebouw performance is recorded a bit better, with slightly more clarity, and for example the horns in the first bars and harp in the last bars are more evocative. On the other hand, I find myself preferring the Czech violins - less steely, and they don't clash with the other instruments as I hear happening once or twice with Harnoncourt.

The timings are similar [NH 19:46 / CM 19:35] but there are some definite differences in the conductors' approaches. Harnoncourt's opening - the exposition, perhaps, the first three minutes - is very subdued and eerie, Mackerras a little freer to let the dynamic levels rise and drop like a tide. I like Mackerras quite a bit in all of the transitional passages and where Harnoncourt draws more characterful or intriguing solos, Mackerras provides them with superior accompaniment. The violin solo at around 16:00 is the best illustration ... on Harnoncourt the winds seem to be going beep-beep-beep-beep in rather a rush, but Mackerras by this point has slowed down the pace of the music enough to make sense of it. Harnoncourt has great energy in the cheery episodes surrounding the love music, but Mackerras drives this music so hard that it almost seems insecure or neurotic, or at the other end of the spectrum, maybe the antiheroine is doing some sort of crazed Wicca dance on her husband's grave.  :D Interestingly, they handle the calm-down strings at 11:25ish almost identically (and both in contrast to the less legato Bavarians).

I think the Czech brass are more prominent even though the percussion is not; the timpani's got a sort of cavernous thing going on where it's far back but kind of thumpy and present anyways. In fact, the tap-tap timpani in the final bars are more effective on the Mackerras recording. Bottom line: both great, Mackerras a lot about contrast between episodes, great at transitions, Harnoncourt with maybe a better handle on orchestral effects and with maybe a finer orchestra anyway. The really great Mackerras performance is Golden Spinning Wheel, so you could look at his disc coupling that with Symphony No 6.

I'd always been a bit unfair about Kubelik because of the aging sound, and now putting his recording on (Wild Dove three times in a row... oy!), I think my main complaint sonically is the thin, wispy sound of the cymbals. They sound better suited to J Strauss. Kubelik's recording is the fastest of the three but maybe the greater breathing room the other two give - wait, I don't need to endorse playing things more slowly to Sergeant Rock.  ;D

Anyhow, just based on the Wild Dove, if you're happy with Harnoncourt, you've got a lot to be happy about. I'd like to hear what NH does with the Spinning Wheel, to see if it matches up with the miracles Mackerras works...not least of which is making sure that none of the 25 minutes are boring or repetitive.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 29, 2010, 08:17:07 AM

The really great Mackerras performance is Golden Spinning Wheel, so you could look at his disc coupling that with Symphony No 6....Anyhow, just based on the Wild Dove, if you're happy with Harnoncourt, you've got a lot to be happy about.

Really appreciate the quick and comprehensive reply, Brian. I must have caught you in a rare idle moment  ;) And yes, I am happy with Harnoncourt so maybe your suggestion of getting the Sixth Symphony/Spinning Wheel instead is the way to go. I could use another Sixth..and judging by your enthusiasm and the Hurwitzer's 10/10, it sounds fantastic. By the way, he says this about the coupled tone poem: "The Golden Spinning Wheel also receives what is arguably its finest performance on disc, even considering Harnoncourt's outstanding recent version."

Thanks much  :)

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cosmicj on July 01, 2010, 04:27:14 AM
Who else loves the Piano Quartets? The relative neglect of them is puzzling. I've been luxuriating in this newish recording:

The first one (Op. 23) is typical early Dvorak: melodious, meandering, and charming, though without the structural integrity and concentration he later developed. The second (Op. 87) is a serious masterpiece, not inferior in my view to the Op. 81 Piano Quintet, and having one of D's best-ever slow movements.

Velimir - I too love the Piano Quartets and agree with your comments.  Two terrific pieces.  I have the Domus recording, which I like very much.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cosmicj on July 01, 2010, 04:29:53 AM
Brian/Sarge - Thanks for this discussion.  I like The Wood Dove especially but have Jarvi's account, which appears to have been surpassed by these two recent recordings. 
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Lethevich on July 02, 2010, 05:06:50 AM
@cosmicj: I have a soft spot for Järvi's Dvorak tone poems. They're more consistent than his symphony recordings, and are in good sound and well-played and paced. It's a compliment to them that I compare every new performance to them, as these are the most naturally/straightly played (without being tepid) that I know of. Many other recordings play up some extreme of varying kinds. The deal-maker is that unlike many sets Järvi includes the (admittedly crappy) 5th poem The Hero's Song, and also has a great recording of one of the overtures to fill out the second disc. I certainly won't be dumping it no matter how many other versions I accumilate :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cosmicj on July 02, 2010, 05:44:06 AM
Lethe - Thanks for the eval.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Guido on July 21, 2010, 05:22:13 PM
Does anyone know any of Dvorak's operas other than Rusalka? Are they good?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: listener on July 21, 2010, 10:00:49 PM
I have on LP: Rusalka, Armida, The Jacobin (saw it in Zürich, too), and Kate and the Devil.
on CD: The Stubborn Lovers (boy and girl gotta get to meet to know they are meant for each other kind of story), The King and the Charcoal Burner (abridged), and The Cunning Peasant.
If you like the strong folk elements in Smetana's The Bartered Bride, Lortzing's Zar un Zimmermann and Moniuszko's Halka, Dvorak's operas have a similar appeal..   The Stubborn Lovers is complete on one disc so would make a good choice for further listening.
Dmitri is also available on CD, I've not seen Vanda or Alfred listed.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mc ukrneal on July 21, 2010, 10:26:33 PM
Does anyone know any of Dvorak's operas other than Rusalka? Are they good?
Yes, and listener has preety much listed them all. I have Der Jakobiner and Kral a Uhlir (King and Charcoal Burner) on the Orfeo label. Both are well done - and sound fabulous. They can be a little pricey - I had to wait for a good deal to get my price, but the operas are good: lots of good tunes, quality singing, and good sound. I believe these are either unabridged or with minor cuts only, but I would need to check to be sure.

I also have Dmitri, which I haven't yet really gotten into yet, but couldn't resist. It is also a well done prodcution, again conducted by Gerd Albrecht, but this time on Supraphpon. I have yet to hear the others, but these three keep me wanting more and I am sure I will buy a fifth (I have Rusalka too) over the course of the next year (I've been acquiring about one per year). Listener's description of the Stubborn Lovers intrigues me (sounds like a good choice and not so pricey on one disc if you aren't sure).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 22, 2010, 01:44:30 PM
Amen!   0:)

Okay people!  If Sarge and Cato übereinstimmen, it must be true!   8) 

Order your copies today!

Hey, Cato...the Hurwitzer agrees with us  ;D 8)

http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=12890


Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: not edward on July 23, 2010, 07:47:06 AM
Piano quintets....any recommendations (primarily for the second of the two). I have, and really enjoy, Curzon with the Budapest Quartet, but maybe I should have one in more uptodate sound.

Also, any particular recommendations for the later quartets? I do really like the last two in particular, but am not sure what are the canonical performances....Talich, Panochka, perhaps?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Scarpia on July 23, 2010, 08:04:23 AM
Piano quintets....any recommendations (primarily for the second of the two). I have, and really enjoy, Curzon with the Budapest Quartet, but maybe I should have one in more uptodate sound.

Also, any particular recommendations for the later quartets? I do really like the last two in particular, but am not sure what are the canonical performances....Talich, Panochka, perhaps?

These (Panocha) are highly regarded, and relatively inexpensive if you shop around (www.mdt.co.uk or Amazon marketplace).  I've ordered them but not listened.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31jB7-xUbaL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516CRGE8E7L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Franco on July 23, 2010, 08:38:54 AM
These (Panocha) are highly regarded, and relatively inexpensive if you shop around (www.mdt.co.uk or Amazon marketplace).  I've ordered them but not listened.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31jB7-xUbaL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516CRGE8E7L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I have both and have listened and have been very happy with them.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on July 23, 2010, 01:03:41 PM
Piano quintets....any recommendations (primarily for the second of the two). I have, and really enjoy, Curzon with the Budapest Quartet, but maybe I should have one in more uptodate sound.

If you don't mind a single CD as opposed to a set, this recording is marvelous both in performance in sound quality.

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?ordertag=Workrecom5298-8788&album_id=8788
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on July 23, 2010, 04:10:17 PM
I heard the second quintet for the first time live, last year, with none other than Menahem Pressler at the keys (with the American Quartet). Afterwards, I sought out the Panocha recording, but just didn't think it was the same ... maybe they had too much to live up to. I'll revisit it.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on July 23, 2010, 10:47:16 PM
Piano quintets....any recommendations (primarily for the second of the two). I have, and really enjoy, Curzon with the Budapest Quartet, but maybe I should have one in more uptodate sound.

I may be exceeding the limits of my authority (since I haven't heard many versions), but if you like Curzon/Budapest, you may also like Curzon/Wiener Oktett (Decca, made about 1960).

Those late quartets are great, but I've only heard one version of each (Prazak for #14, Pacifica for #13).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on July 24, 2010, 10:36:48 AM
RIP Sir Charles

(http://www.supraphon.com/!img_katalog/SU3533_2_xl.gif)

I've been listening to this marvelous disc in memory of Mackerras. It didn't seem to get too much attention, but it's one of my favorite Dvorak discs. The Symphonic Variations is one of D's best large-scale orchestral works, really good all the way through. The other pieces are just as fine though less ambitious.

Also, this recording captures better than any I've heard what the CzPO actually sounds like in the Rudolfinum (since they were my local orchestra for a couple of years, I'm qualified to make that judgment!).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on July 29, 2010, 09:24:11 AM
I just pulled out this great 2-CD set and forgotten how masterful it is:


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51OdD9QPB4L._SS400_.jpg)


LONG LIVE SZELL!!!!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on July 29, 2010, 05:31:26 PM
Can anyone recommend a really good Dvorak biography?

Or, if you have such a book, can you tell me: did the young Dvorak (say pre-1870) know the music of Jan Wenzel Kalliwoda? What about Liszt's tone poems?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on July 30, 2010, 06:56:37 PM
Can anyone recommend a really good Dvorak biography?

Or, if you have such a book, can you tell me: did the young Dvorak (say pre-1870) know the music of Jan Wenzel Kalliwoda? What about Liszt's tone poems?

Honestly the best one I've come across is not a book at all but an audio biography on 4 CDs.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000QQV1UQ/ref=dm_sp_alb?ie=UTF8&qid=1280548381&sr=8-1

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: otare on August 12, 2010, 04:27:31 AM
I have on LP: Rusalka, Armida, The Jacobin (saw it in Zürich, too), and Kate and the Devil.
on CD: The Stubborn Lovers (boy and girl gotta get to meet to know they are meant for each other kind of story), The King and the Charcoal Burner (abridged), and The Cunning Peasant.
If you like the strong folk elements in Smetana's The Bartered Bride, Lortzing's Zar un Zimmermann and Moniuszko's Halka, Dvorak's operas have a similar appeal..   The Stubborn Lovers is complete on one disc so would make a good choice for further listening.
Dmitri is also available on CD, I've not seen Vanda or Alfred listed.

Vanda used to be available on Supraphon - SU 3007-2. Recording from 1951 with:

Drahomira Tikalová, Stefa Petrová, Beno Blachut, Karel Kalas, Borek Rojan, Ludmila Hanzalikové, Václav Bednar, Zdenek Jankovsky
Praha Radio's kor / Jiri Pinkas
Praha Radio's orkester / Frantisek Dyk

I have the CD, but haven't heard it for a very long time.  I found this on amazon.com:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41%2BIsgTISfL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on August 24, 2010, 07:35:10 PM
This edit is part of my general campaign to get people to realize that Dvorak's influence on Brahms is underrated, and Brahms' influence on Dvorak is overrated. Next step in the battle: a MusicWeb review I'll be submitting tomorrow, blasting Marin Alsop for her new recording of the Seventh, in which she sadly attempts to "Brahmsify" the music.

Would love to read that Brian as I happen to agree with you.

And, on my birthday (or the day after my birthday, in England!), MusicWeb has finally published my review of Marin Alsop's Dvorak 7/8 (http://musicweb-international.com/classrev/2010/Aug10/Dvorak_7_8_8572112.htm).

It is quite a long essay. Here are relevant excerpts on the non-Brahms-ness of Dvorak's Seventh:

Quote
[Alsop] was evidently trained to believe the common description of this work as a Brahms symphony outfitted in Czech garments; she sees this as Dvorák’s reply to the Germanic tradition. As a consequence, there are passages of this reading which frankly very successfully make the music sound like it was written by Brahms himself.
 
How is this achieved? First, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has a generous string tone but rather anonymous winds. Alsop and the recording engineers both play to the strengths of the orchestra by making this a string symphony with accompaniment. Second, Alsop softens the edges, introducing legato phrasing in places where I would rather hear staccato. Even when the playing is sharper, it lacks fire.
 
Third, some of the curiosities of Dvorák’s orchestration are glossed over; whither the horns and their quirky part at 8:49 in the first movement? For that matter, where are the horns at 5:00 on the same track? Fourth, at the faster tempos which we have here, woodwind phrases which seem spontaneous in the more idiomatic readings of Suitner, Kubelík and Bernstein instead sound glib or premeditated. The flute lines at 3:21, 4:54 and 5:30 (first movement again) epitomize this false spontaneity; they sound rather like a politician delivering a joke which has been written by a panel of ghost writers.
 
Fifth, Alsop glosses over what I consider to be the main idea of the first movement: the disturbing, out-of-place three-note cell which disrupts the main theme as early as 0:13. It is not really a melodic idea; it appears, instead, as a rhythmic one, taking up a variety of pitches and intervals over the course of the movement, but always with common traits: three notes long, a disruption of the goings-on, and ending on an unsettling chromatic note. Some of the appearances of this motif in the first movement include (timed to Alsop’s recording): 0:21, 0:25, 0:39, 0:47, 1:30-1:40, 1:53, 1:57, 2:02 (the listener may continue at his or her own pleasure).
 
Why is this motif important? The whole drama is founded upon it! The entire movement is a quest by the musical materials to find some way to resolve this unresolveable sequence of notes. And they finally do resolve at the very end, at 9:58, thus bringing about the final dying chords. The conflict generated by this little cell of material inspires the first big climax of the movement, leads to the second subject, and then founds much of the development as well as the entire coda. Alsop consistently underplays this idea, from that muffled horn at the 21-second mark to the headlong rush through the coda, which ceaselessly repeats the idea in all its various guises.
 
The result is a performance which is not particularly bad, I suppose, and which will not disappoint newcomers to the symphony, but with which, to put it bluntly, I disagree. Maybe I am prejudiced - Dvorák has long been my favourite composer - but this symphony is not Brahms in Czech clothing. It is Dvorák himself, in his own voice, at his most unsettling, dramatic, and personal.... Marin Alsop very clearly has a distinctive view of how Dvorák’s Seventh Symphony should go, and I firmly disagree with it. This is not Brahms’ Fifth. Dvorák composed a jarring, even frightening score full of idiosyncrasies, music which should unsettle and confound expectations. The dissonances of the outer movements are meant to be disturbing, not merely distracting. The final coda is nearly apocalyptic in its weight. And the sheer number of tunes and thematic ideas in the Seventh is just as impressive as in the sunnier Eighth. If only Ms Alsop understood.

Please note that I do NOT mean to say that Brahms cannot be frightening, jarring, or tragic.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: hornteacher on August 25, 2010, 02:25:15 AM
Nice review.  Well thought out and in my opinion, accurate.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: MishaK on February 09, 2011, 09:17:59 AM
Just discovered Dohynani's Cleveland/Decca Dvorak through the 7th which I got at my local used CD store for $2! What a superb interpretation! I never realized how much Dvorak could benefit from desentimentalizing and taut rhythmic drive. May have to go back to the store and get 8 & 9 as well.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on February 09, 2011, 09:33:22 AM
Just discovered Dohynani's Cleveland/Decca Dvorak through the 7th which I got at my local used CD store for $2! What a superb interpretation! I never realized how much Dvorak could benefit from desentimentalizing and taut rhythmic drive. May have to go back to the store and get 8 & 9 as well.

I've got the Double Decca of that, with all 3 symphonies. I never listen to the New World (burned out on that sym. during my formative years), but the 8th is similar to the 7th and just as good - a rather "Germanic" sounding approach, lots of energy and drive.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: MishaK on February 10, 2011, 11:26:04 AM
I've got the Double Decca of that, with all 3 symphonies. I never listen to the New World (burned out on that sym. during my formative years), but the 8th is similar to the 7th and just as good - a rather "Germanic" sounding approach, lots of energy and drive.

I just got the 8th and listened to it. Yes, drive, incisiveness, but still quite warm. I wouldn't call it a Germanic approach at all. It's lacking that typically German sound built from the bass upward. It lacks that weightiness. I would never qualify Dohnyani as a typically German conductor. He's rather atypical in a number of ways.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on July 07, 2011, 07:52:12 AM
My new MusicWeb assignment is the London Philharmonic Orchestra's release of a 1992 concert with Charles Mackerras conducting the Dvořák 8th symphony. This is somewhat daunting as I also own the Philharmonia's release of Mackerras conducting the 8th live, and the Supraphon release of Mackerras in Prague... conducting the 8th live.

At some point soon, then, I face the admittedly wonderful-sounding task of replicating Sarge's ongoing "Karajan v Wand Deathmatch" - but this time, the deathmatch will be Mackerras v Mackerras v Mackerras!  :o
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: eyeresist on July 07, 2011, 04:35:18 PM
Who will win?

I just noticed your notice re Alsop in the 7th and 8th. I too found that release disappointing, although I didn't analysise my reaction to the extent you did. She just seemed "wrong", stiff where she should be flexible and vice versa, and the orchestra not as rich-sounding as it should be with Dvorak's writing. Too often, critics will give high marks to well-recorded, competent performances of repertoire they are not familiar with, when they should be more questioning (sadly, for many critics Dvorak's 7 and 8 do seem to be "obscure").

Can I ask how you rate Pesek's cycle BTW? I think overall it is the most successful one I've heard, particularly across the earlier works, and he manages to get the Scousers sounding like Czechs, no mean feet.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Daverz on July 08, 2011, 12:27:24 PM
My new MusicWeb assignment is the London Philharmonic Orchestra's release of a 1992 concert with Charles Mackerras conducting the Dvořák 8th symphony. This is somewhat daunting as I also own the Philharmonia's release of Mackerras conducting the 8th live, and the Supraphon release of Mackerras in Prague... conducting the 8th live.

At some point soon, then, I face the admittedly wonderful-sounding task of replicating Sarge's ongoing "Karajan v Wand Deathmatch" - but this time, the deathmatch will be Mackerras v Mackerras v Mackerras!  :o

He also recorded the 8th with the Hamburg Philharmonic.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=mackerras+hamburg+dvorak&x=0&y=0
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mc ukrneal on July 08, 2011, 12:39:29 PM
My new MusicWeb assignment is the London Philharmonic Orchestra's release of a 1992 concert with Charles Mackerras conducting the Dvořák 8th symphony. This is somewhat daunting as I also own the Philharmonia's release of Mackerras conducting the 8th live, and the Supraphon release of Mackerras in Prague... conducting the 8th live.

At some point soon, then, I face the admittedly wonderful-sounding task of replicating Sarge's ongoing "Karajan v Wand Deathmatch" - but this time, the deathmatch will be Mackerras v Mackerras v Mackerras!  :o
I have a disc of him counducting Dvorak 7&9 with the LPO. It is outstanding. I can't imagine the 8th is any different. I was concerned I might bias you, but having two other versions by him - we'll you are already doomed on that front. When you have formed an opinion, I can tell you what an old Penguin guide thought if you are interested.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on July 09, 2011, 07:35:20 AM
Love the comparison with Lortzing. Dvorak's 'deeper' and,generally speaking,a far more 'important' composer,but Lortzing,at his best,with all his limitations is so d*** good at what he does. Scores like 'Der Wildschutz','Zar und Zimmermann','Der Opernprobe' and 'Der Waffenschmied' really cheer me up. And he wrote so beautifully for voices.
Dvorak's sunnier opera scores certainly share a similar sense of fun and zest for life. Although I really wouldn't like to compare their command of the orchestra,they both have,for want of a better term, a 'folksy' charm.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on July 09, 2011, 01:04:27 PM
Talking about folk opera's. I just snapped up the original 2cd emi studio cd reissue of Kienzl's 'Der Evangelimann' on ebay for an unusually reasonable price. Once more popular than 'Hansel and Gretel'. Now that's a rare one. Not a masterpiece I know,but the cast are starry,bit's I've heard sound rather nice & I must confess to being quite partial to some of those folksy opera's by lesser known German composers. Marschner,Flotow and Nicolai,et al. (Nicolai's arguably the best of the lot).
Anyway,back to Dvorak........
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on September 08, 2011, 07:28:38 AM
Birthday boy!

By the way, eyeresist, I haven't heard the Pesek cycle yet. Really looking forward to its appearance on Naxos Music Library soon, especially based on that word. :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: DavidW on September 08, 2011, 08:47:25 AM
I'm knee deep in Tchaikovsky orchestral suites, so I'll celebrate his b-day soon but not today.

Dvorak's symphonic poems are neat, I should listen to those.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brahmsian on September 08, 2011, 12:27:48 PM
Birthday boy!

By the way, eyeresist, I haven't heard the Pesek cycle yet. Really looking forward to its appearance on Naxos Music Library soon, especially based on that word. :)

That's the set I have, Brian!  Love it.   :)  1/2 are with Czech Philharmonic, and the other 1/2 are with Royal Liverpool PO.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brahmsian on September 08, 2011, 01:37:33 PM
Johan Alert!   8)

I almost forgot to mention the Cypresses for String Quartet.  I personally think these are amazing, and a must listen!   :) 8)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: eyeresist on September 08, 2011, 05:23:47 PM
By the way, eyeresist, I haven't heard the Pesek cycle yet. Really looking forward to its appearance on Naxos Music Library soon, especially based on that word. :)

I have influence!  ::) And Virgin is now on Naxos? Wow.

I guess I will listen to the birthday boy when I get home. Perhaps some of the "other" orchestral works?
 
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Lethevich on September 08, 2011, 08:21:24 PM
I almost forgot to mention the Cypresses for String Quartet.  I personally think these are amazing, and a must listen!   :) 8)

Oh, darn - first I forget the Legends, and now these :-X The original is my favourite Dvořák song cycle, and the quartet versions are really neat too.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on September 09, 2011, 04:10:53 AM
And Virgin is now on Naxos? Wow.

Not quite; Naxos has struck a deal to upload the whole EMI and Virgin catalogues onto the Music Library and their MP3 website Classicsonline.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: not edward on September 09, 2011, 04:41:51 AM
So....



Got a rave review from Jan Smaczny on BBC Radio 3's Building a Library -- any views from here?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 09, 2011, 05:06:30 AM
So....



Got a rave review from Jan Smaczny on BBC Radio 3's Building a Library -- any views from here?

Brian loves that CD so much he takes it with him to bed ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brahmsian on September 09, 2011, 05:11:08 AM
Brian loves that CD so much he takes it with him to bed ;D

Sarge

 ;D :D ;D :D ;D :D ;D :D ;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 09, 2011, 05:11:57 AM
So....



Got a rave review from Jan Smaczny on BBC Radio 3's Building a Library -- any views from here?

Well, I picked up that CD after Brian's rave comments and cannot disagree; for those wanting to read a few reviews (including the one above), several have been reprinted HERE (http://www.arkivmusic.com/albumpage/526314-E863-5), including a 10/10 by Hurwitz! :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Drasko on September 09, 2011, 05:26:33 AM
So....



Got a rave review from Jan Smaczny on BBC Radio 3's Building a Library -- any views from here?

I'll rave with BBC, especially on op.106.

On another matter, how does Bernstein's Les Choephores stack up with Markevitch? Stacks well, do I prefer it, no. Would you see some light that you haven't seen before, doubt it. Is it worth getting, yes.
Bernstein has stronger chorus and far better recorded sound; quite spectacular early 60s stereo (CBS Masterworks mastering) vs. rather indifferent mono for Markevitch, makes percussions have much more impact. Soloists and narrator I easily prefer with Markevitch; native french speakers vs. whole scale of thick american accents for Bernstein (Irene Jordan as Elektra is worst) plus Zorina who is plain weird.
Bernstein's approach is very dramatic, in full blooded theatrical way and not necessarily very french, where Markevitch is dramatic in that hieratic, arch, lets call it cocteauesque manner (if I'm making much sense).
I'd recommend the Bernstein even if you have the Markevitch, for percussions if for nothing else. And for superb Roussel 3rd and Honegger. Don't ask me how Honegger stacks up to Scherchen, it seems my Scherchen CD has gone walkabout.   
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on September 09, 2011, 05:36:53 AM
Brian loves that CD so much he takes it with him to bed ;D

Sarge

 ;D oh what's the use...

(Truth be told I did buy a hard copy, but got it signed by the quartet and sent to a friend for his birthday. So it's MP3s I'm taking to bed. ;D )
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: karlhenning on September 09, 2011, 06:59:11 AM
. . . Truth be told I did buy a hard copy, but got it signed by the quartet and sent to a friend for his birthday.

You are generous-hearted!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: not edward on September 09, 2011, 07:36:07 AM
I'll rave with BBC, especially on op.106.

On another matter, how does Bernstein's Les Choephores stack up with Markevitch? Stacks well, do I prefer it, no. Would you see some light that you haven't seen before, doubt it. Is it worth getting, yes.
Bernstein has stronger chorus and far better recorded sound; quite spectacular early 60s stereo (CBS Masterworks mastering) vs. rather indifferent mono for Markevitch, makes percussions have much more impact. Soloists and narrator I easily prefer with Markevitch; native french speakers vs. whole scale of thick american accents for Bernstein (Irene Jordan as Elektra is worst) plus Zorina who is plain weird.
Bernstein's approach is very dramatic, in full blooded theatrical way and not necessarily very french, where Markevitch is dramatic in that hieratic, arch, lets call it cocteauesque manner (if I'm making much sense).
I'd recommend the Bernstein even if you have the Markevitch, for percussions if for nothing else. And for superb Roussel 3rd and Honegger. Don't ask me how Honegger stacks up to Scherchen, it seems my Scherchen CD has gone walkabout.
Thanks for that OT intervention; just solidifies me desire to get that CD. And everyone else is making me convinced to try the PHQ in op 106 (which is my second-favourite of the Dvorak quartets after op 105).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mszczuj on February 15, 2012, 01:14:07 PM
One of my most guilty pleasures - this very fragment (no. 11) of The Spectre's Bride.

http://www.youtube.com/v/U7_-5-VePDA&feature=endscreen&NR=1

Most romantic music ever - the spectre lead his orphaned, innocent and religious bride:

And so they flew across the plain,
Through water, meadows, boggy terrain.
There on the wet soil by a cave,
glitt'ring blue lights danced arround:
two rows of them, nine in each,
as if a grave were within reach;
and in the bog a choir of toads
sent out a chilling dirge of croaks.

And he leads the way - by leaps and jumps,
and she behind him, getting weak,
As they ran through razor-shape reeds,
the poor girl cut her sore feet;
the green bracken in those parts
turned red as she bled hard.

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: TheGSMoeller on March 24, 2012, 04:16:08 PM
The Grant Park Orchestra in Chicagol released their summer schedule and it includes Dvořák: The Spectre's Bride cantata being performed August 17th and 18th.

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: ibanezmonster on April 12, 2012, 05:26:13 PM
I have a question. I just listened to Dvorak's 6th symphony for the first time, and I recognized the scherzo!

Has this been used somewhere else before? It wouldn't make sense to be familiar with music I've never listened to before...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mc ukrneal on April 13, 2012, 12:59:23 AM
I have a question. I just listened to Dvorak's 6th symphony for the first time, and I recognized the scherzo!

Has this been used somewhere else before? It wouldn't make sense to be familiar with music I've never listened to before...
Perhaps you are mixing it up with the presto from the Slavonic Dances (or one of the other dances)? There are some similarities in style and overall sound. 
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 13, 2012, 02:42:49 AM
Also, it wouldn't surprise me if a radio station played the Scherzo on its own, separate from the symphony.
 
I need to load the symphonies onto my mp3 player . . . .
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: ibanezmonster on April 13, 2012, 07:07:00 AM
Well... I don't have the Slavonic Dances, and I haven't listened to any classical on the radio for years. If I heard it on the radio, then that's quite a memorable melody. Here I am, a day later, and that tune is stuck in my head after listening to the movement once yesterday.
I don't see anything on imdb, either...

The only Dvorak I actually have is the 9th symphony, which, after listening to 6, 7, and 8, is probably my least favorite out of the four, so I might have quite a bit to discover. The only problem I have with him is that I don't hear anything strikingly original; just very good late Romantic music. Not really a problem, just an observation...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: eyeresist on April 15, 2012, 04:33:50 PM
The only Dvorak I actually have is the 9th symphony, which, after listening to 6, 7, and 8, is probably my least favorite out of the four, so I might have quite a bit to discover. The only problem I have with him is that I don't hear anything strikingly original; just very good late Romantic music. Not really a problem, just an observation...
Depends how you define original, of course. By comparison with the truly minor romantic symphonists, Dvorak is unmistakably fresh and inspired.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on April 15, 2012, 04:50:13 PM
The only Dvorak I actually have is the 9th symphony, which, after listening to 6, 7, and 8, is probably my least favorite out of the four, so I might have quite a bit to discover. The only problem I have with him is that I don't hear anything strikingly original; just very good late Romantic music. Not really a problem, just an observation...

The 9th is my least favorite as well. The 8th is my favorite; I hear much that's original there, because it sounds so honest and so true in a way that's hard to pin down.

Some of Dvorak's other best stuff in that vein - the string quartets 12-14, the string quintets and sextet, the Othello overture, the cello concerto, the fantastic Te Deum. I find a lot of his most original strokes to be his odd endings. Othello, the cello concerto, the Seventh Symphony, and the Noon-Day Witch all have really peculiar endings. Of course, now that I've mentioned it, the four symphonic poems - Water Goblin, Noon-Day Witch, Golden Spinning-Wheel, Wild Dove - are probably Dv's most 'original' orchestral works.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Opus106 on April 15, 2012, 08:39:16 PM
[T]he Seventh Symphony [has a] really peculiar ending.

Could you elaborate, please?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: raduneo on May 01, 2012, 05:02:22 AM
The 9th is my least favorite as well. The 8th is my favorite; I hear much that's original there, because it sounds so honest and so true in a way that's hard to pin down.

Some of Dvorak's other best stuff in that vein - the string quartets 12-14, the string quintets and sextet, the Othello overture, the cello concerto, the fantastic Te Deum. I find a lot of his most original strokes to be his odd endings. Othello, the cello concerto, the Seventh Symphony, and the Noon-Day Witch all have really peculiar endings. Of course, now that I've mentioned it, the four symphonic poems - Water Goblin, Noon-Day Witch, Golden Spinning-Wheel, Wild Dove - are probably Dv's most 'original' orchestral works.

Yes, I myself would appreciate more details. Dvorak is one of the few great romantics I did not get into yet. And I am definitely open to learnng! :) Of course he will not be able to replace Janacek as the greatest Czech composer for me, but still.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on May 01, 2012, 07:39:56 PM
Could you elaborate, please?

Whoops! Didn't see this for a long while.

I always thought the Seventh Symphony had an apocalyptic, nightmarish ending, and then I started reading CD notes and GMG comments about there being a happy, even triumphant final coda to the symphony. I don't hear that at all. The final movement works itself into such an elaborate, desperate hysteria (favorite moments: the quiet passage in the development with snarling trombones, the explosive recap with its hyperactivity) that I don't know how it could come back from the edge of the cliff it's put itself on. The final coda, with its mad rush to those repeated chords, sounds to me not like victory but like submission - ultimate defeat, one last cry of pain before hurling itself over the edge. It's so headlong, so abrupt, so logical an ending but also so severed from what came before (unless you hear in it, as I do, an echo of the French horn tune that is played once and once only, at about 75 seconds into the first movement!).

raduneo, the connection with Janacek is definitely most clear in the symphonic poems. If you haven't heard them, try this glorious CD:



They explore a new musical language Dvorak was working out at the end of his life, and if he didn't quite fulfill its potential, he did lead the way for Janacek, somewhat, with each work's insistence on 1-2 motifs developed and restated in huge numbers of different ways over spans of 15-25 minutes. The orchestration is also wilder and more primitive, with lots of bass clarinet and suspended cymbals. The Wild Dove's first performance was conducted by Janacek; then it was performed in Vienna by Mahler.

My review of the CD mentioned above: "The opening seconds of Golden Spinning Wheel, with the motoric cellos coupled to gentle cymbal crashes, are almost impossible to resist. This is the longest symphonic poem and the only one with a happy ending; Mackerras turns in the best performance I’ve ever heard. Here are sharp, precise rhythms, resplendent strings in the love music and an operatic pace which generates increasing excitement and drama as the piece proceeds..." etc. (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2010/June10/Dvorak_Mackerras_SU40122.htm)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: raduneo on May 02, 2012, 08:12:32 AM
Whoops! Didn't see this for a long while.

I always thought the Seventh Symphony had an apocalyptic, nightmarish ending, and then I started reading CD notes and GMG comments about there being a happy, even triumphant final coda to the symphony. I don't hear that at all. The final movement works itself into such an elaborate, desperate hysteria (favorite moments: the quiet passage in the development with snarling trombones, the explosive recap with its hyperactivity) that I don't know how it could come back from the edge of the cliff it's put itself on. The final coda, with its mad rush to those repeated chords, sounds to me not like victory but like submission - ultimate defeat, one last cry of pain before hurling itself over the edge. It's so headlong, so abrupt, so logical an ending but also so severed from what came before (unless you hear in it, as I do, an echo of the French horn tune that is played once and once only, at about 75 seconds into the first movement!).

raduneo, the connection with Janacek is definitely most clear in the symphonic poems. If you haven't heard them, try this glorious CD:


They explore a new musical language Dvorak was working out at the end of his life, and if he didn't quite fulfill its potential, he did lead the way for Janacek, somewhat, with each work's insistence on 1-2 motifs developed and restated in huge numbers of different ways over spans of 15-25 minutes. The orchestration is also wilder and more primitive, with lots of bass clarinet and suspended cymbals. The Wild Dove's first performance was conducted by Janacek; then it was performed in Vienna by Mahler.

My review of the CD mentioned above: "The opening seconds of Golden Spinning Wheel, with the motoric cellos coupled to gentle cymbal crashes, are almost impossible to resist. This is the longest symphonic poem and the only one with a happy ending; Mackerras turns in the best performance I’ve ever heard. Here are sharp, precise rhythms, resplendent strings in the love music and an operatic pace which generates increasing excitement and drama as the piece proceeds..." etc. (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2010/June10/Dvorak_Mackerras_SU40122.htm)

Thank you Brian! I ordered that disc!

I finally found the best interpretation of his Piano Concerto: Firkusny/Kubelic, on a disc with the 8th Symphony.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51251KZW7ZL.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0006OGXMO/?tag=goodmusicguideco)

It may not be the best sound quality, but it is so exciting thta you forget about it (I know I did)! I agree with the reviewer on Amazon:

"This is perhaps the most underrated of all concerti--breathtakingly impassioned and heroic, and heart-renderingly lyrical, it leaves the listener exhausted. It's in a league with only Beethoven's 5th "Emperor," and Brahms's 1st, piano concerti. It combines their heroism with Schubertian lyricism.

So, this concerto requires a performance which encompasses these traits, and only the present entry succeeds 100%. Each of the other Firkusny recordings of the work is also good, but only this performance has a total sense of abandon, utmost intensity. The recorded sound is fair-to-poor, with over-emphasis on the piano, and probably this live recording wouldn't have been issued at all if the performance didn't blow away all the competition as it does. This is a CD for music-lovers, but certainly not for audiophiles."
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Opus106 on May 02, 2012, 09:10:34 AM
Whoops! Didn't see this for a long while.

I always thought the Seventh Symphony had an apocalyptic, nightmarish ending, and then I started reading CD notes and GMG comments about there being a happy, even triumphant final coda to the symphony. I don't hear that at all. The final movement works itself into such an elaborate, desperate hysteria (favorite moments: the quiet passage in the development with snarling trombones, the explosive recap with its hyperactivity) that I don't know how it could come back from the edge of the cliff it's put itself on. The final coda, with its mad rush to those repeated chords, sounds to me not like victory but like submission - ultimate defeat, one last cry of pain before hurling itself over the edge. It's so headlong, so abrupt, so logical an ending but also so severed from what came before (unless you hear in it, as I do, an echo of the French horn tune that is played once and once only, at about 75 seconds into the first movement!).

Thanks, Brian. Both of us pretty much share the same view of the finale of the Seventh. I often conjure images of Don Giovanni falling into the Nether World as the work comes to a close. I'll play close to attention to the french horn tune the next time I listen.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on May 02, 2012, 02:02:51 PM
raduneo - what a great coincidence! I just got the Firkusny/Kubelik recording in the mail last week. :)

I often conjure images of Don Giovanni falling into the Nether World as the work comes to a close.

Oh that's fantastic. I'll keep that image in mind, it fits perfectly!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: eyeresist on May 02, 2012, 06:35:14 PM
I finally found the best interpretation of his Piano Concerto: Firkusny/Kubelic, on a disc with the 8th Symphony.

Raduneo, you messed up the ASIN link. Just put the ASIN number between the tags, not the whole Amazon link.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: raduneo on May 02, 2012, 08:25:16 PM
Raduneo, you messed up the ASIN link. Just put the ASIN number between the tags, not the whole Amazon link.

I changed it eyeresist, but the image is still not showing up. :(
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: eyeresist on May 02, 2012, 09:32:52 PM
I changed it eyeresist, but the image is still not showing up. :(

 Ah. In that case, there's a little trick some of us have learned:

Go to the relevant Amazon page, and look for the text that appears below the image you want to use (usually the text says "See larger image", but in this case it's "Share your own related images"). Select and copy this text (Ctrl-C).

Right-click on the page and select "View Source".
A new window will appear, containing the source code of the Amazon page - it can take a minute to load.

When the new window has loaded, press Ctrl-F, which will cause the "Find" box to pop up.
Paste the text you copied from the Amazon page into this box, by simply pressing Ctrl-V.
Press Enter/Return to search.

The Find function will find the phrase you selected in the source code. Once you have found it, simply look at the text before this phrase to find the address of the image you want. It always starts with "http://" and ends with ".jpg". In this case it is http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51251KZW7ZL.jpg.

Select and copy the image address, and then paste it into your GMG reply. Make sure to remove the inverted commas that surround this address!
Select the address in your reply, and then click the "Insert image" button: (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/Themes/default/images/bbc/img.gif)

Now the image will appear!

To turn it into a link, simply select the image address AND image tags that surround it, and then click the "Insert hyperlink" button (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/Themes/default/images/bbc/url.gif)
In the opening link tag "[ url ]", insert an equals sign = after "url" and then the Amazon page address.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: raduneo on May 03, 2012, 05:24:09 AM
Ah. In that case, there's a little trick some of us have learned:

Go to the relevant Amazon page, and look for the text that appears below the image you want to use (usually the text says "See larger image", but in this case it's "Share your own related images"). Select and copy this text (Ctrl-C).

Right-click on the page and select "View Source".
A new window will appear, containing the source code of the Amazon page - it can take a minute to load.

When the new window has loaded, press Ctrl-F, which will cause the "Find" box to pop up.
Paste the text you copied from the Amazon page into this box, by simply pressing Ctrl-V.
Press Enter/Return to search.

The Find function will find the phrase you selected in the source code. Once you have found it, simply look at the text before this phrase to find the address of the image you want. It always starts with "http://" and ends with ".jpg". In this case it is http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51251KZW7ZL.jpg.

Select and copy the image address, and then paste it into your GMG reply. Make sure to remove the inverted commas that surround this address!
Select the address in your reply, and then click the "Insert image" button: (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/Themes/default/images/bbc/img.gif)

Now the image will appear!

To turn it into a link, simply select the image address AND image tags that surround it, and then click the "Insert hyperlink" button (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/Themes/default/images/bbc/url.gif)
In the opening link tag "[ url ]", insert an equals sign = after "url" and then the Amazon page address.

It is done. :) Thanks!!!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: eyeresist on May 03, 2012, 05:28:24 PM
It is done. :) Thanks!!!

Well done, my apprentice ;)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: madaboutmahler on June 23, 2012, 12:07:02 PM
Dvorak has always been a very special composer to me, as it were his Slavonic Dances that got me into music in the first place really. I have been listening regularly to his music ever since of course, but it's only recently that I have been realizing that Dvorak really is a favourite of mine. I do really feel a massive connection with his music.

A piece I have been enjoying very much recently is the Cello Concerto as it was one of the pieces that the Academy orchestra were playing this term, giving their concert including it today. It was superb! A piece that I have heard before of course, but only now have I got to know it to this level. I am shocked to see that I do not have a recording of it in my collection... could someone recommend me one please?

Also, I must explore Dvorak's choral works. And more of the chamber music too. On the listening pile at the moment, I have the Kubelik 3cd set of all the tone poems/Slavonic Dances etc which I am very excited to listen to. :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: North Star on June 23, 2012, 12:14:48 PM
Dvorak has always been a very special composer to me, as it were his Slavonic Dances that got me into music in the first place really. I have been listening regularly to his music ever since of course, but it's only recently that I have been realizing that Dvorak really is a favourite of mine. I do really feel a massive connection with his music.

A piece I have been enjoying very much recently is the Cello Concerto as it was one of the pieces that the Academy orchestra were playing this term, giving their concert including it today. It was superb! A piece that I have heard before of course, but only now have I got to know it to this level. I am shocked to see that I do not have a recording of it in my collection... could someone recommend me one please?

Good to see you enjoying Dvorak, Danny!
Queyras's Dvorak is something I've been wanting for some time, but I don't have it, so I can't really recommend it. On a general level, I can recommend Queyras, though.



Dvorak's later string quartets, piano quintets, piano trios are great music. I do hope you've heard that stuff.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 23, 2012, 12:21:47 PM
A piece I have been enjoying very much recently is the Cello Concerto as it was one of the pieces that the Academy orchestra were playing this term, giving their concert including it today. It was superb! A piece that I have heard before of course, but only now have I got to know it to this level. I am shocked to see that I do not have a recording of it in my collection... could someone recommend me one please?

Like Bogey, I've heard good things about Queyras but haven't heard it. My favorites:


CELIBIDACHE SWEDISH RADIO DU PRÉ
MAAZEL BERLIN PHIL YO-YO MA
DAVIS CONCERTGEBOUW    SCHIFF
SZELL BERLIN PHIL FOURNIER

Of the four, I'd say go for Szell/Fournier.

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: madaboutmahler on June 23, 2012, 12:40:16 PM
Thank you both Karlo and Sarge for your recommendations!
I had a listen to some of the amazon excerpts from some of the ones you recommended. The Queyras, despite not approving of the triangle (!), sounded superb. Certainly one I would be interested in getting.
I thought that you may recommended Szell, Sarge! That one sounds really good too, and is available very cheaply on the Amazon MP!

Hopefully shall be able to purchase some of these recordings in the future. Hoping to be able to make another purchase soon, which will include much Dvorak, some Schuman and Shostakovich. :D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: North Star on June 23, 2012, 01:06:04 PM
Like Bogey, I've heard good things about Queyras but haven't heard it.
So that makes three of us, eh?


Karlo
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 23, 2012, 02:13:34 PM
Like Bogey, I've heard good things about Queyras but haven't heard it. My favorites:


CELIBIDACHE SWEDISH RADIO DU PRÉ
MAAZEL BERLIN PHIL YO-YO MA
DAVIS CONCERTGEBOUW    SCHIFF
SZELL BERLIN PHIL FOURNIER

Of the four, I'd say go for Szell/Fournier.

No love for the Slava/London Phil/Giulini, Sarge?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Bogey on June 23, 2012, 06:43:13 PM
My top three, but I have a handful more on the shelf and I must say I have never heard a recording of this piece that I did not care for. (And thanks to Karl for mentioning the first one here many moons ago.) :

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2B36p4BO3L._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51z7agYcNZL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/612dxnIzSoL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: nico1616 on June 23, 2012, 09:37:34 PM

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/612dxnIzSoL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Another vote for this classic. Rostropovich and Von Karajan are a superb match!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Opus106 on June 23, 2012, 11:24:15 PM
No love for the Slava/London Phil/Giulini, Sarge?

No love for Slava and your home band (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00021T5TE/?tag=goodmusicguideco-21), Karl? :) I have that and the über-famous one with the Berlin Phil. and Karajan. I think I'll give the former a spin today, since it's been a long time.

Daniel, the box I've linked to also contains Ilaria's favourite version of The Dances. ;)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: madaboutmahler on June 24, 2012, 01:40:29 AM
Thank you all very much for your recommendations. I am particularly interested in the Queyras, Schiff (a cellist I have been very impressed with) and I'll make sure to get one of the Slava recordings too. And probably the Fournier too as Sarge likes it so much. I'd like to have a good selection of recordings of this great piece!

That looks like a really great box set, Nav! Ah, it has Harnoncourt's Slavonic Dances! One of my favourite recordings of all time! :)

Thank you all, again! :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 24, 2012, 02:33:14 AM
No love for the Slava/London Phil/Giulini, Sarge?

Don't know it, Karl. I have Rostropovich with Karajan and Talich, the latter a great performance with the Czech Phil on Supraphon recorded in 1951 or 52 (the liner notes a bit hazy). Perusing Gramophone reviews, I notice the British think his best recording (Talich, Guilini, Karajan, Boult) is....Boult. But then Gramophone would  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 24, 2012, 02:35:31 AM
Thank you all very much for your recommendations. I am particularly interested in the Queyras, Schiff (a cellist I have been very impressed with) and I'll make sure to get one of the Slava recordings too. And probably the Fournier too as Sarge likes it so much. I'd like to have a good selection of recordings of this great piece!

Actually, Daniel, my favorite is Davis/Schiff but I thought Fournier the safer, more conventional recommendation.

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: TheGSMoeller on June 24, 2012, 03:15:07 AM
Thank you all very much for your recommendations. I am particularly interested in the Queyras, Schiff (a cellist I have been very impressed with) and I'll make sure to get one of the Slava recordings too. And probably the Fournier too as Sarge likes it so much. I'd like to have a good selection of recordings of this great piece!

Slightly off topic, I haven't heard Queyras' Dvorak, but I would guess it's good considering his Vivaldi and Haydn concertos discs are some of the best I've heard.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mszczuj on June 24, 2012, 03:30:55 AM
I must say once again about cello concero that Zara Nelsova - Walter Susskind recording is absolutely, absolutely amazing:

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 24, 2012, 05:19:38 AM
No love for Slava and your home band (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00021T5TE/?tag=goodmusicguideco-21), Karl? :)

Hah!  Don't know that one at all, Nav . . . and I cannot make out the text on the back. You don't happen to know which conductor, and when recorded?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Opus106 on June 24, 2012, 05:49:35 AM
Hah!  Don't know that one at all, Nav . . . and I cannot make out the text on the back. You don't happen to know which conductor, and when recorded?

Ozawa and 1986. :) It's spinning right now. This could have well been the first version I heard, when much of my listening was due to beethoven.com back in '06. But when I first heard it on the CD, I felt there was something weird with the sound, although I'm not able to quite put my finger on it now. :-\
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Opus106 on June 24, 2012, 05:52:58 AM
That looks like a really great box set, Nav! Ah, it has Harnoncourt's Slavonic Dances! One of my favourite recordings of all time! :)

Oh, yours too! I'm sorry to have left your name out, then. :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 24, 2012, 06:22:29 AM
Ozawa and 1986. :) It's spinning right now. This could have well been the first version I heard, when much of my listening was due to beethoven.com back in '06. But when I first heard it on the CD, I felt there was something weird with the sound, although I'm not able to quite put my finger on it now. :-\a

Maybe it doesn't bother you anymore? : ) Thanks for bringing this to my attention . . . I may well fetch in that single disc, since the box seems only to available across the wave . . . .
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 24, 2012, 06:26:03 AM
Don't know it, Karl. I have Rostropovich with Karajan and Talich, the latter a great performance with the Czech Phil on Supraphon recorded in 1951 or 52 (the liner notes a bit hazy). Perusing Gramophone reviews, I notice the British think his best recording (Talich, Guilini, Karajan, Boult) is....Boult. But then Gramophone would  ;D

Not surprisingly, Sarge, your recommendation of the Szell/Fournier has our ear : )
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Opus106 on June 24, 2012, 06:30:28 AM
Maybe it doesn't bother you anymore? : )

Perhaps. Through computer speakers, it doesn't right now. ;D It may have had something to do with prominence of the soloist compared to the orchestra, I guess. But since people who know better about these things have only good things to say, I suppose it's just me. The playing of the cello lines, IMVHO, is beautiful.

Quote
Thanks for bringing this to my attention . . . I may well fetch in that single disc, since the box seems only to available across the wave . . . .

You're welcome. I bought the box at a discount from Presto, two or three years ago.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 24, 2012, 06:36:13 AM
Not surprisingly, Sarge, your recommendation of the Szell/Fournier has our ear : )

Szell's always a sure bet in Dvorak. And Fournier...well, no need to elaborate.

And Gramophone grabbed my ear: I found the Boult/Rostropovich for only 5 Euro Cents  :D  Ordered it (how could I not?  8) )


Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: North Star on June 24, 2012, 06:40:46 AM
That Warner box seems to be available at Amazon US, too, Karl:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00021T5TE/?tag=goodmusicguideco-21
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 24, 2012, 06:41:45 AM
5¢ €?  A steal, Sarge!

Nav, who are the forces for the Requiem in that box?  That's a piece which Shaw somehow failed to sell me on.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 24, 2012, 06:43:43 AM
That Warner box seems to be available at Amazon US, too, Karl:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00021T5TE/?tag=goodmusicguideco-21

Well done, and thanks! I failed to turn it up, but then, probably I didn't go about searching very intelligently . . . .
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: madaboutmahler on June 24, 2012, 07:08:29 AM
Actually, Daniel, my favorite is Davis/Schiff but I thought Fournier the safer, more conventional recommendation.

Sarge

Shall probably get the Davis/Schiff then, he really is a cellist I have been very impressed with. Thanks, Sarge.

Oh, yours too! I'm sorry to have left your name out, then. :)

haha, no worries, Nav! :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Opus106 on June 24, 2012, 07:30:16 AM
And Gramophone grabbed my ear: I found the Boult/Rostropovich for only 5 Euro Cents  :D  Ordered it (how could I not?  8) )
Sarge

So, did Mrs. Rock get that Eu. 19.95 ring? ;D ;)

Nav, who are the forces for the Requiem in that box?

It's an unheard-of French orchestra with a long name. The names of the performers can be found listed at this page (http://www.warnerclassics.com/release,theconcertosserenadesslavonicdancesandrequiemmass_3973.htm) (click on the work's name). :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: North Star on June 24, 2012, 07:37:07 AM
Well done, and thanks! I failed to turn it up, but then, probably I didn't go about searching very intelligently . . . .
I just changed Nav's link's ending to .com - Amazon is nice when this works (most of the time)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 24, 2012, 07:43:26 AM
So, did Mrs. Rock get that Eu. 19.95 ring? ;D ;)

 ;D :D ;D


Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Lisztianwagner on June 24, 2012, 08:45:24 AM
I've loved Dvořák's music since I listened to the Karajan/BPO recording of the 9th symphony; amongs the Czech composers, he is certainly my favourite. :) His works are incredibly powerful and expressive, deep and passionate, and they have always impressed me for the involving rythm, the splendid harmony, the haunting beauty of the melodies and the colourful, brilliant orchestration.
Besides the symphonies, my favourite Dvořák's pieces are the Piano, the Violin and the Cello Concerto op.104, the symphonic poems, Scherzo capriccioso, Serenade for strings and the Slavonic Dances.
Just about the Slavonic Dances, I've listened to them very much in this period, such gorgeous, beautiful music; both the Kubelik and the Harnoncourt are absolutely excellent recordings! 

Instead I'm afraid I'm still rather unfamiliar with Dvořák's chamber music; I would like to hear the String Quartets and the Prague String Quartet seems a fine box set; any other recommendation?

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Lisztianwagner on June 24, 2012, 08:49:43 AM
No love for Slava and your home band (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00021T5TE/?tag=goodmusicguideco-21), Karl? :) I have that and the über-famous one with the Berlin Phil. and Karajan. I think I'll give the former a spin today, since it's been a long time.

Daniel, the box I've linked to also contains Ilaria's favourite version of The Dances. ;)

Really? I didn't know Karajan made a complete recording of the Slavonic Dances! ;)

Quote
Another vote for this classic. Rostropovich and Von Karajan are a superb match!

+1! :D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 24, 2012, 09:00:00 AM
You're welcome. I bought the box at a discount from Presto, two or three years ago.

I went ahead and pulled the trigger on a Used - Very Good copy of the singleton from a 3rd-partier I've ordered from before. Cheap enough, that even though (thanks to Karlo) I've now ordered the box, as well, I can justify the cost for the Tchaikovsky alone : )

I just changed Nav's link's ending to .com - Amazon is nice when this works (most of the time)

An elegant simplicity, Karlo, and thanks again!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 24, 2012, 09:03:48 AM
It's an unheard-of French orchestra with a long name. The names of the performers can be found listed at this page (http://www.warnerclassics.com/release,theconcertosserenadesslavonicdancesandrequiemmass_3973.htm) (click on the work's name). :)

Thank you, again, much-esteemed Nav!

Incidentally . . . who knows the Ančerl recording of the Requiem?  Is it as good as it seems to ought to be?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Opus106 on June 24, 2012, 09:06:06 AM
I went ahead and pulled the trigger on a Used - Very Good copy of the singleton from a 3rd-partier I've ordered from before. Cheap enough, that even though (thanks to Karlo) I've now ordered the box, as well, I can justify the cost for the Tchaikovsky alone : )

Nice!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: kishnevi on June 24, 2012, 09:25:35 AM
Thank you all very much for your recommendations. I am particularly interested in the Queyras, Schiff (a cellist I have been very impressed with) and I'll make sure to get one of the Slava recordings too. And probably the Fournier too as Sarge likes it so much. I'd like to have a good selection of recordings of this great piece!

That looks like a really great box set, Nav! Ah, it has Harnoncourt's Slavonic Dances! One of my favourite recordings of all time! :)

Thank you all, again! :)

Well, you two just convinced me (not a hard thing to do). Just ordered it on AmazonUK MP.

Edit: I missed a whole page of this thread, and therefore missed the link to Amazon US, where it's cheaper.  So I cancelled the AmazonUK order and have ordered it from AmazonUS MP instead.

I realized after I placed the (first) order that this will be my first recording of the Requiem.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: madaboutmahler on June 24, 2012, 09:55:33 AM
Well, you two just convinced me (not a hard thing to do). Just ordered it on AmazonUK MP.

The Harnoncourt Slavonic Dances?
Edit: Just seen the Purchases Thread. Excellent! I hope you enjoy this amazing recording!

I've loved Dvořák's music since I listened to the Karajan/BPO recording of the 9th symphony; amongs the Czech composers, he is certainly my favourite. :) His works are incredibly powerful and expressive, deep and passionate, and they have always impressed me for the involving rythm, the splendid harmony, the haunting beauty of the melodies and the colourful, brilliant orchestration.
Besides the symphonies, my favourite Dvořák's pieces are the Piano, the Violin and the Cello Concerto op.104, the symphonic poems, Scherzo capriccioso, Serenade for strings and the Slavonic Dances.
Just about the Slavonic Dances, I've listened to them very much in this period, such gorgeous, beautiful music; both the Kubelik and the Harnoncourt are absolutely excellent recordings! 

Instead I'm afraid I'm still rather unfamiliar with Dvořák's chamber music; I would like to hear the String Quartets and the Prague String Quartet seems a fine box set; any other recommendation?


Wonderful description, Ilaria! I too need to delve more into his chamber music, and also need to hear the Requiem...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: kishnevi on June 24, 2012, 09:57:51 AM
The Harnoncourt Slavonic Dances?


Sorry, not clear enough.  I ordered the box Navneeth orginally posted.  But you get credit for singling out the Dances.

ETA:  Just realized as well that with this set I'll have scored a Slava hat trick, since I already have the recordings with Guilini/LPO and Karajan/BPO.  How many times did he record the durn thing anyway?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: madaboutmahler on June 24, 2012, 10:01:45 AM
Sorry, not clear enough.  I ordered the box Navneeth orginally posted.  But you get credit for singling out the Dances.

No problem, just saw the purchases thread so edited my previous post anyway. Hope you enjoy it, Jeffrey. The Harnoncourt Slavonic Dances are simply outstanding. :)
Title: Re: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 24, 2012, 10:13:39 AM
ETA:  Just realized as well that with this set I'll have scored a Slava hat trick, since I already have the recordings with Guilini/LPO and Karajan/BPO.  How many times did he record the durn thing anyway?

Well, we can be confident he knew the piece! And thought well of it.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Lisztianwagner on June 24, 2012, 10:21:25 AM
Wonderful description, Ilaria! I too need to delve more into his chamber music, and also need to hear the Requiem...

Me too, I have still heard neither the Requiem nor the Stabat Mater.......two compositions I would very curious to listen to.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 24, 2012, 10:25:48 AM
ETA:  Just realized as well that with this set I'll have scored a Slava hat trick, since I already have the recordings with Guilini/LPO and Karajan/BPO.  How many times did he record the durn thing anyway?

Five?

With Boult/RPO, Giulini/LPO, Karajan/Berlin, Talich/Czech Phil, Ozawa/Boston. There's probably a few more hidden somewhere  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: kishnevi on June 24, 2012, 10:46:13 AM
Five?

With Boult/RPO, Giulini/LPO, Karajan/Berlin, Talich/Czech Phil, Ozawa/Boston. There's probably a few more hidden somewhere  ;D

Sarge

It would stand to reason that he recorded it at least once with a Russian or Soviet orchestra....
However, that would mean it would probably have the high level of audio engineering for which Melodiya is famous, so I'm not in a hurry to hunt it down.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Opus106 on June 24, 2012, 10:55:43 AM
It would stand to reason that he recorded it at least once with a Russian or Soviet orchestra....

You're right. There's one with Boris Khaikin and the USSRSRSO on Brilliant's Russian Legends edition.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 28, 2012, 08:02:59 AM
5¢ €?  A steal, Sarge!

Nav, who are the forces for the Requiem in that box?  That's a piece which Shaw somehow failed to sell me on.


Oh, bet you I meant the Stabat Mater, instead.

No love for Slava and your home band (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00021T5TE/?tag=goodmusicguideco-21), Karl? :)

Box just landed! But, as it's a Warner re-issue . . . probably shan't be able to listen to it until I get home.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Opus106 on June 28, 2012, 09:36:37 AM
But, as it's a Warner re-issue . . . probably shan't be able to listen to it until I get home.

?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 28, 2012, 09:42:09 AM
The optical drive in the desktop here generally doesn't read Apex or Warner reissues, Nav.  No biggie!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Opus106 on June 28, 2012, 09:45:30 AM
The optical drive in the desktop here generally doesn't read Apex or Warner reissues, Nav.  No biggie!

Oh, right... now I remember. :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on June 29, 2012, 04:28:27 AM
You're right. There's one with Boris Khaikin and the USSRSRSO on Brilliant's Russian Legends edition.
Which is, weirdly, the only Rostropovich reading I have at present.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 29, 2012, 04:31:35 AM
Big thanks to Nav for the pointer: the Boston band sound terrific in this recording, Slava is (as ever) great, and Ozawa is playing to his strength here.  Come to think of it, wherever I have a recording which is conducted by Ozawa, the rep is Russian . . . .
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 29, 2012, 05:19:51 AM
Incidentally . . . who knows the Ančerl recording of the Requiem?  Is it as good as it seems to ought to be?

Visions of Kimi: I'm waiting!

Anyone know the Requiem at all? Opinions?  Cocktail recipes?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on June 29, 2012, 05:34:04 AM
Visions of Kimi: I'm waiting!

Anyone know the Requiem at all? Opinions?  Cocktail recipes?


I'm fairly confident I have that recording... yet haven't listened to it in several years.  :( A weekend project perhaps?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 29, 2012, 05:53:39 AM
Visions of Kimi: I'm waiting!

Anyone know the Requiem at all? Opinions?  Cocktail recipes?


I only have the Kertesz/LSO and it's a fine one. Gramophone says:

"The hero of the occasion is Kertesz. He gets choral singing and orchestral playing of the finest quality from the Ambrosian Singers and the London Symphony Orchestra. It is abundantly evident that he cherishes a great love for this work. His tremendous vitality and care for balance disguise Dvorak's occasional obsession with one figure of accompaniment, repeated bar after bar, as in "Dies irae" and "Tuba mirum". He drives along the not very interesting fugue, "Quam ohm Abrahae", with the greatest vigour but is not able to reconcile me to its repetition after "Hostias". The prime inspiration of the score is the leading motif heard at the start and used in various guises and tonal colourings with much imagination all through. Kertesz, without over emphasising it, realises to the full its importance in unifying the Requiem, and in underlining the words to which it is allied in so many of the movements.

The big climaxes are thrilling and altogether Kertesz and his forces make one revise one's qualified view of the work to a very large extent. This is certainly the finest performance of it that I have ever heard. A.R.
"
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 29, 2012, 05:57:26 AM
Thanks, Sarge!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 29, 2012, 05:58:40 AM
I'm fairly confident I have that recording... yet haven't listened to it in several years.  :( A weekend project perhaps?

At your convenience, dear chap.  I may not get to that version included in the concertos box, myself, this side of Independence Day.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Opus106 on June 29, 2012, 06:15:03 AM
Big thanks to Nav for the pointer: the Boston band sound terrific in this recording, Slava is (as ever) great, and Ozawa is playing to his strength here.  Come to think of it, wherever I have a recording which is conducted by Ozawa, the rep is Russian . . . .

Atonement. 0:) (Or at least half of it; we still haven't heard from Jeffrey.)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Opus106 on June 29, 2012, 06:16:25 AM
Independence Day.

Henceforth to be known as Higgs (http://indico.cern.ch/conferenceDisplay.py?ovw=True&confId=196564) Day (http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=4794)! :P ;)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: kishnevi on June 29, 2012, 07:22:55 AM
Atonement. 0:) (Or at least half of it; we still haven't heard from Jeffrey.)

Oh, Jeffrey is quite content.  Even if Slava somehow fails (and it seems rather unlikely),  this will be my only recording of the Requiem and the Wind Serenade, and it's got the Harnoncourt Dances, so it's bound to be worthwile. 

Or, to paraphrase the Gospels.  "Go and sin some more".
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Opus106 on June 29, 2012, 08:01:22 AM
Oh, Jeffrey is quite content.  Even if Slava somehow fails (and it seems rather unlikely),  this will be my only recording of the Requiem and the Wind Serenade, and it's got the Harnoncourt Dances, so it's bound to be worthwile. 

Or, to paraphrase the Gospels.  "Go and sin some more".

;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: madaboutmahler on July 18, 2012, 12:30:51 PM
Just listened to this recording of the Cello Concerto:

(http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/7884/dvorakschiff.jpg)

ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING!!!!!!!!!  0:)

A really excellent recording, full of excitement and lyrical beauty. Schiff a cellist I have high expectations for (since his Elgar CC with Elder became my favourite for that piece) and I was not let down. His virtuosity and poetical playing was just incredible here, what a wonderful tone! Really great playing from the VPO, Previn clearly loving it all, very well controlled.

Incredibly recommended!  :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on October 03, 2012, 03:36:52 AM
Just started listening to the string quartets, courtesy of the Prague Quartet.

Started, not terribly adventurously, with No.1.  Very tuneful...

Does anyone know of any good resources for reading more about the quartets?  Can read to death about the 'American', obviously, and perhaps a couple of others, but quite keen to read more about the early ones as well.  The essay in the box is quite good but always hungry for more.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: CriticalI on October 03, 2012, 05:45:30 PM
Does anyone know of any good resources for reading more about the quartets?  Can read to death about the 'American', obviously, and perhaps a couple of others, but quite keen to read more about the early ones as well.  The essay in the box is quite good but always hungry for more.

I had one of the Naxos releases by the Vlach Quartet, which had pretty good notes, which you can probably access on the Naxos site.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on October 03, 2012, 05:53:37 PM
I had one of the Naxos releases by the Vlach Quartet, which had pretty good notes, which you can probably access on the Naxos site.
Yep! (http://www.naxos.com/mainsite/blurbs_reviews.asp?item_code=8.553371&catNum=553371&filetype=About%20this%20Recording&language=English#) Finding the Naxos listing for each CD in the series turns up notes on the other quartets.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Rinaldo on November 08, 2012, 04:36:47 AM
Might be old news, but I just stumbled across a report that Belohlavek has started a symphonic cycle for Decca. It's being recorded live with the Czech Philharmonic.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on January 18, 2013, 09:45:42 PM
I've been slowly getting back into ol' Antonin. A mighty good composer he was. I've been listening to the symphonic poems and right now I'm listening to Harnoncourt's performance of Symphony No. 9 "From the New World. Simply scintillating performance. I really admire all of the Harnoncourt Dvorak performances. His Slavonic Dances are excellent too. I've also been listening to Mackerras who is another fine Dvorak conductor. Kubelik and Kertesz also remain strong favorites.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Daverz on January 19, 2013, 12:47:53 AM
Some stand-out recordings of the symphonies:

6 - Rowicki
7 & 8 - Szell/Sony
9 - Kertesz/VPO (perhaps a sentimental favorite; you can get this coupled with a wonderful recording of the Wind Serenade)

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: madaboutmahler on January 20, 2013, 04:43:21 AM
I've been slowly getting back into ol' Antonin. A mighty good composer he was. I've been listening to the symphonic poems and right now I'm listening to Harnoncourt's performance of Symphony No. 9 "From the New World. Simply scintillating performance. I really admire all of the Harnoncourt Dvorak performances. His Slavonic Dances are excellent too. I've also been listening to Mackerras who is another fine Dvorak conductor. Kubelik and Kertesz also remain strong favorites.

Great to hear, John. Dvorak is a very special composer for me as he played a massive part in the evolution of my love for music. A massive thumbs up for the Harnoncourt Slavonic Dances, one of my favourite cds! Must listen to his symphony recordings at some point! :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Leo K. on January 20, 2013, 07:05:15 AM
I've been slowly getting back into ol' Antonin. A mighty good composer he was. I've been listening to the symphonic poems and right now I'm listening to Harnoncourt's performance of Symphony No. 9 "From the New World. Simply scintillating performance. I really admire all of the Harnoncourt Dvorak performances. His Slavonic Dances are excellent too. I've also been listening to Mackerras who is another fine Dvorak conductor. Kubelik and Kertesz also remain strong favorites.

Me too, and in my case I want to hear Dvorak beyond the hits, and finally hear his chamber music, as a newbie, I've aquired these sets:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MenQoaQLL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VS15T-hKL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)





Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 20, 2013, 07:21:21 AM
Me too, and in my case I want to hear Dvorak beyond the hits, and finally hear his chamber music, as a newbie, I've aquired these sets:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MenQoaQLL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VS15T-hKL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
If you are looking for something a bit different:


This is so good (and is two pianos). Legends is also in orchestral form (fantastic - I have Mackerras, great, but that is OOP I believe). This Naxos disc brings out all the stops for me and is extremely well played. This is Sunday morning listening for me (of the best kind).

If you like chamber, the piano quintets and piano trios are wonderful as well.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Lisztianwagner on January 20, 2013, 09:40:27 AM
I've been slowly getting back into ol' Antonin. A mighty good composer he was. I've been listening to the symphonic poems and right now I'm listening to Harnoncourt's performance of Symphony No. 9 "From the New World. Simply scintillating performance. I really admire all of the Harnoncourt Dvorak performances. His Slavonic Dances are excellent too. I've also been listening to Mackerras who is another fine Dvorak conductor. Kubelik and Kertesz also remain strong favorites.

Kubelik and Kertesz are also my favourite interpreters of Dvořák's music, along with Pesek and Karajan for Symphonies No.8 & 9 and the Cello Concerto. I agree about the Harnoncourt Dvořák Slavonic Dances, it's a beautiful, gorgeous recording; I haven't listened to his performances of the symphonies, but those ones of the symphonic poems and the Piano Concerto with Aimard are absolutely good.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on January 20, 2013, 10:16:13 AM
Kubelik and Kertesz are also my favourite interpreters of Dvořák's music, along with Pesek and Karajan for Symphonies No.8 & 9 and the Cello Concerto. I agree about the Harnoncourt Dvořák Slavonic Dances, it's a beautiful, gorgeous recording; I haven't listened to his performances of the symphonies, but those ones of the symphonic poems and the Piano Concerto with Aimard are absolutely good.

Agreed on all points except that I don't think highly of Karajan's Dvorak, although his Cello Concerto recording with Rostropovich is certainly one for the books.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Octave on January 21, 2013, 12:29:37 AM
If you are looking for something a bit different:


This is so good (and is two pianos). Legends is also in orchestral form (fantastic - I have Mackerras, great, but that is OOP I believe). This Naxos disc brings out all the stops for me and is extremely well played. This is Sunday morning listening for me (of the best kind).

If you like chamber, the piano quintets and piano trios are wonderful as well.

This looks very interesting, but as a point of comparison, does anyone know this other recording of the two-piano LEGENDS:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41PF5A4CHCL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000J3K4RW/?tag=goodmusicguideco)

Dvorak: LEGENDS [played by Leo van Doeselaar & Wyneke Jordans - released by Etcetera]
alternate ASIN: B000027KXP
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 21, 2013, 06:31:58 AM
I haven't heard any of the competition on this piece (if we talk piano only). There are surprisingly few versions considering the quality of the music. I know of:


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41trFEAyvPL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005BGWL/?tag=goodmusicguideco)



There is at least one other floating around with just one person who recorded both parts.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Slowhand on February 11, 2013, 08:49:25 PM
Newcomer to these forums, and to classical music in general.  But the two main composers that kindled my growing interest in the music were Dvorak and Mozart.  As I've seen others comment, I just found their music very accessible and responded to it immediately.  My main interest has actually been in symphonies since I started on this "journey" to familiarize myself with various composers.  Dvorak's were the first to completely bowl me over - everything from 7-9 amazed me, and still does.  In the last week or so I've been going through his symphonies in their entirety, listening to some different conductor's takes on them.

I know it's not about ranking music, but I'm an inveterate list-maker, so I thought I would go ahead and throw how I would rank Dvorak's symphonies, based upon nothing other than personal taste - not claiming they are the "best" or "greatest" in any order.

8
9
7
1 (found I seemed to liked this one a lot more than other folks)
6
5
4
2
3
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: North Star on February 14, 2013, 02:44:39 PM
Newcomer to these forums, and to classical music in general.  But the two main composers that kindled my growing interest in the music were Dvorak and Mozart.  As I've seen others comment, I just found their music very accessible and responded to it immediately.  My main interest has actually been in symphonies since I started on this "journey" to familiarize myself with various composers.  Dvorak's were the first to completely bowl me over - everything from 7-9 amazed me, and still does.  In the last week or so I've been going through his symphonies in their entirety, listening to some different conductor's takes on them.

I know it's not about ranking music, but I'm an inveterate list-maker, so I thought I would go ahead and throw how I would rank Dvorak's symphonies, based upon nothing other than personal taste - not claiming they are the "best" or "greatest" in any order.

Welcome to the forum, Slowhand! (Clapton fan?)

I'd suggest not focusing just on the symphonies - e.g. Dvorak wrote lots of wonderful chamber music (piano quintets, piano quartets, piano trios, string quintets, string quartets...), concertos (the Cello Concerto!), and loads of other stuff. And don't miss the Symphonic Poems! They are some of the very best of orchestral Dvorak.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on March 24, 2013, 06:36:10 AM
Looks like you got them all, Jens. 8)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: jlaurson on March 25, 2013, 06:46:44 AM
t'is up now:

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GEp8pryRAMU/UU-BUrZ64WI/AAAAAAAAGV0/SbfbpphxIjc/s1600/Antonin_Dvorak_laurson_600.jpg)
A Survey of Dvorák Symphony Cycles (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-survey-of-dvorak-symphony-cycles.html)


OK... inspired myself, of sorts, and put together a "Dvorak Survey", much like the

Bruckner Survey http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-survey-of-bruckner-cycles.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-survey-of-bruckner-cycles.html) and the
Sibelius Survey http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2009/05/survey-of-sibelius-cycles.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2009/05/survey-of-sibelius-cycles.html). (Will go live tomorrow (9AM, EST) here: http://ionarts.blogspot.com/search/label/Discography (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/search/label/Discography)) With about 15 3/4 + 1/2 cycles that I found (one of them mix&match), it's only half the size than either Bruckner or Sibelius... not surprising, really... given the popularity-discrepancy between 7-9 and cumbersome (though in their own way very appealing) 1-4. And thanks to awesome Qobuz (http://www.qobuz.com/), I can listen in on several sets I don't have. (Qobuz is a bit like Spotify and iTunes combined (streaming and downloading), but for specifically classical music audiophiles and, for the the time being, only in French. (Not that that keeps me.) Between that, the NML, and Spotify, I can sample pretty much anything that's out there, now.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-survey-of-dvorak-symphony-cycles.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-survey-of-dvorak-symphony-cycles.html)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on April 15, 2013, 04:12:27 AM
I'm still working through the quartets, sporadically, with the Prague Quartet set.

So far I've listened to 1-3, 5-6, 8-9 and 12-13.  I'm listening to No.7 as I type.

I'm curious to know, for those who are reasonably familiar with the quartets, at what number do you reach what you regard as 'mature' quartets worth returning to reasonably often?

I've seen different comments placing it at a different number. For example, the Prague box decides that no.8 is the first 'completely mature' one.  I can't remember exactly what other numbers I've read elsewhere.

Given the large span of time over which I've been listening I can't really recall the quartets in detail, but numbers 1-3 were all a bit on the tedious side, with a lot of nice tunes but not nearly enough structural or textural control to keep it interesting.  This appears to be a common reaction. Whereas by the 1890s quartets (numbers 12-14) everything is much sharper and we've reached works that are pretty well universally acknowledged as being of high quality.

So I would expect for most people the dividing line is somewhere in the middle range, somewhere within quartets 5 to 11?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on April 15, 2013, 04:33:58 AM
Has anyone listened to Dvorak's symphonic poems? They are seriously underrated and they contain much wonderful music. My favorite is probably the Golden spinning wheel.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: North Star on April 15, 2013, 05:56:37 AM
Has anyone listened to Dvorak's symphonic poems? They are seriously underrated and they contain much wonderful music. My favorite is probably the Golden spinning wheel.
Yes! That one, and The Water Goblin, The Noon Witch, and The Wild Dove, all brilliant, among the very best Dvorak.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on April 15, 2013, 06:09:29 AM
So I would expect for most people the dividing line is somewhere in the middle range, somewhere within quartets 5 to 11?
I'd like to know the answer to this one as well. For me a "dividing line" runs down the middle of No. 4, which features two massive and rather clunky outer movements surrounding an utter gem of a slow movement, which was then re-used as the Nocturne in B for string quartet or string orchestra. It's one of the first glimmers of the Dvorak to come, in any of his music; it comes from 1870 and the only really strongly "Dvorak" moments predating it, to my knowledge, are the Cypresses and the back half of the Second Symphony.

1875 is the year I accept as the year when Dvorak really burst into full bloom: it produced his second string quintet (Op. 77), serenade for strings, first piano trio, and fifth symphony. At that point he'd finished seven string quartets.

As an aside, this inspired me to look at the Wikipedia list of Dvorak's complete works. Here are a few works listed as "lost":
- clarinet quintet, very early work (1865-69)
- Romeo and Juliet overture, composed concurrently with the Third Symphony (1873)
- Octet for clarinet, bassoon, horn, violins, viola, double bass, and piano (1873)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mandryka on April 15, 2013, 11:22:59 AM
I'm still working through the quartets, sporadically, with the Prague Quartet set.

So far I've listened to 1-3, 5-6, 8-9 and 12-13.  I'm listening to No.7 as I type.

I'm curious to know, for those who are reasonably familiar with the quartets, at what number do you reach what you regard as 'mature' quartets worth returning to reasonably often?

I've seen different comments placing it at a different number. For example, the Prague box decides that no.8 is the first 'completely mature' one.  I can't remember exactly what other numbers I've read elsewhere.

Given the large span of time over which I've been listening I can't really recall the quartets in detail, but numbers 1-3 were all a bit on the tedious side, with a lot of nice tunes but not nearly enough structural or textural control to keep it interesting.  This appears to be a common reaction. Whereas by the 1890s quartets (numbers 12-14) everything is much sharper and we've reached works that are pretty well universally acknowledged as being of high quality.

So I would expect for most people the dividing line is somewhere in the middle range, somewhere within quartets 5 to 11?

I don't know about mature, but I think the interesting quartets are 9, 10, and above all 12 through 14.


Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Elgarian on May 25, 2013, 11:17:25 AM
Thanks be to Navneeth, who alerted us to the availability of this 15CD box at a bargain price by an Amazon uk marketplace seller (still available at under £20):

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/610zHdKS6FL._AA160_.jpg)

I thought heck, why not? I've never listened to any Czech chamber music, so I bought one. It arrived a few days ago, and yesterday evening I picked out Dvorak's 8th quartet at random. I was amazed; ended up abandoning the book I was reading and just listening - always a good sign. The slow movement had me particularly moved and enthralled.

I gather this isn't one of his best; well, all I can say is, I've had my twenty poundsworth already, with another fourteen and a half CDs to go. Many thanks, Nav.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Opus106 on May 25, 2013, 11:22:16 AM
I've never listened to any Czech chamber music, so I bought one.
:o Although now that you've bought the box and started listening, I think we can still be friends. ;)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Elgarian on May 25, 2013, 11:56:46 AM
:o Although now that you've bought the box and started listening, I think we can still be friends. ;)

Knowing that things were hanging on a delicate wire, I confess to buying the box mainly in the hope of retrieving a desperate situation. Phew.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 25, 2013, 01:31:52 PM
You're a risk-taker, and non mistake.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Elgarian on May 25, 2013, 11:07:40 PM
You're a risk-taker, and non mistake.

I know. To seal the deal, I'm thinking of trying the 'New World' symphony soon.

(Well, in a week or two, after I've recovered my equilibrium.)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on September 27, 2013, 01:46:50 PM
Whoops! Didn't see this for a long while.

I always thought the Seventh Symphony had an apocalyptic, nightmarish ending, and then I started reading CD notes and GMG comments about there being a happy, even triumphant final coda to the symphony. I don't hear that at all. The final movement works itself into such an elaborate, desperate hysteria (favorite moments: the quiet passage in the development with snarling trombones, the explosive recap with its hyperactivity) that I don't know how it could come back from the edge of the cliff it's put itself on. The final coda, with its mad rush to those repeated chords, sounds to me not like victory but like submission - ultimate defeat, one last cry of pain before hurling itself over the edge. It's so headlong, so abrupt, so logical an ending but also so severed from what came before (unless you hear in it, as I do, an echo of the French horn tune that is played once and once only, at about 75 seconds into the first movement!).

raduneo, the connection with Janacek is definitely most clear in the symphonic poems. If you haven't heard them, try this glorious CD:



They explore a new musical language Dvorak was working out at the end of his life, and if he didn't quite fulfill its potential, he did lead the way for Janacek, somewhat, with each work's insistence on 1-2 motifs developed and restated in huge numbers of different ways over spans of 15-25 minutes. The orchestration is also wilder and more primitive, with lots of bass clarinet and suspended cymbals. The Wild Dove's first performance was conducted by Janacek; then it was performed in Vienna by Mahler.

My review of the CD mentioned above: "The opening seconds of Golden Spinning Wheel, with the motoric cellos coupled to gentle cymbal crashes, are almost impossible to resist. This is the longest symphonic poem and the only one with a happy ending; Mackerras turns in the best performance I’ve ever heard. Here are sharp, precise rhythms, resplendent strings in the love music and an operatic pace which generates increasing excitement and drama as the piece proceeds..." etc. (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2010/June10/Dvorak_Mackerras_SU40122.htm)

Hmm.....storing in the wish list.  I've heard them, but don't have a copy yet of Dvorak's 4 symphonic poems, except for The Wild/Wood Dove.  This Mackerras looks dandy!  :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: kyjo on September 27, 2013, 02:44:06 PM
Hmm.....storing in the wish list.  I've heard them, but don't have a copy yet of Dvorak's 4 symphonic poems, except for The Wild/Wood Dove.  This Mackerras looks dandy!  :)

They're the definitive recordings of the symphonic poems. Mackerras was such a natural in Czech music. Jarvi/RSNO runs Mackerras a close second in these works, though.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mc ukrneal on September 27, 2013, 11:28:36 PM
They're the definitive recordings of the symphonic poems. Mackerras was such a natural in Czech music. Jarvi/RSNO runs Mackerras a close second in these works, though.
Probably not. Maybe one of the definitiveo ones, but Kubelik is often used as the reference.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 28, 2013, 12:41:54 AM
They're the definitive recordings of the symphonic poems. Mackerras was such a natural in Czech music. Jarvi/RSNO runs Mackerras a close second in these works, though.

Probably not. Maybe one of the definitiveo ones, but Kubelik is often used as the reference.

Kubelik, Järvi, Mack, great indeed--but definitive Dvorak? I prefer Harnoncourt's recordings of the tone poems. He defines definitive for me  8)

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Octave on September 28, 2013, 12:54:30 AM
Kubelik, Järvi, Mack, great indeed--but definitive Dvorak? I prefer Harnoncourt's recordings of the tone poems. He defines definitive for me  8)

Without benefit of much comparison (just the Kubelik (http://www.amazon.com/Slavonic-Dances-Overtures-Symphonic-Poems/dp/B000065TV2/ref=sr_1_4?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1380361707&sr=1-4&keywords=dvorak+kubelik)), I had this experience listening to the Harnoncourt just recently.  I was knocked out by his tone poems.  I felt almost as impressed by his (Nick's Dvorak's) late symphonies.  I got all of those crated up here:



Apropos Mackerras' late tone poem recordings (that post of Brian's quoted just above), I might be going whole-hog for the following set, if the quality control is really good, I'll be doing some research soon:

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Drasko on September 28, 2013, 01:52:06 AM
Kubelik, Järvi, Mack, great indeed--but definitive Dvorak? I prefer Harnoncourt's recordings of the tone poems. He defines definitive for me  8)

Sarge

Those pieces have been very lucky on record. There are at least half dozen recordings that someone considers definitive. If you remember Andre was always nearly ecstatic about Zdenek Chalabala (http://www.supraphonline.cz/album/1365-dvorak-symfonicke-basne/flac) and M considered Neumann's (http://www.supraphonline.cz/album/281-dvorak-symfonicke-basne/flac) to be one of his favorite orchestral recordings of anything.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 28, 2013, 02:06:32 AM
...and M considered Neumann's (http://www.supraphonline.cz/album/281-dvorak-symfonicke-basne/flac) to be one of his favorite orchestral recordings of anything.

Oh yeah, Neumann is superb too. The inclusion of the symphonic poems makes the recent Neumann/Supraphon symphony box even more attractive.

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on September 28, 2013, 02:39:12 AM
Oh yeah, Neumann is superb too. The inclusion of the symphonic poems makes the recent Neumann/Supraphon symphony box even more attractive.

Sarge

The only complete recording of the symphonic poems I have so far are with Rattle/BPO.  I know this set isn't highly regarded.  However, you can always take comfort that the wild dove could rest and make itself a great nest in Rattle's hair.  ;D

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 28, 2013, 02:57:46 AM
The only complete recording of the symphonic poems I have so far are with Rattle/BPO.  I know this set isn't highly regarded.  However, you can always take comfort that the wild dove could rest and make itself a great nest in Rattle's hair.  ;D



 ;D :D ;D  Have you seen the The Hobbit? The wizard Radagast has a nest in his hair.

Not being a Rattle fan this one slipped by me. I wasn't even aware of it. Can't comment on it's worth, of course, but I see the Hurwitzer thinks highly of it (http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-11813/?search=1), giving it a 9/9 and comparing it favorably to Harnoncourt. He ends his review by saying "this is an easy recommendation, and one I’m particularly pleased to be able to make, critical as I have been of Rattle and his various orchestras over the years."

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on September 28, 2013, 03:00:40 AM
;D :D ;D  Have you seen the The Hobbit? The wizard Radagast has a nest in his hair.

Not being a Rattle fan this one slipped by me. I wasn't even aware of it. Can't comment on it's worth, of course, but I see the Hurwitzer thinks highly of it (http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-11813/?search=1), giving it a 9/9 and comparing it favorably to Harnoncourt. He ends his review by saying "this is an easy recommendation, and one I’m particularly pleased to be able to make, critical as I have been of Rattle and his various orchestras over the years."

Sarge

 ;D No, I haven't seen The Hobbit

Interesting that Hurwitzer gave the Rattle a rave review.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 28, 2013, 05:22:22 AM
Without benefit of much comparison (just the Kubelik (http://www.amazon.com/Slavonic-Dances-Overtures-Symphonic-Poems/dp/B000065TV2/ref=sr_1_4?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1380361707&sr=1-4&keywords=dvorak+kubelik)), I had this experience listening to the Harnoncourt just recently.  I was knocked out by his tone poems.  I felt almost as impressed by his (Nick's Dvorak's) late symphonies.  I got all of those crated up here:



That's the one I have for the tone poems and for me I'd add the late symphonies as among the top contenders, too.



Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 06, 2013, 06:47:18 AM
t'is up now:

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GEp8pryRAMU/UU-BUrZ64WI/AAAAAAAAGV0/SbfbpphxIjc/s1600/Antonin_Dvorak_laurson_600.jpg)
A Survey of Dvorák Symphony Cycles (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-survey-of-dvorak-symphony-cycles.html)

Of course I approve of ionarts' choice  8)

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: DavidW on October 06, 2013, 07:54:42 AM
Of course I approve of ionarts' choice  8)

Sarge

+1 or as Karl would say *pounds the table*. ;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Bogey on October 06, 2013, 08:04:24 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31JhwhrLNtL.jpg)

Just picked this one up above up on Amazon.  This is my second recording of Dvorak's Quintet Op 81.  (Note the pairing on this cd, Ray!)

I have another under the same ensemble save a change in pianist.  It is on this cd:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41v10jXoaVL._SX300_.jpg)

which I might add is probably my favorite Dvorak cd on the shelf.  only $5 at Amazon if you want to try it out.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 06, 2013, 08:17:11 AM
I have another under the same ensemble save a change in pianist.  It is on this cd:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41v10jXoaVL._SX300_.jpg)

which I might add is probably my favorite Dvorak cd on the shelf.  only $5 at Amazon if you want to try it out.

I have this one too, Bill. I agree it is superlative. Just out of curiosity, what's the recording date of the Panenka disc? Is it later than the Hála one (which was recorded in 1978)?


Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Bogey on October 06, 2013, 08:19:53 AM
I have this one too, Bill. I agree it is superlative. Just out of curiosity, what's the recording date of the Panenka disc? Is it later than the Hála one (which was recorded in 1978)?

Later.  Here is the review that made me make the plunge:

Bronto-brainers rejoice. Not much thought is required here: the two greatest piano quintets in existence, played by a world-class ensemble and aptly recorded by a company that knew its stuff back in the '80s. The Smetana Quartet had recorded the Dvorak Piano Quintet back in 1966 and it now resurfaced on the Testament label Dvorak : String Quartet No. 12, Op. 96 "American"; Piano Quintet In A, Op. 81 / Janacek: String Quartet No. 1. In this remake, some two decades downstreams, they set a more leisurely pace as if realising 'they may not come this way again'.

The Schumann Piano Quintet enshrines Robert's domestic happiness with Klara and their growing family for all time: their 'lares and penates' illuminate the slow movement in particular.

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 06, 2013, 08:23:20 AM
Later.  Here is the review that made me make the plunge:

Bronto-brainers rejoice. Not much thought is required here: the two greatest piano quintets in existence, played by a world-class ensemble and aptly recorded by a company that knew its stuff back in the '80s. The Smetana Quartet had recorded the Dvorak Piano Quintet back in 1966 and it now resurfaced on the Testament label Dvorak : String Quartet No. 12, Op. 96 "American"; Piano Quintet In A, Op. 81 / Janacek: String Quartet No. 1. In this remake, some two decades downstreams, they set a more leisurely pace as if realising 'they may not come this way again'.

The Schumann Piano Quintet enshrines Robert's domestic happiness with Klara and their growing family for all time: their 'lares and penates' illuminate the slow movement in particular.



Thanks, Bill!


Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Bogey on October 06, 2013, 08:28:35 AM
The earlier recordings above are what hooked me into Romantic era chamber music.  So it will always have a special place on my shelf.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on October 06, 2013, 08:38:42 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31JhwhrLNtL.jpg)

Just picked this one up above up on Amazon.  This is my second recording of Dvorak's Quintet Op 81.  (Note the pairing on this cd, Ray!)


Schumann!  Nice, Bill!  :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 25, 2013, 01:44:27 PM
This could be the most ambitious 1st symphony ever written, Dvorak was 24 years old when he completed it in 1865. The opening horn fanfare is bold and fierce, the third movement shows early signs of a movement that Dvorak mastered (see symphony 6 and 8 ) and a rip-roaring finale. It's only missing the serene and lyrical slower movement that Dvorak also excelled in. This is the only recording I have of the 1st, and it's good. I've always had a minor gripe with Jarvi/SNO and the extra-reverb that Chandos displays with their recordings, but some great passionate playing can be found.
Also, The Hero's Song is one of my favorite symphonic poems, highly triumphant and completely satisfying music.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KK12AFD4L._SX350_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on October 25, 2013, 04:02:04 PM
This could be the most ambitious 1st symphony ever written, Dvorak was 24 years old when he completed it in 1865. The opening horn fanfare is bold and fierce, the third movement shows early signs of a movement that Dvorak mastered (see symphony 6 and 8 ) and a rip-roaring finale. It's only missing the serene and lyrical slower movement that Dvorak also excelled in. This is the only recording I have of the 1st, and it's good. I've always had a minor gripe with Jarvi/SNO and the extra-reverb that Chandos displays with their recordings, but some great passionate playing can be found.
Also, The Hero's Song is one of my favorite symphonic poems, highly triumphant and completely satisfying music.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KK12AFD4L._SX350_.jpg)

Glad to hear you enjoy it too, Greg (re:  The 1st symphony).  Some years ago, there was a thread called "The Worst First", and I believe Cato mentioned perhaps that the Dvorak First Symphony could be one of the candidates.  :-X :D  I took exception to this.  ;D

Cato, I'm kindly throwing you under the bus.  :laugh:  Perhaps, since that was quite some time ago, he has warmed up to it more.  :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on October 25, 2013, 04:35:49 PM
That might have been me  :o
Maybe it's about time I give the symphony another fair shot; given how much I love Nos. 2 and 3, appreciation of the First can't be too far off...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: amw on October 25, 2013, 06:03:54 PM
Personally, I love the First. It's definitely in my top nine Dvořák symphonies.

Ok, perhaps that could have been a little better worded.

I don't think it suffers by comparison with the others, though.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on October 25, 2013, 08:48:28 PM
I really need to give Dvorak's Symphonies 1-6 another listen at some point. Of course I love Symphonies 7-9 and what Romantic fan wouldn't love those last three? I also need to re-familiarize myself with the symphonic poems. I recall enjoying The Water Goblin and The Golden Spinning Wheel, but little else is sticking out in my mind right now.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 26, 2013, 02:31:20 AM
there was a thread called "The Worst First", and I believe Cato mentioned perhaps that the Dvorak First Symphony could be one of the candidates.

That doesn't sound like Cato...unless he was being ironic. I know Cato has owned the Rowicki set (with the best First) as long as I have (40 years) and has always been an advocate of the early symphonies. But maybe I missed something.


Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on November 30, 2013, 12:16:23 PM
My first listen to these performances of Dvorak's Symphonic Poems.  Sounding terrific, so far!  :)

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: kyjo on December 01, 2013, 02:07:54 PM
My first listen to these performances of Dvorak's Symphonic Poems.  Sounding terrific, so far!  :)



Yep, those are definitive readings of the symphonic poems indeed! What is your favorite Dvorak symphonic poem, Ray? Mine is The Water Goblin. Very mysterious, especially the ending. I love the harmonies, too.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on December 01, 2013, 02:09:00 PM
Yep, those are definitive readings of the symphonic poems indeed! What is your favorite Dvorak symphonic poem, Ray? Mine is The Water Goblin. Very mysterious, especially the ending. I love the harmonies, too.

I've always loved The Wild Dove best, but a close 2nd for me is The Noon Witch.  Love the bass clarinet!  :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: madaboutmahler on December 24, 2013, 08:11:08 AM
In the last week of youth orchestra we have played Dvorak 5 (I was on triangle for the ever important 20 or so bars in the scherzo :p ) which I absolutely loved, almost as much as the last 3 symphonies even! I don't know why the earlier ones are relatively unknown.. 4 and 5 I really do love. :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on December 24, 2013, 08:13:34 AM
In the last week of youth orchestra we have played Dvorak 5 (I was on triangle for the ever important 20 or so bars in the scherzo :p ) which I absolutely loved, almost as much as the last 3 symphonies even! I don't know why the earlier ones are relatively unknown.. 4 and 5 I really do love. :)

The 4th has for quite some time, been my favourite Dvorak symphony.  Something I have in common with Mrs. Sergeant Rock.   ;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on February 02, 2014, 06:35:19 AM
Now listening to the magnificent symphonic poems and stellar performances here!

Dvorak

The Water Goblin, Op. 107
The Noon Witch, Op. 108
The Golden Spinning Wheel, Op. 109
The Wild Dove, Op. 110


Sir Charles Mackerras
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

Supraphon

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: jlaurson on February 04, 2014, 02:39:30 PM
Any updating necessary? Always looking for input.



A Survey of Dvořák Symphony Cycles


(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GEp8pryRAMU/UU-BUrZ64WI/AAAAAAAAGV0/SbfbpphxIjc/s1600/Antonin_Dvorak_laurson_600.jpg)
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GEp8pryRAMU/UU-BUrZ64WI/AAAAAAAAGV0/SbfbpphxIjc/s1600/Antonin_Dvorak_laurson_600.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GEp8pryRAMU/UU-BUrZ64WI/AAAAAAAAGV0/SbfbpphxIjc/s1600/Antonin_Dvorak_laurson_600.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 04, 2014, 02:42:42 PM
Any updating necessary? Always looking for input.



A Survey of Dvořák Symphony Cycles


(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GEp8pryRAMU/UU-BUrZ64WI/AAAAAAAAGV0/SbfbpphxIjc/s1600/Antonin_Dvorak_laurson_600.jpg)
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GEp8pryRAMU/UU-BUrZ64WI/AAAAAAAAGV0/SbfbpphxIjc/s1600/Antonin_Dvorak_laurson_600.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GEp8pryRAMU/UU-BUrZ64WI/AAAAAAAAGV0/SbfbpphxIjc/s1600/Antonin_Dvorak_laurson_600.jpg)
Did you mean to link to the picture?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on February 17, 2014, 05:42:38 PM
Going through this marvelous set, in reverse order (late quartets to early quartets)  Delicious!!  :)

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 22, 2014, 07:41:47 AM
 Dvorak's Rusalka   (http://www.lyricopera.org/rusalka/)

Lyric Opera of Chicago's opening night of Rusalka will be streaming live this evening on  WFMT  (https://www.wfmt.com/) starting at 8:30pm eastern, 7:30pm central.


Rusalka -Ana María Martínez
Prince - Brandon Jovanovich
Ježibaba - Jill Grove
Vodnik - Eric Owens



(http://lyricoperamedia.s3.amazonaws.com/_img/Web/13-14/Rusalka/Rusalka_1_1070x530.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Octave on March 17, 2014, 08:59:03 PM
Q: Are there some must-hear recordings of the STABAT MATER?  I did some looking, but I am not famous for my precision research.  I've found very few mentions of the piece on the board.
EDIT: I've been looking mainly at the new Herreweghe (for which I saw one positive comment at GMG) and a not-very-old Shaw/Atlanta.

ETC: I'm trying to get a little bit systematic about hearing all Dvorak works I've never heard.  There are some big gaps, like, RUSALKA...I mean really.  That will be for summer.  For now it's me chasing down more chamber music and the TE DEUM and the solo piano music, the latter of which I keep hearing slight-praised as light or inconsequential, but I wonder if that the kind of stuff I'd be pleased with, cf. spin some Boulez or Barraque, then Dvorak to calm the waters. 
And of course: none of that deprecation might be adequate to the music.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: snyprrr on June 10, 2014, 07:14:39 AM
Going through this marvelous set, in reverse order (late quartets to early quartets)  Delicious!!  :)



Did you finish? What are some of the standout early ones?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on June 10, 2014, 08:02:37 AM
Did you finish? What are some of the standout early ones?

Oh yes, a long time ago (and several times).   :)

Of the early quartets, I enjoy the 6th and 7th the most.  Also, the 8th and 9th (but not sure if those are considered 'early')

My overall favourites are the:  10th, 13th, 12th, Cypresses, and 6th.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Bogey on July 29, 2014, 03:09:22 AM
Just got back from a family reunion outside a little hamlet called Spillville, Iowa.  Someone who had visited this site prior to me was none other than Dvorak. 

Here is a bit of the story from a one floor museum  (http://www.bilyclocks.org/) they keep in town:

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/IMG_1853_zps0a6cc075.jpg)

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/IMG_1794_zpsc302078a.jpg)

Some instruments he played (he also played on the church organ, but we needed to head out, so did not catch):

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/IMG_1811_zps44fb5331.jpg)

If true, very cool:

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/IMG_1837_zps9bcde7a4.jpg)  (http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/IMG_1835_zpse0d8a489.jpg)

His pipe (Oy, Kevin!):

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/IMG_1828_zps4d66e93b.jpg)

End with a selfie:

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/IMG_1810_zps144001ae.jpg)

I had never heard of the place until our reunion was set up.  The museum itself was also outstanding and jut one of those chance moments that I was lucky enough to take advantage of. :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 29, 2014, 03:17:07 AM
Just got back from a family reunion outside a little hamlet called Spillville, Iowa.  Someone who had visited this site prior to me was none other than Dvorak.

I knew that, but only because of the curious name . . . .
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on July 29, 2014, 03:42:33 AM
Just got back from a family reunion outside a little hamlet called Spillville, Iowa.  Someone who had visited this site prior to me was none other than Dvorak. 

Thanks for sharing this, Bill!  I was aware of Dvorak's stay in Spillville, so it is super cool that you were there!  He wrote many of his inspired 'American' while he stayed in Iowa.  :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on July 29, 2014, 07:58:09 AM
Were you trying to match your facial hair to Dvorak's on that bust?

The praise for Spillville in the wall text is really amusing! Is it still an ideal place? Goodness, I'd love to hear someone play a humoresque on one of those pianos.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 29, 2014, 08:00:12 AM
Just got back from a family reunion outside a little hamlet called Spillville, Iowa.  Someone who had visited this site prior to me was none other than Dvorak. 


Bill - thanks for posting the pics from Spillville, Iowa - sent my comments to you in answer to your PM - Dave :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 29, 2014, 08:25:28 AM
Dvorak - Symphonic Poems - István Kertész - 2 CD set - fairly recent release of his old recordings - comments?

Hi all - I've been buying & culling these Dvorak works for years now - do own the Kertész 6-CD symphonic box (and noticed on Amazon a 9-disc set w/ both the symphonies & the works shown below) - I enjoy his performances of the symphonies and assume these poems et al are also well done?  Dave :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81-lJok4VaL._SL1500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Bogey on July 29, 2014, 01:03:30 PM
Were you trying to match your facial hair to Dvorak's on that bust?

The praise for Spillville in the wall text is really amusing! Is it still an ideal place? Goodness, I'd love to hear someone play a humoresque on one of those pianos.

Absolutely beautiful up there, Brian. 
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 30, 2014, 10:51:47 AM
So I am continuously reading rave reviews for Pitts/Honeck's new Dvorak 8th recording. I love this symphony dearly, but it is well recorded, almost overly done, and is due for a fresh performance that is unique and can stand up to the hand full of great ones of the past. The Hurwitzer gave it a 10/10! Here's a sample from the 1st movement.

https://soundcloud.com/reference-recordings/dvorak-symphony-8-pso

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510XUgfrJnL._SS350_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mandryka on August 31, 2014, 09:56:56 PM
The op 77 quintet, which is the one with the extra double bass, is problematic because Dvorak revised it, and as part of the revision he took out one of the slow movements, which was marked Intermezzo.

I put a recording of the whole quintet which leaves the intermezzo in place on symphonyshare - it's played by The Boston Symphony Chamber Players.

I wonder what the Dvorak experts here think about that intermezzo. Somehow,  I feel as though it just doesn't fit in with the feel and the textures of the other music in the quintet, and that Dvorak was right to remove it.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on September 01, 2014, 04:26:34 AM
So I am continuously reading rave reviews for Pitts/Honeck's new Dvorak 8th recording. I love this symphony dearly, but it is well recorded, almost overly done, and is due for a fresh performance that is unique and can stand up to the hand full of great ones of the past. The Hurwitzer gave it a 10/10! Here's a sample from the 1st movement.

https://soundcloud.com/reference-recordings/dvorak-symphony-8-pso

My copy arrives Wednesday. :)

The op 77 quintet, which is the one with the extra double bass, is problematic because Dvorak revised it, and as part of the revision he took out one of the slow movements, which was marked Intermezzo.

I put a recording of the whole quintet which leaves the intermezzo in place on symphonyshare - it's played by The Boston Symphony Chamber Players.

I wonder what the Dvorak experts here think about that intermezzo. Somehow,  I feel as though it just doesn't fit in with the feel and the textures of the other music in the quintet, and that Dvorak was right to remove it.

I love this piece. It was one of my favorite works for a few years. I even listened to the expanded version manually, by stopping the CD, putting in another CD with the Intermezzo, and then going back. There is no doubting that all the music is wonderful and special, but on the whole, I agree with you. Good music doesn't always fit together.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 01, 2014, 04:55:05 AM
My copy arrives Wednesday. :) .

I'll PM you my mailing address for when you're done with it.  8)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 11, 2014, 11:19:05 AM
Friends, give me your Dumky.  8)

What is your favorite performance of the Op. 90 Piano Trio? I feel an addiction coming on with this piece.
I recently purchased...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51P1R5s1jbL._SX250_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BTX53KlgL._SX250_.jpg)

...I have yet to hear the Golub Kaplan Carr Trio performance, and I really have nothing to compare the MaKim Ax disc to.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on September 11, 2014, 11:33:24 AM
Friends, give me your Dumky.  8)

What is your favorite performance of the Op. 90 Piano Trio?
No particular order:
Guarneri Trio Prague (Praga)
Trio Solisti (Bridge)
Faust/Melnikov/Queyras (HM)

Usually I reach for the first two; they have lots of fire and zest.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 11, 2014, 12:51:06 PM
Friends, give me your Dumky.  8)

I've whittled my Dumkies down to this one, and I'm a happy camper:





Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 11, 2014, 01:49:16 PM
No particular order:
Guarneri Trio Prague (Praga)
Trio Solisti (Bridge)
Faust/Melnikov/Queyras (HM)

Usually I reach for the first two; they have lots of fire and zest.

I've whittled my Dumkies down to this one, and I'm a happy camper:







Thank you, DD & Brian!
I'm not sure what to think about the MaKimAx performance yet, I hear a lot of terrific melodies and harmonies, but I don't feel that distinctive Dvorak quality. I know this incredible music is performed better. It's like watching Jack Nicholson portraying The Joker, great material, but I know it can be done better...Oh, thank you, Heath Ledger!  8)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Que on September 25, 2014, 01:09:12 PM
Friends, give me your Dumky.  8)

What is your favorite performance of the Op. 90 Piano Trio?

Q
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mc ukrneal on September 26, 2014, 09:56:25 AM

Q
Excellent choices!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 26, 2014, 02:31:15 PM

Q

Thanks, Q!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on September 26, 2014, 03:01:23 PM
Listening to these excellent performance of the tone poems:  :)

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: North Star on September 26, 2014, 04:15:55 PM
Listening to these excellent performance of the tone poems:  :)
Great pieces, Ray! Just the other day I listened to Neumann's recordings of them, and the 6th & 7th symphonies. I don't know though if I will ever manage to listen to the earlier symphonies again.  :-\
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on September 26, 2014, 05:34:03 PM
Great pieces, Ray! Just the other day I listened to Neumann's recordings of them, and the 6th & 7th symphonies. I don't know though if I will ever manage to listen to the earlier symphonies again.  :-\

Oh, I do hope you change your mind.  The 4th has long been my favourite symphony of Antonin.   :(
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on September 26, 2014, 05:45:53 PM
I believe it is true when some say that Dvorak's 6th Symphony is like a sister-work/sister-companion to Brahms' 2nd Symphony.  Regardless, the Dvo 6th is great (paging Greg Moeller).  ;D

FYI - Listening to Pesek/Czech Philharmonic recording.  :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: North Star on September 26, 2014, 05:50:12 PM
Oh, I do hope you change your mind.  The 4th has long been my favourite symphony of Antonin.   :(
I think I will, at least some of them, e.g. the 4th. I just tried the 1st earlier and it wasn't pleasant..
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on September 26, 2014, 05:56:57 PM
I think I will, at least some of them, e.g. the 4th. I just tried the 1st earlier and it wasn't pleasant..

I hope you will (especially the 4th).  To me, it may be one of the most lyrical Romantic Era symphonies ever composed (at least one that does not get enough mention).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on September 26, 2014, 06:21:17 PM
I think I will, at least some of them, e.g. the 4th. I just tried the 1st earlier and it wasn't pleasant..

I'm rapidly learning that there is a big, big difference between early Dvorak such as the 1st symphony, and slightly later works. The earliest stuff rambles badly in my experience (the first few string quartets), but by around 1874 he gets his act together in a big way.

In fact, one major Dvorak site cites Symphony No.4 as the first representative of the new (and much improved) style.

On a not unrelated point, I really wish we could all go back to the opus numbers that Dvorak and assigned and start using them, not the horrible mess that his publisher Simrock created. It's evident from various sources that a very large number of Dvorak's scores are extant and have opus numbers clearly inscribed on them, along with dates of composition.

The Burghauser numbers are quite good, but one thing that annoys me about them is that they seem to be based on when on a different principle to Dvorak's own numbering. Dvorak's numbers are based on when he started a work, but Burghauser's are based on when the work was finished.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on September 26, 2014, 07:35:45 PM
I don't know though if I will ever manage to listen to the earlier symphonies again.  :-\

Oh, do reconsider!

The First Symphony is simply not good, my least favorite Dvorak work, and I have nothing to say in its defense. I could forgive its length and verbosity if it weren't so self-serious, full of dramatic posturing and grandiose intent.

The Second Symphony is long and chatty, but instead of being gloomy, it's bucolic and rustic and fun. That makes the first two movements a lot easier listen, even though they're far from perfect. But - this is something I have argued on this forum for years - the scherzo and finale are Dvorak's declaration of independence. In these final 20 minutes, he finally puts together everything we recognize as vintage Dvorak: great tunes, great wind solos, churning rhythms, irresistible momentum, Czech folk spirit. Still not "perfect", but man are these two movements a big, flashing neon sign of what was to come.

The Third Symphony is, to me, a major work. I'm not in love with the first movement, which has only one theme and gets repetitive. But the feverish funeral march is a clear (Czech romantic) predecessor to Elgar's Second, and the joyous finale is hard not to like. This is my personal favorite and most-listened-to of the early symphonies, including even No. 5.

The Fourth Symphony is the most clearly Wagnerian in language (that slow movement!), and represents Dvorak's mastery of the classic "romantic symphony" narrative. You know: Mendelssohn, Gade, Raff, Glazunov, Svendsen, all those guys. Of that tradition, I'd rank Dvorak's Fourth very highly indeed. The scherzo is a firecracker. All four of these early works really demand a sharp, rhythmically tight, driven interpretation by an exciting conductor, but the Fourth's scherzo does especially, because it pops.

And then, just like orfeo said, we reach the turning point. For me the big year is 1875, when Dvorak wrote his lovely string quintet with bass (Op. 77), the Nocturne in B, first piano trio, first piano quartet, string serenade, and Fifth Symphony. What a year - and by the end of 1879, he had added another piano trio, the Symphonic Variations, Stabat Mater, wind serenade, sextet, String Quartets 8-10, a set of eight Slavonic Dances, and a first draft of the violin concerto. So 1874-5 are the turning point, but there were clear flashes of the greatness to come audible all the way back in the second half of the Second Symphony.

Great recordings of 2-4 include Suitner, Rowicki, and Anguelov, and for No. 4 I can also recommend Hengelbrock.

My personal list of Dvorak symphonies, from favorite to least, would be 8, 7, 6, 3, 9, 2, 4, 5, 1.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on September 26, 2014, 09:01:58 PM
I think I'm going to have to calculate my "Burghauser limit"  :D That is, the boundary between works I'm happy to listen to and the early ones that aren't as attractive.

I know I'm very happy with the first piano trio and first piano quartet (B.51 and B.53), plus there's the Serenade for strings (B.52). So that makes the 5th symphony safe territory.

I'm pretty sure I like the 7th string quartet (B.45). I'll have to go back and revisit the 5th and 6th quartets (B.37 and B.40)... better than the even earlier ones, but Dvorak himself found those works problematic. The 4th symphony is B.41 so it really is in that border region!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on September 26, 2014, 09:06:57 PM
The 4th symphony is B.41 so it really is in that border region!

The 4th Symphony isn't border line.  Don't focus so much on the number or earliness.  Just listen.  It is beautiful and sumptuous.  :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: North Star on September 27, 2014, 08:27:17 AM
Well, I listened to the 3rd and 4th today, and found them both very enjoyable. :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den: In Praise of The American Suite
Post by: Cato on October 30, 2014, 06:36:12 PM
Joseph Horowitz in the Oct. 30, 2014 Wall Street Journal wrote an essay about Dvorak's American Suite, and why it should not be neglected.

An excerpt:

Quote
The main reason we are not aware of this music is that for decades Czech and British Dvorak scholars denigrated it as inscrutable and insipid—and so it is, unless its Americanisms are recognized. That they were not was illustrated to me when I met a Czech pianist who had long played the “American” Suite in complete innocence that Dvorak very obviously has the piano imitate the characteristic sounds of a banjo. I can also remember reading an album note for a Nonesuch recording in which an American music critic, influenced by extant scholarship, off-handedly acknowledged that Dvorak’s Op. 98 was not identifiably “American.”

Certainly the “American” Suite has lacked inspired advocacy. But no longer. A new Harmonia Mundi recording by the young American James Gaffigan with Switzerland’s Lucerne Symphony (of which he is chief conductor) is revelatory. Mr. Gaffigan has not unearthed the “American” Suite as a novelty for curious inspection; rather, he brandishes it as a true believer. The suite is here vindicated as top-drawer Dvorak—albeit Dvorak in a foreign tongue (the Symphony No. 6, on the same CD, seems like music by another composer)
.


See:

http://online.wsj.com/articles/new-song-for-the-new-world-on-antonin-dvoraks-american-suite-1414620680?KEYWORDS=Dvorak (http://online.wsj.com/articles/new-song-for-the-new-world-on-antonin-dvoraks-american-suite-1414620680?KEYWORDS=Dvorak)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: kishnevi on October 30, 2014, 06:45:10 PM
Good Lord!  Even when talking about Dvorak, New York can not overcome its feelings of inferiority to Boston!
The CD I assume us this one.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/91jB0LWv0CL._SX522_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 31, 2014, 03:33:21 AM
Joseph Horowitz in the Oct. 30, 2014 Wall Street Journal wrote an essay about Dvorak's American Suite, and why it should not be neglected.

An excerpt:


See:

http://online.wsj.com/articles/new-song-for-the-new-world-on-antonin-dvoraks-american-suite-1414620680?KEYWORDS=Dvorak (http://online.wsj.com/articles/new-song-for-the-new-world-on-antonin-dvoraks-american-suite-1414620680?KEYWORDS=Dvorak)

Thanks for this . . . it's a piece which I have neglected, following the herd.  But I shall check it out!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 31, 2014, 03:39:53 AM
The 4th Symphony isn't border line.  Don't focus so much on the number or earliness.  Just listen.  It is beautiful and sumptuous.  :)

Ray is correct. I've been listening to the 4th more than any of Dvorak's symphonies the past few months. I now don't categorize it, or even hear it, as an early symphony. I think its on par with what is generally considered his best.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Cato on October 31, 2014, 03:49:23 AM
Ray is correct. I've been listening to the 4th more than any of Dvorak's symphonies the past few months. I now don't categorize it, or even hear it, as an early symphony. I think its on par with what is generally considered his best.

Yes!!!  The dance-like melody in the first movement of the Fourth is ineffably beautiful: wistful, yearning, highly expressive of so many thoughts and memories, depending on the listener of course!   ;)

I heard it on an old Supraphon recording over 50 years ago, and thought it was just perfect, "early" symphony or not!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on October 31, 2014, 03:51:57 AM
I dig that mysterious opening! I bought the Kertesz recording recently. I had the Naxos recording before that. Okay,but this one did it for me. Anyone heard the Suitner recording?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Cato on October 31, 2014, 04:08:39 AM
I dig that mysterious opening! I bought the Kertesz recording recently. I had the Naxos recording before that. Okay,but this one did it for me. Anyone heard the Suitner recording?

I recall eagerly awaiting every Kertesz recording of the symphonies and anything else: despite their age, they remain some of the finest.  Sarge recommended the Witold Rowicki, and he is on target again!

Suitner I have not heard.

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on October 31, 2014, 04:39:50 AM
I've got the American Suite in the Warner "Dvorak 100th Anniversary" box set. Zinman and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. But I haven't actually listened to it yet, still working through the box.

But of course it isn't even originally an orchestral piece.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 31, 2014, 04:42:49 AM
But of course it isn't even originally an orchestral piece.

We can say that equally of the Slavonic Dances, whose greatness as an orchestral transcription suffers no doubt  ;)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jo498 on October 31, 2014, 04:46:01 AM
I am thinking about getting the Kondrashin recording of the 9th (not that I really needed another one, but this is highly regarded). Apparently there are two reissues, once coupled with the "Czech Suite", once with the "American Suite" (I think Dorati is conducting the suites). I do not have either suite in my collection, which one should I get? Or is there an obvious recommendation for another recording of one of the suites or both?

Aside: I think the Slavonic dances are considerably better for orchestra. I feel almost the opposite way with Brahms' hungarian dances...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on October 31, 2014, 05:35:33 AM
We can say that equally of the Slavonic Dances, whose greatness as an orchestral transcription suffers no doubt  ;)

Yes, I'm well aware.

In fact, I would say Dvorak is one of the relatively few composers where I don't have my usual severe hang-up about later orchestrations, because most of them are hardly "later" at all. They are very much part of his standard compositional practice.

I would still like, though, for the original versions to get as much airtime as the orchestrations (especially for Ravel, but let's not get into that here).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 31, 2014, 05:44:54 AM
I would still like, though, for the original versions to get as much airtime as the orchestrations (especially for Ravel, but let's not get into that here).

Fair enow, friend.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Chris L. on March 12, 2015, 12:01:57 AM
Does anyone know why Dvorak's earliest String Quartet in D major is without an opus number? Is it that he never gave it one or that it was somehow lost to history? This is unlike Dvorak who tended to follow traditional classical themes in the naming of his works and their movements.

On another strange note, this quartet is clocking in at 72'21 in length on my Brilliant set as performed by Stamitz Quartet, an unusually long quartet for any composer or period especially considering it was his 1st. Perhaps he never intended it to be published, or he just never got around to editing and revising it?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on March 12, 2015, 12:44:37 AM
Does anyone know why Dvorak's earliest String Quartet in D major is without an opus number? Is it that he never gave it one or that it was somehow lost to history? This is highly unlike Dvorak who tended to follow traditional classical themes in the naming of his works and their movements.

On another strange note, this quartet is clocking in at 72'21 in length on my Brilliant set as performed by Stamitz Quartet, an unusually long quartet for any composer or period especially considering it was his 1st. Perhaps he never intended it to be published, or he just never got around to editing and revising it?

I get curious about these sorts of things myself, and I find this site (http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/works), which has several different works lists arranged in different ways and with a fair bit of information, often quite helpful on these questions.

It doesn't give any indication that the three early quartets without opus numbers ever actually had opus numbers, and Dvorak destroyed the scores so they've only survived because someone still had the parts. It's vaguely possible that the scores had opus numbers, but the parts didn't. It's also possible that he just never saw them as pieces for publication. There's no gap in the opus numbers that these quartets would slot into.

As to why it's so long, the main reason in my opinion is just that Dvorak was very long-winded at that point of his career and hadn't yet learned out how to edit and structure his tunes. Also, he was in love with Wagner and this encouraged him to try to make things of Wagnerian proportions.

But it's not Dvorak's first quartet. It's his third. That Stamitz set does some odd things with claimed opus numbers that no other source I've seen agrees with. They claim that two other quartets are "opus 4" and "opus 10" and I've got no idea where they get that from.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Chris L. on March 12, 2015, 12:54:30 AM


But it's not Dvorak's first quartet. It's his third.
Thanks for the info, and I'll check that site out. I was assuming the quartet in D Major was his first since it was the first disc in the box set and because the notes had mentioned it being an early work, thought to have been composed around 1870. All the the other quartets in this complete set do have opus numbers, so I'm not sure what you mean when you said three of his quartets didn't have them.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on March 12, 2015, 12:58:10 AM
All the the other quartets in this complete set do have opus numbers, so I'm not sure what you mean when you said three of his quartets didn't have them.

I've edited my post above to explain this. The box you have has gone off on its own flight of fancy. Certainly it's non-standard.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Chris L. on March 12, 2015, 01:01:14 AM
I've edited my post above to explain this. The box you have has gone off on its own flight of fancy. Certainly it's non-standard.
Hmm... I guess that's what I get for buying the bargain Brilliant box.  ???
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on March 12, 2015, 01:04:17 AM
PS In fact, everybody else thinks that "opus 4" is Symphony No.2, and "opus 10" is Symphony No.3, so I find myself thinking that someone putting together that set got distracted at some point or troubled by the lack of opus numbers and grabbed them off a symphony list.

Because I seriously cannot find any independent source that agrees with Brilliant/Stamitz - the only things I can find that think "opus 4" and "opus 10" are string quartets are quoting from that box set.

But I don't think Brilliant are especially known for making mistakes of that kind. Most of what I've seen of theirs online is fine.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Chris L. on March 12, 2015, 01:07:16 AM
PS In fact, everybody else thinks that "opus 4" is Symphony No.2, and "opus 10" is Symphony No.3, so I find myself thinking that someone putting together that set got distracted at some point or troubled by the lack of opus numbers and grabbed them off a symphony list.

Because I seriously cannot find any independent source that agrees with Brilliant/Stamitz - the only things I can find that think "opus 4" and "opus 10" are string quartets are quoting from that box set.

But I don't think Brilliant are especially known for making mistakes of that kind. Most of what I've seen of theirs online is fine.
So the Op. 4 & Op. 10 on the Brilliant set are actually the other two quartets you mentioned with the missing Op. numbers?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on March 12, 2015, 01:26:07 AM
So the Op. 4 & Op. 10 on the Brilliant set are actually the other two quartets you mentioned with missing Op. numbers?

I believe so. That other website should help sort it out, it neatly shows the list of the quartets, and based on the keys and a process of elimination it must be.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Chris L. on March 12, 2015, 01:37:20 AM
I believe so. That other website should help sort it out, it neatly shows the list of the quartets, and based on the keys and a process of elimination it must be.
I also find it odd that they only bothered to include the catalog numbers for 4 of the works on this set, B17, B57, B120 & B152. The rest do not have any catalog numbers listed, even though they all have them according to that website. Why?

Yeah... the Brilliant/Stamitz set leaves a lot to be desired in the way of academic research. I'm glad I asked about this, otherwise I may have gone on believing these works had the correct Op. numbers. Thanks Orfeo!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on March 12, 2015, 01:49:42 AM
Every work should have a B number (for Burghauser). Burghauser made his catalogue because the opus numbers are a bit unreliable. Mostly this isn't Dvorak's fault, it's the fault of his publisher, who changed the opus numbers of early works that he published once Dvorak was famous, so that people would think they were brand new works. For example, the quartet that is now known as "opus 80" was actually "opus 27" on Dvorak's manuscript.

It's a real pity, because it does seem that Dvorak was quite conscientious about his opus numbers. The front pages of his manuscripts usually have a very clear number on them.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jo498 on March 12, 2015, 02:01:14 AM
The Brilliant set is licensed from Bayer Records, so it might be possible they just copied the mistakes.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on December 02, 2015, 01:07:58 AM
Good heavens, is no-one listening to poor Antonin?

Those of you who hang around on the Brahms thread know I've been going through all the big Brahms chamber works chronologically (very, very slowly, as is my habit). I decided to do the same over here with Dvorak as I own the big ticket items: the string quartets, piano trios, piano quartets, some quintets, the sextet.  I don't have any of the works for violin and piano though (am I right in thinking they're smaller scale besides the sole violin sonata?).

I'm also cheating by skipping the earliest works and beginning with String Quartet No.7 (op.16/B.45), which to me is when Dvorak has solved some earlier problems and embarked upon his more mature style. See previous discussions about my 'Burghauser limit'!  :D It's also apparently the first of his chamber works that came out in print, which is a landmark in itself.

I'm not sure whether I'm going to try to write about them all like I've been doing with the Brahms... I suppose one of the reasons I do these listening exercises is to become more familiar with individual pieces, and their individual character. The standout movement of SQ No.7 for me is the scherzo. But I enjoy the whole thing, lots of flowing melodies in the first couple of movements and then a finale that enjoys a good gallop.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jo498 on December 02, 2015, 01:26:30 AM
The most famous violin/piano piece is the "sonatina" op.100 Dvorak wrote for his children. It's fairly lightweight but quite characteristically Dvorakian and very nice. The actual sonata is earlier, somewhat longer and there are a bunch or shorter pieces, probably not all essential listening. But the sonata and the sonatina are certainly worthwhile, more important works than the early string quartets.

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on December 02, 2015, 05:49:17 AM
Thanks, duly noted.

It seems I can digest Dvorak more easily than Brahms, because I've already decided to move on to String Quintet No.2 (op.18 but for Simrock who turned it into 77/B.49)



This is the quintet with double bass, and personally I really notice the difference this makes to the texture. It seems to add a mellowness to the music... the way the work starts, hesitatingly, certainly gives that impression, and I find the way the 1st movement picks up and works towards a strong conclusion really interesting. The 'poco andante' 3rd movement uses the double bass very effectively, steadily and quietly punching out a rhythm that the higher instruments flow over. I think that's my favourite movement, but the whole thing is enjoyable (as so much Dvorak is!).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on December 04, 2015, 02:36:50 AM
I've moved on to Piano Trio No.1, op.21 (B.51)



I am most definitely falling in love with the 1st movement. There's something so sunny and confident about it. It's the longest movement so far in this exercise (13.5 minutes on this version), but doesn't outstay its welcome. Admittedly I haven't listened to Dvorak's earliest works this time around, but my recollection is that listening to them was tiring rather than invigorating. By the time of these 'early' works I'm listening to (about 1874-5) he has SO much more control of structure and maintaining variety for the ear.

The 2nd movement, Adagio molto e mesto, has real intensity of feeling. The allegretto scherzando is rather lyrical and not a full-on scherzo. Like so much Dvorak it's a total delight - I think Haydn is the only other composer who can make me smile so regularly. After that, the finale is a really satisfying conclusion, rolling along with just the right amount of inevitability.

Thoroughly enjoyable all round.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on December 05, 2015, 02:05:23 AM
What does Dvorak do straight after writing a fine Piano Trio No.1 (okay, actually his third but the others are gone)?

Write a possibly even finer Piano Quartet No.1, op.23.



And we really are talking a short timeframe here. Dvorak recorded his dates of composition fairly consistently. Op.21 was finished on 14 May 1875 (as was op.22) and op.23 was started on 24 May. And the quartet took him less than 3 weeks.

Only 3 movements this time, but the work as a whole is actually longer (at least on my recording). The opening Allegro moderato is a superb 15-minute epic, with the distinctive rhythm of the opening cropping up again and again. It's expansive, it's lyrical, and I think it's the best movement yet in this listening exercise. The middle movement is a theme & variations with plenty of feeling. The finale is a fairly sunny affair, but has lots of surprising shifts of rhythm.

Great stuff. I don't know why the focus tends to be so much on Dvorak's works from 10-20 years later, because these pieces from 1874-5 when he first got his scholarship and could concentrate on composing are top notch.

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on December 06, 2015, 03:27:57 PM
I refer to 1875 as the "miracle year" where Dvorak took a massive leap forward, from diverting composer to great composer. And that is in part because of my unending love affair with the string quintet Op. 77 (with bass), which began at a live concert in college. Lord, I love that piece, even the discarded "bonus" slow movement (Nocturne in B). One of the biggest thrills of discovering Dvorak, for me, was the theme about a minute into the scherzo - it uses only 4-5 notes, repeated over and over, but those 4-5 notes...magic. Amazed me, at the time, that you could tug such emotion out of such apparently-minimal effort. Economy of style, but luxury of expression.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mc ukrneal on December 06, 2015, 04:47:44 PM
I refer to 1875 as the "miracle year" where Dvorak took a massive leap forward, from diverting composer to great composer.
Not really. His first four symphonies are more than diverting, as is the cello concerto (and a number of chamber works). 
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on December 06, 2015, 05:06:09 PM
What does Dvorak do straight after writing a fine Piano Trio No.1 (okay, actually his third but the others are gone)?

Write a possibly even finer Piano Quartet No.1, op.23.

Both of those piano 4tets are top-shelf chamber works. I slightly prefer Op. 87 for its tighter structure and dramatic sense, but the early one is wonderful too in its relaxed charm. I have both of them on the New Vlach Qt. Naxos CD.

Great stuff. I don't know why the focus tends to be so much on Dvorak's works from 10-20 years later, because these pieces from 1874-5 when he first got his scholarship and could concentrate on composing are top notch.

I can understand the focus on the mature works, but the early works have their own attraction. I had a general "Op. 40 rule" for a long time where I would discount works with lower opus numbers, but that rule has turned out not to hold very well.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on December 07, 2015, 02:34:54 AM
As can be seen from my posts, I currently have an "op.16" rule...

Today I've been listening to both Piano Trio No.2 (op.26) and String Quartet No.8 (should be op.27, Simrock made it op.80). They were written one straight after the other, in early 1876.

I'm not going to keep waxing lyrical about all the movements, because it's a bit repetitive. Oh okay, apart from highlighting the middle movements of the quartet...

What I will mention is the sheer stupidity of some commentary you can find in liner notes. Dvorak's first daughter was born on 19 August 1875 and died on 21 August 1875. He was working on an opera at the time, and these 2 chamber pieces are the first works written after that.

On the one hand, my CD of the Piano Trio says "people keep looking for great tragedy in the Trio but that isn't really Dvorak's style", and I pretty much agree with that. But my string quartet box drops this great clanger:

Quote
The years 1874 and 1875 were highly successful for Dvorak [then lists the successes]. It is therefore difficult to understand why the works Dvorak wrote at the beginning of 1876 bear so many marks of melancholy, disquiet and anxiety.

Which is just incredibly dense. It'd be one thing to not comment at all, but to comment on the tone of the music and say "gosh, he should've been happy, we've got no clue why he might not have been" is absurd. And the same liner notes actually mention the death of 2 more of Dvorak's children in 1877.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on December 07, 2015, 05:23:39 AM
Which is just incredibly dense. It'd be one thing to not comment at all, but to comment on the tone of the music and say "gosh, he should've been happy, we've got no clue why he might not have been" is absurd. And the same liner notes actually mention the death of 2 more of Dvorak's children in 1877.
Yeah, what a dumb quote, yeesh. "Why, I've never heard of a man having professional successes that outpaced his personal happiness!" [ignores half of artists on earth]
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on December 10, 2015, 06:51:12 AM
Listening to String Quartet No.9 (op.34) tonight. Dedicated to Brahms.



It's funny, I kind of didn't warm to this one at first, and then I was seriously taken with the 3rd movement Adagio (which multiple commentaries single out for special mention) and also the finale.

For some reason the 1st movement is reminding me of Schubert's 13th quartet (Rosamunde), even though I haven't listened to that for ages and they're probably barely alike... and the acceleration at the end of the movement is very Dvorak and not at all Schubertian. The 2nd movement Polka seems to stop and start in some surprising places.

And then the Adagio, con sordino, comes across as a very different sound-world. Veiled and also rich, with lots of double stops. It's almost as if I'm suddenly listening to a quintet or sextet.

Then the finale is a quartet again, skipping and waltzing along, rarely free of an insistent drumming rhythm.

Perhaps not my favourite work overall, despite the riveting Adagio, but still thoroughly good quality and well worth a listen.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on December 16, 2015, 01:57:32 AM
I've been playing the Sextet op.48 (B.80) today. A lot.



And reading about it. This was apparently one of Dvorak's first significant international successes, right around the same time as the first set of Slavonic Dances as well. It was premiered in Berlin and made it to London and New York within a matter of months. It's also apparently the first time there's a "Dumka" in one of his works.

Lots of great tunes, as usual, but to me it feels as if there are closer connections between many of them this time around. In the opening movement it's the distinctive contour and dotted rhythm of the 2nd subject that makes the biggest impression. But it's rhythmically not that different from the 1st subject, and then the theme of the Dumka really has an echo of the opening movement's 1st subject.

The finale stands out for me. It's a theme and variations, which is straightforward enough, but the theme has these delicious and ambiguous harmonic twists in it. I particularly love one variation where the 3 upper voices have ghostly sustained notes while the 3 lower voices do the main work underneath.

There's of course a great richness and colour to the music thanks to having 6 instruments to work with.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on December 26, 2015, 01:23:05 AM
Having wandered off to other music for a bit, I'm back at String Quartet No.10, op.51 (B.92).



Nicknamed "Slavonic", and with some justification for once because this was a commissioned work (itself a sign of Dvorak's growing fame), and the quartet specifically asked the composer for a work with Slavic character.

The very opening is, at least on this recording, one of the most wonderfully serene things. It's just glowing and warm. And indeed the whole movement has that sort of feel to it. For me it's one of those pieces of music to just sink back into in pleasure.

The following Dumka is like some medieval song, complete with strummed accompaniment, very lyrical and still quite warm despite it's minor key. And then it breaks out into this vibrant dance in the middle. The Romanza is all lyricism and passion.

After that the finale adds some rhythm and sparkle to proceedings. Truth be told I'm not quite as in love with this movement as the rest, but it's a lot of fun and I think that's more the point of it.

All in all I tend to think this is one of my favourite Dvorak chamber works, which given the general standard is a pretty big call.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on January 08, 2016, 04:00:00 AM
If I had the violin sonata it would've appeared next...

...but I don't yet so I'm up to String Quartet No.11, op.61 (B.121).

And wow. There's just something really special about the way this quartet manages to hover between major and minor at important points. The first movement (which is a very lengthy one by mature Dvorak's chamber standards) does it straight away, and while the whole movement flows beautifully, it never really becomes openly sunny in mood.

Several sources describe this quartet as the nearest Dvorak gets to Beethoven, and I can kind of understand what they mean. There's a little bit of a sense of tension, and also an emphasis on motivic development. I mean, there are still most definitely tunes (this is Dvorak!), but it's not expansively lyrical.

Some passages of the 2nd movement poco adagio e molto cantabile have the same sense of harmonic shifts, of teetering between major and minor, and a real yearning quality. In fact it reminds me of Faure. Not exactly the same, but those characteristics give the music similar emotional qualities to Faure's chamber works.

The 3rd movement is more of a genuine scherzo than some of Dvorak's equivalent movements. The 4th movement is a bit dance-flavoured, but the main theme has this off-key beginning that seems to fit with the harmonic qualities of the whole work. And at one point I'm quite sure there's a reference back to the 1st movement, even though none of the brief commentaries I've read mention it.

I do an absolutely terrible job of describing my reactions to Dvorak, I know. In some ways the reaction keeps being the same, because at its heart all about the incredible lyricism he brought to classical-romantic forms. But so many of them are so good. And this quartet is satisfying the entire way through, and just a tiny bit more 'intellectual' in feel than some of the others.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on January 10, 2016, 12:36:31 AM
Oh, I've been looking forward to this one... Piano Trio No.3, op.65 (B.130)



Why? Well, because it made a genuine impression the first time around when I was listening to the piano trios and piano quartets, when I acquired them. This was a work that made me go "wow! that was good".

There's a site on Dvorak that suggests this is one of his major achievements in chamber music, and also one of the best piano trios in the repertoire, and I'm not going to disagree. There are also a few commentaries that link it to Symphony no.7, and that's very understandable. Similar timeframe (early 1883 versus 1884/5), similar dark and dramatic tone that isn't considered typical. This is Dvorak doing really "serious" music.

And doing it darn well. The 1st movement is full of drama and in my view it doesn't have a dull moment. The 2nd movement lightens the texture, but is still in a minor key and has a fiery tone to its dance. The central section has just a hint of warmth, but even then there's still an edge of intensity.

The 3rd movement... the opening cello tune and then the violin's copy and extension of it is just so flat out gorgeous, it's criminal. There's a feeling that here we have some calm, but not quite because of the way it turns. And the harmonic shifts... gah. It's beautiful. And then it turns out that the whole movement is built out of that tune.

The finale has a certain sense of folk/dance to its main theme, but with cross-rhythms constantly disrupting it. It's the longest finale I've yet come across in this listening cycle, and arguably the most complex. The ending is really something, it feels several times as if the work is set to end in a major key triumph, but more than once the music gets cut down, before it finally does get there.

You, um, can probably tell I really like this one.  :D If you ever hear someone dismissing Dvorak as someone who could write a good tune but not develop a form, get them to give this a listen.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on January 10, 2016, 02:41:02 PM
I just want to say your series of posts has ignited all the memories of the first times I heard these pieces - plus a desire to listen to them all again, reading the posts as an accompaniment. Might just do that this week. Keep discovering and sharing!

Can't wait til you get to my favorite: Quartet No. 13 :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on January 10, 2016, 03:51:05 PM
I'm pretty sure that's another one I'm specifically looking forward to revisiting. Although I do have trouble keeping 13 and 14 straight in my head. Dvorak was quite clear about his opus numbers there, but we all ignore them...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on January 17, 2016, 02:36:33 AM
There's now what appears to be the largest gap between chamber works in the Dvorak chronology, a whole 4 years!

Op.65 was written early in 1883. It looks as if Dvorak did other things until 1887, when he composed some smaller pieces for string trio that I don't have, and then later in the year...

Piano Quintet No.2, op.81 (or op.77 before Simrock ruined things...) (B.155)



The 1st movement just flat out amazes me with the ways it shifts and changes. It starts off with the most ridiculously placid tune you can imagine, and then after a few bars WHAM!, we're in totally different territory.

And then the epic Dumka changes mood as well - although being called a "dumka" gives fairer warning. A slow, slightly stately main section gives way to somewhat more animated, brighter music at times, and on one occasion a flat out sprint.

The Furiant/scherzo is relatively straightforward, sparkling in the 'A' section and more mellow in the trio, delightful in either. The finale continues in a similar vein, but during the coda it slows down in incredibly beautiful fashion.

So the overriding impression I get of this piece is the richness and variety of it. There's a light and grace to all this music, too, a transparency of texture despite the forces being used. No doubt helped by Susan Tomes basically being one of the greatest chamber music pianists.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Eli on January 29, 2016, 05:01:53 PM
Dvorak is really an underated composer. Years ago by accident I listen to a disk of his piano quintets. The first isnt bad and the second is wonderful music with everything, excitement, sadness playfulness, drama. Not a boring moment. I remember hearing his 9th and the cello concerto, but never really went further for some unexplainable reason.

I've been giving his 7th symphony an ear and haven't been so excited about music in years. I wonder why he's such a secret. Maybe it's half the fun.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on February 05, 2016, 05:51:19 AM
On and off this week I've been listening to Piano Quartet No.2, op.87 (B.162).



One of the things that strikes me about this one is that it feels relatively direct. After saying that the last few works shifted and changed, or were serious 'classical' works, this one is more about just laying out the tunes. Certainly, the 1st movement gets right to it in a bold fashion, and the 2nd movement (with an opening theme that seems very related to the 1st movement's) is an exercise in lyricism.

Which is not to say the music is unsophisticated. Rather, the music is immediately and easily appealing at the same time.

The 3rd movement is the one that really surprises me. In the outer sections, it's sort of a waltz rather than a scherzo, with some very Eastern-sounding moments, and there's one little passage which one commentary suggests is meant to evoke a cimbalom but frankly to my modern ears ends up sounding more like Dvorak has suddenly arrived in Trinidad and discovered steel drums! A bit disconcerting. Then the central section is more animated, a real folk dance.

The finale has that directness again; just like the 1st movement, it starts boldly and spends a lot of time working with versions of its initial theme, but this one has a rhythmic bounce to it. Thoroughly enjoyable!

And that's true of the whole work. I perhaps wouldn't put it quite in the absolute top rank of my personal Dvorak favourites, but like so many of his compositions it's got a wonderful energy.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on February 26, 2016, 07:04:09 PM
About time I finished tinkering with op.90, the Piano Trio of Dumky.



My memory of when I first listened to this is of being just a little disappointed. It's the whole structure thing... Six movements all the same? Hey, where's my sonata form?!

So it took some adjusting of expectations. And it's certainly an interesting form. It doesn't play as 6 pieces of the same kind, which actually would be something that's been done many times. It plays as a single, unfolding piece through a chain of movements.

Add to that, dumky do play to some of Dvorak's strengths (and of course he'd already used them a number of times). A mix of lyrical melodies and energetic folk rhythms. There are some lovely moments. I particularly like the way the opening of the 1st dumka avoids a sense of resolution on the tonic, keeping everything in suspense until the faster music comes. I like the fast sections of the 3rd dumka a lot, and the 4th dumka does some interesting things that feel a little different from what's gone before.

And yet, and yet... I can't help feeling that overall piece suffers from a sense of predictability and ends up being staid. You don't know all the details, but you know there'll be a slow section and then it will pick up and be vibrant and then it will go back to the slow music again. The form is a deliberately simple, folk-influenced one, and while it can provide beautiful moments I'm not completely persuaded it's enough to sustain a large-scale piece.

I'm remotely saying I don't enjoy listening to it. But it feels like, compared to other Dvorak works, I'm more likely to stick this one in the background and only pay vague attention to it.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jo498 on February 27, 2016, 12:25:20 AM
The Dumky Trio is definetely a potboiler, especially live.
But I agree that it can get "stale" fairly soon, maybe the Florestan Trio is a little "too polite" as well (I have not heard it). In any case, the other trios (esp. the 3rd) are very good and do not deserve to be overshadowed by the Dumky as it is often the case.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Que on February 28, 2016, 10:39:48 AM
The Dumky Trio is definetely a potboiler, especially live.
But I agree that it can get "stale" fairly soon, maybe the Florestan Trio is a little "too polite" as well (I have not heard it). In any case, the other trios (esp. the 3rd) are very good and do not deserve to be overshadowed by the Dumky as it is often the case.

Florestan is probably too "polished" and polite, I agree....
The fault can't lie with Dvorák, it is one of his best compositions... :)

Try the Suk Trio (Supraphon), or if you like a modern recording:


Q
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: aukhawk on March 02, 2016, 05:23:05 AM
Or Queyras / Faust / Melnikov maybe.

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on March 13, 2016, 10:45:37 PM
So, it's finally time for that ubiquitous String Quartet No.12 composed in America...



...and knock me over with a feather, because honestly I think this is the most I've ever enjoyed it. I'm not sure if it's because I'm getting to know it better, or because I put it on while doing other things and so was listening more at the macro-scale and not obsessing over every single note, but for some reason all that blatant lyricism is winning me over this time.

Yeah, okay, so there are still moments like the 3rd movement where it feels a little bit simplistic. A little while ago I read something suggesting that the 12th quartet is relatively easy to play, and maybe that's one reason why it gets heard so much more often than the others. And it's texture is noticeably more 'melody plus accompaniment' than usual (I'm relieved to find this isn't just in my head).  But on the whole, Dvorak does some pretty snazzy things with those 'simple' tunes.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 06, 2016, 07:49:57 AM
Going to hear the Stabat Mater performed live in Keene, New Hampshire tonight.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on April 16, 2016, 04:08:05 AM
I've been pottering around with String Quintet No.3 (op.97 / B.180)



One commentary pointed out that, like the op.96 quartet, the texture is more often melody/accompaniment than in other works.

The start is so relaxed and warm, though it does quickly develop a bit more edge. But overall it's isn't hard to imagine Dvorak happily holidaying in Iowa. The tunes seem to have that slight American tinge to them. The way the end of the 1st movement winds down is rather fascinating.

The scherzo quietly throbs with an allegedly native American rhythm, even in the slower middle section with its long melody. The 3rd movement theme and variations starts off in extremely leisurely fashion, and while it does have faster decoration it always feels so relaxed except for one variation. The theme shifts from minor to major halfway through, in a very subtle manner... but it's honestly hard to grasp that this is connected with Dvorak's proposal for an American national anthem!

The closing rondo has a distinctly galloping gait in its main theme. I really like the contrast with the (native-American influenced) 'B' section. The whole work is filled with richness and warmth, not surprising with the extra viola. Even by the standards of Dvorak this is approachable and happy music.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on April 18, 2016, 04:00:31 AM
I've decided to stick with Dvorak's numbering, not future judgement, so it's time for String Quartet No.14 (op.105/B.193)



This is the work that Dvorak started in America, but put aside for a while to work on no.13 and didn't complete until about 9 months later - quite a gap by his standards.

There's something uneasy about the 1st movement, with it's slow minor-keyish beginning. It never quite manages to sound bright and cheerful. There's a hesitant quality to the music that holds everything back. It's very interesting and subtle.

The 2nd movement dance has a real richness and depth to it (more like a quintet than a quartet), while the central section is lyrical without losing energy. The 3rd movement sounds at first like a rather straightforward tune, but it gets richer and richer as it goes. At times it feels as the music is struggling to contain itself within the confines of the form.

The finale briefly flirts with trouble like the opening movement did, but quickly bursts into eager energy. It has the same quality of richness as the rest of the work. Everything is just that little bit introspective and mellow. Okay, maybe not everything, as by the end of the movement it's pretty vigorous!

But it's extraordinarily rich music, very sophisticated. 21 years after the quartet no.7 that I started this survey with, Dvorak is fully in command of his resources.

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on April 19, 2016, 05:56:29 AM
And then I could only manage to wait about 24 hours before launching into String Quartet No.13 (op.106 / B.192).


Mostly because the opening sticks in the mind, as one of the most flat-out joyous opening gestures in all music. The leaps and trills are magical. The whole 1st movement is full of energy and colour.

The opening of the 2nd movement Adagio immediately brings a different sound, with the music at a lower pitch and excursions towards minor keys. It's warm and rich, a touch melodramatic. The movement in fact gets very melodramatic in places, bursting with passion and more sound than 4 instruments ought to be able to make.

The 3rd movement molto vivace would be relatively straightforward if it wasn't for the rather surprising shifts in key that occur. The finale has the briefest of slow introductions before being just as energetic as the scherzo had been, with a very strong folk-music feel to it. There are a number of changes of pace along the way, and excursions into themes from previous movements. I think this might be one of Dvorak's most engaging finales.

The piece as a whole? A definite winner. If I'm not entirely convinced by the scherzo just now, it's only a relative weakness compared to the other excellent movements, particularly the first and last. It's yet another piece of Dvorak chamber music that deserves to be widely heard.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on April 19, 2016, 07:06:47 AM
more sound than 4 instruments ought to be able to make.
This is the key for me, and why I love that quartet in particular so much. It's absolutely symphonic - the scale, the dynamic range, the epic size, the hugeness/unsubtlety of the emotional import. It's like having a Symphony No. 10. Am very happy, as always to be reading your thoughts on these pieces!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jo498 on April 19, 2016, 09:56:59 AM
The last two quartets are among Dvorak's greatest works, unfortunately not as well known as the much lighter "American" F major (which is also great but not as good as the last two). I used to prefer the A flat major (I refer to them by key because I cannot keep the numbering straight) because it was "tighter" and more classical but I now think that the expansive G major is even more original and greater. It sounds orchestral but does not sacrifice detail and musical substance for orchestral effects.

I recommend two recordings that are almost polar opposites: An early 60s stereo recording with the (old) Vlach quartet that has an incredibly warm and earthy sound and is completely idiomatic, of course.

And the Artemis quartet who play parts of it reminding one of Janacek (coupled with his 2nd), that is as a more modern piece, but very passionate nevertheless.


Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on April 19, 2016, 11:54:35 PM
Am very happy, as always to be reading your thoughts on these pieces!

Well, I'm glad you're getting something out of it. I've actually found it harder work for Dvorak than with any of my other attempts to describe what I'm listening to. There's something same-ish about much of his music, and believe me I mean that in the nicest possible way because the overarching quality is this incredible gift for lyricism and melody.

It's just such a dominant part of his musical personality. And even after going through this exercise, I can find it a bit hard to differentiate pieces, because I'm just having the same reaction so often. Yet another great tune, yet another work that makes me happy and satisfied and glad that I had the time to listen. Dvorak is a composer I turn to for happiness and relaxation, even with pieces in minor keys. The only other composer I have a similar reaction to is Haydn. These are the guys I turn to for humanity and warmth and to feel better about the world.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 20, 2016, 03:19:00 AM
Well, I'm glad you're getting something out of it. I've actually found it harder work for Dvorak than with any of my other attempts to describe what I'm listening to. There's something same-ish about much of his music, and believe me I mean that in the nicest possible way because the overarching quality is this incredible gift for lyricism and melody.

I think that, to a degree, that may be a function of how far back we go with the listening.  I.e., I found a challenge likewise in the work of Haydn.  Or rather, the "sameness" was the barrier decades ago (and my native fondness for newer music, with its frequent emphasis on contrast, inclined me to dismiss music of "sameness");  but now that I listen to Haydn better, and give him his time and attention, I enjoy the variety of content without knocking my shins against the rhetorical "sameness."  Make any sense?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on April 20, 2016, 03:41:37 AM
I think that, to a degree, that may be a function of how far back we go with the listening.  I.e., I found a challenge likewise in the work of Haydn.  Or rather, the "sameness" was the barrier decades ago (and my native fondness for newer music, with its frequent emphasis on contrast, inclined me to dismiss music of "sameness");  but now that I listen to Haydn better, and give him his time and attention, I enjoy the variety of content without knocking my shins against the rhetorical "sameness."  Make any sense?

It makes sense to me, and I think orfeo will most definitely catch up with us as he becomes more familiar with Dvorak's music. After all, he's talking about first impressions of stuff we've probably heard 50+ times. Even so, orfeo has already managed - with amazing conciseness - to precisely capture just why I love Dvorak so much:

Dvorak is a composer I turn to for happiness and relaxation, even with pieces in minor keys. The only other composer I have a similar reaction to is Haydn. These are the guys I turn to for humanity and warmth and to feel better about the world.

(On my favorites list, Dvorak is still #2 only to Beethoven himself.)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on April 20, 2016, 04:26:07 AM
I think that, to a degree, that may be a function of how far back we go with the listening.  I.e., I found a challenge likewise in the work of Haydn.  Or rather, the "sameness" was the barrier decades ago (and my native fondness for newer music, with its frequent emphasis on contrast, inclined me to dismiss music of "sameness");  but now that I listen to Haydn better, and give him his time and attention, I enjoy the variety of content without knocking my shins against the rhetorical "sameness."  Make any sense?

Absolutely.

Don't get me wrong, it's not as if I'm listening to each piece and thinking "ho hum, they're all the same". (Also Brian, none of these are quite first listens, though in a lot of cases this is only the second "session", the first having been when I first purchased a disc.)

What I mean is that there is an overall consistency of the mood it generates, and indeed a consistency in the music. Which is not, um... the same as a general sameness. As I'm listening to an individual work, I am very much enjoying that specific work.

And some pieces do stand out from the pack, e.g. as I think I mentioned along the way I was specifically looking forward to revisiting the Piano Trio No.3 and String Quartet No.13 because both of them had made more specific impressions.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to start cracking this disc open...

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 20, 2016, 04:52:29 AM
It makes sense to me, and I think orfeo will most definitely catch up with us as he becomes more familiar with Dvorak's music. After all, he's talking about first impressions of stuff we've probably heard 50+ times. Even so, orfeo has already managed - with amazing conciseness - to precisely capture just why I love Dvorak so much:

(On my favorites list, Dvorak is still #2 only to Beethoven himself.)

Of what I call 'modern composers', that is, post-Beethoven, Dvorak has always been #1, and will likely continue in that role, and for all the reasons which Karl, you and Orfeo have described. I once, famously, stirred things up here by calling Dvorak the 'Last of the Great Composers'. Meant it then; actually, now, it would require some qualification, but not because he has diminished in my view, only that I have since broadened somewhat.  0:)

8)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 20, 2016, 08:00:39 AM
Of what I call 'modern composers', that is, post-Beethoven, Dvorak has always been #1, and will likely continue in that role, and for all the reasons which Karl, you and Orfeo have described. I once, famously, stirred things up here by calling Dvorak the 'Last of the Great Composers'. Meant it then; actually, now, it would require some qualification, but not because he has diminished in my view, only that I have since broadened somewhat.  0:)

8)
Thank you Gurn, I feel the same way. To paraphrase Sir Charles MacKerras Dvorak wrote in pretty much every single genre and he excelled in every single one of them. That by itself places him right up there as an all-time great.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: jlaurson on April 21, 2016, 12:53:55 AM
Speaking of Kertesz... The ionarts Survey of Dvořák Symphony Cycles (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-survey-of-dvorak-symphony-cycles.html)
has been updated with the new editions of the classic Kertesz & Kubelik sets. Kubelik's layout improved, Kertesz' worsened.

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GEp8pryRAMU/UU-BUrZ64WI/AAAAAAAAGV0/SbfbpphxIjc/s1600/Antonin_Dvorak_laurson_600.jpg) (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-survey-of-dvorak-symphony-cycles.html)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 05, 2016, 06:10:36 AM
Frankly, I'm surprised to see Dvorak have only 21 pages of commentary (so far). Thanks for your contributions everyone.

On topic...

Dvorak Supraphon pileup:

(http://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/SU4187-2.jpg) (http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0003/342/MI0003342857.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_1080/MI0003/526/MI0003526719.jpg?partner=allrovi.com) (http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_1080/MI0001/174/MI0001174691.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/419jQ7ePheL.jpg)

And I'm looking forward to every minute of exploration.

For anyone who owns any of these sets, I'd love to read your thoughts about the music, the performances, audio quality, presentation of the box sets, etc. Dvorak has always been a composer in the back of my mind that I've never forgotten about because each time I hear his music I find so much to get lost in and be instantly enchanted by. Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 06, 2016, 01:41:14 PM
I wonder if our resident Dvorakian, Brian, has any thoughts on these Supraphon box sets I bought?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on June 07, 2016, 03:31:22 AM
I wonder if our resident Dvorakian, Brian, has any thoughts on these Supraphon box sets I bought?
I own 3 of 6 (Sacred Works, Symphonic Works [dark purple not light purple], and Chamber Works I. Eventually I'll own all six (you skipped the piano box). The Chamber Works disc with the string quintet op. 77 and Sextet must be one of my most-played CDs ever. There's not a single dud anywhere, though. Presentation - the CDs come in those cheap-o paper sleeves, but the booklets are quality, with detailed track lists, and the boxes themselves feel like they'll last a long time. I have not yet checked the PDF of sung texts in the Sacred Works box.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 07, 2016, 03:33:07 AM
Eventually I'll own all six (you skipped the piano box).

Oh Brian, you'll lose credibility with statements like that. There are seven boxes.

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mc ukrneal on June 07, 2016, 03:40:58 AM
Oh Brian, you'll lose credibility with statements like that. There are seven boxes.


String Quartets -one of the best of the lot...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 07, 2016, 05:37:28 AM
Oh Brian, you'll lose credibility with statements like that. There are seven boxes.

 :P Indeed, he forgot that rather cool looking Panocha box. The complete SQs.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 07, 2016, 05:43:03 AM
I own 3 of 6 (Sacred Works, Symphonic Works [dark purple not light purple], and Chamber Works I. Eventually I'll own all six (you skipped the piano box). The Chamber Works disc with the string quintet op. 77 and Sextet must be one of my most-played CDs ever. There's not a single dud anywhere, though. Presentation - the CDs come in those cheap-o paper sleeves, but the booklets are quality, with detailed track lists, and the boxes themselves feel like they'll last a long time. I have not yet checked the PDF of sung texts in the Sacred Works box.

Thanks for your feedback. Yeah, Supraphon usually does a good job with their booklets. I figured they'd go with the paper sleeves, though, but this doesn't bother me in the slightest. In many instances, I prefer them to the cardboard sleeves, which make it difficult to get the CDs out sometimes. Here I'm mainly thinking of those 'Collectors Edition' DG sets like this one:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71QAaE9xEEL._SL1169_.jpg)

What makes these DG sets particularly interesting is the slit they made is not from the side of the cardboard sleeve, but from the top making it a tighter squeeze than if the slit were on the side.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on June 07, 2016, 06:19:22 AM
Oh Brian, you'll lose credibility with statements like that. There are seven boxes.
Dangit!!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 11, 2016, 06:20:22 PM
Despite a bit of an audio constraint in Neumann's earlier Dvorak set on Supraphon, this is turning out to be an outstanding cycle. The performances sound quite genuine, warm, and passionate. Since I already know Symphonies 7-9, I'm acquainting myself with Symphonies 1-6 and finding that he's just as inspired as he was in those later symphonies. What's going to be nice is when I start exploring all of these chamber works, sacred/choral works, and other orchestral works, but I'm not going to jump ahead of myself here. I'm just basking in the wondrous sonorities of one of Bohemia's finest.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 11, 2016, 07:45:29 PM
Kubelik, Järvi, Mack, great indeed--but definitive Dvorak? I prefer Harnoncourt's recordings of the tone poems. He defines definitive for me  8)

Sarge

Harnoncourt is indeed great. He really nailed those symphonic poems. I wish he had conducted the entire symphony cycle with the Concertgebouw, though. :( That would have been incredible.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 13, 2016, 07:55:24 AM
I'll have to add my own enthusiasm for Neumann's set of symphonic poems as well. Passionately performed and rhythmically taut performances.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 13, 2016, 07:57:28 AM
For anyone who hasn't been to Dvorak's website please do so, loads of valuable information there:

http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/life (http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/life)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 13, 2016, 08:45:24 AM
The Water Goblin (Vodník), Op. 107

(http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5051/5558998735_bb5b3e50d1_o.jpg)

The first three of Antonín Dvorák's five orchestral tone poems were put to paper in rapid succession during early 1896. Each of these three, and for that matter the fourth (which followed after an interval of several months), takes a poem by Karel Jaromír Erben as its dramatic basis; in the case of Dvorák's virgin effort in the territory, that poem is Vodník, or, the Water Goblin. The tone poem The Water Goblin, Op. 106, composed between the first week of January and the second week of February, was not the first of this initial threesome of tone poems to be performed -- The Golden Spinning Wheel, Op. 109, has that honor -- but it certainly didn't have to wait very long for its own premiere: on November 21, 1896 it was played by a London orchestra led by Henry Wood (not yet Sir).

Dvorák treats Erben's poem in what amounts to a rondo form, somewhat modified from the standard layout. The cruel Water Goblin is introduced in the opening Allegro vivo. We learn of a maiden and her mother in a rich Andante sostenuto. The Allegro vivo music bursts forth again as the Water Goblin snatches the poor maiden up and transports her down to his lair underneath the lake. As the unfortunate captive suffers we are provided a painfully chromatic Andante mesto come prima; she sings a lullaby (Un poco più lento e molto tranquillo), and finally convinces the Water Goblin -- now in fact her husband -- to let her go and visit her mother one last time. Her homecoming is a sad one indeed: the daughter's own child (sired by the Water Goblin) has remained down under the lake to ensure her return, and she has but one day to spend with her mother above. Still, there is real warmth to the B major Lento assai of their reunion; hardly any time has passed, however, before the Allegro vivo announces the arrival of the Water Goblin to take back his captive bride. The mother turns him away, and, true to his cruel word, he sends them the decapitated body of the daughter's child. Here the poem ends, but not the music: a grim timpani roll ushers in an Andante sostenuto coda -- music absolutely frozen with horror.

[Article taken from All Music Guide]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What does everyone think of this masterpiece? I think I already mentioned how much I love it, but it's always good to get some background to the work. Any favorite performances?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 13, 2016, 03:23:43 PM
For anyone who hasn't been to Dvorak's website please do so, loads of valuable information there:

http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/life (http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/life)

It really is a fabulous website. One of the best composer ones that I've come across.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 13, 2016, 03:39:39 PM
It really is a fabulous website. One of the best composer ones that I've come across.

It certainly is. I've been reading all kinds of stuff like a madman.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: king ubu on June 14, 2016, 04:07:27 AM
this one just arrived:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/419jQ7ePheL.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 14, 2016, 05:42:22 AM
The Noon Witch (Polednice), Op. 108

(http://www.totem.cz/ma/grf/92329_3.jpg)

Like each of his other four tone poems -- save only the last -- Antonín Dvorák's second orchestral tone poem, Polednice, or The Noon Witch, Op. 108, is modeled after a poem by Czech poet Karol Jaromír Erben. Dvorák's sudden urge to try his hand at true program music was so strong that he hadn't yet even finished sketching out The Water Goblin, Op. 107 -- his first symphonic poem -- when he started plotting his musical course through Erben's Polednice in mid-January 1896. The Noon Witch is, it must be said, a very attractive and justly famous piece of music; to some, it is the finest of Dvorák's tone poems. Dvorák's achievement is made all the more impressive by the realization that he took just three days to sketch the work out, and then, in February, two weeks to orchestrate it.

Erben's poem tells of the legendary Noon Witch, summoned by a mother to call her reckless and restless child to order. Unfortunately, the Noon Witch effects the fainting of the mother and the suffocation of the child; when the father returns home and wakens his wife the two discover and lament their loss. Dvorák treats the poem in a kind of continuous miniature symphonic form. The four ordinary movements of a symphony are all in place, but are played without breaks between them.

At the beginning of the opening Allegretto is introduced the happy, frolicking little motive that will be reshaped into a large portion of The Noon Witch's material; there is shortly a brief foreshadowing of the Andante sostenuto music that will form the second movement, easily dispatched by the child as he continues to horse around. Things grow very heated, and only the arrival of the actual Andante sostenuto can tame matters; but it is not a comfortable tameness, for ever within this music -- with its gripping semitone oscillations and its bizarre tune for bassoon and bass clarinet -- is the mother's threat of summoning the Noon Witch. As the child becomes unmanageable once again, the mother makes good her threat, and the Witch arrives and dances a wild dance (Allegro -- the scherzo movement) in which the happy clarinet motive of the opening is tossed about upside down. The final movement of this pseudo-symphony, Andante, is full of sharp articulations and pained rhythms: the father has returned and the tragedy is revealed -- and all the passionate pleading of the strings (maestoso, triple-forte) cannot return his child to him.

[Article taken from All Music Guide]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Another symphonic poem from Dvorak that I love. Hell, I love them all what am I talking about?!?!? ;D Any favorite performances of this work? I don't know but two performances (right now) and they are Neumann/CzPO and Harnoncourt/Concertgebouw. Both are excellent.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on June 14, 2016, 09:49:57 AM
The Noon Witch (Polednice), Op. 108

(http://www.totem.cz/ma/grf/92329_3.jpg)


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Another symphonic poem from Dvorak that I love. Hell, I love them all what am I talking about?!?!? ;D Any favorite performances of this work? I don't know but two performances (right now) and they are Neumann/CzPO and Harnoncourt/Concertgebouw. Both are excellent.

My favourite of Dvorak's tone poems.  Love the Mackerras/CzPO and Rattle/BPO recordings.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 14, 2016, 05:33:11 PM
My favourite of Dvorak's tone poems.  Love the Mackerras/CzPO and Rattle/BPO recordings.

Have you heard Neumann/CzPO or Harnoncourt/Concertgebouw, Ray? You'll dig these.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 14, 2016, 06:00:14 PM
The Golden Spinning Wheel (Zlatý kolovrat), Op. 109

(http://www.abatar.cz/images/pohadkove_obrazky/381x446xzlaty_kolovratek.gif.pagespeed.ic.phygdwVSIc.png)

The The Golden Spinning Wheel, or Zlatý kolovrat, Op. 109, is the third of Antonín Dvorák's four 1896 orchestral tone poems on subjects taken from the poetry of Karel Jaromír Erben. Its plot, put simply, is quite ludicrous; that Dvorák should succeed in making a fine piece of music from it is a testament to the notion, oft-stated and oftener-demonstrated by composers throughout the nineteenth century, that a sensible plot line is by no means necessarily the best choice for a program-music subject. Dvorák sketched The Golden Spinning Wheel during January and February of 1896 and orchestrated it some weeks later. At its premiere in October 1896, Dvorák's critics and colleagues alike found the work too long; as a result, a number of cuts concocted by Dvorák's friend and son-in-law Josef Suk are generally made, not necessarily to the work's betterment.

Erben's Zlatý kolovrat tells the tale of a king who falls in love with a simple peasant girl. After he has invited her to his castle, her evil stepmother kills her, cuts off her feet and hands and removes her eyes, and substitutes her own daughter -- who is apparently the stepdaughter's spitting image -- in her place. Unwittingly, the king weds the evil daughter, but, fortunately, an old man stumbles across the body of the king's beloved. He sends his young lad up to the castle three times -- to exchange three items, including a golden spinning wheel, for the hands, feet, and eyes of the dead daughter -- and then proceeds to resurrect the king's beloved. The golden spinning wheel turns out to be the stepmother's and daughter's undoing: when the king's new bride begins to spin, the magic spinning wheel spins out the awful truth. The king seeks out his true beloved in the forest and the two live happily ever after, while the evil stepmother and daughter are eaten by wolves.

Dvorák's treatment of this material is very free indeed. Much of the music of The Golden Spinning Wheel really does spin, starting with the rolling cello triplets of the very opening (which are presumably intended to reproduce the gallop of the king's horse). There is a pleasing economy to the way that the horn fanfare idea that announces the king at the opening takes on new shapes as the work unfolds; the most colorful of these is the harshly dissonant version in parallel seventh chords (over an uncooperative pedal-point) that depicts part of the king's encounter with the evil stepmother and her daughter. Dvorák pulls out all the stops at the end, when the violins soar up to the heights of the reunited lovers' passion; in the final bars, as the king's fanfare is given a robust Allegro ma non troppo treatment, one can almost hear them riding off into the sunset.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Another fantastic work from Dvorak and his third in this series of symphonic poems based off the work of Karel Jaromír Erben. I love the rather raucous beginning of The Golden Spinning Wheel. What does everyone think of these works? Any favorite performances?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on June 15, 2016, 03:28:45 AM
Have you heard Neumann/CzPO or Harnoncourt/Concertgebouw, Ray? You'll dig these.

Haven't heard the Neumann, but I may have heard the Harnoncourt.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 15, 2016, 04:47:36 PM
The Wild Dove (Holoubek), Op. 110

(http://www.art-prints-on-demand.com/kunst/sebastiano_bombelli/dove_holy_spirit_detail_23004_hi.jpg)

After composing his first three orchestral tone poems in a frenzy of activity at the opening of 1896, Antonín Dvorák took several months off to do other things before starting work on his fourth, The Wild Dove, Op. 110, in late October. The premiere of the work, which took place the following March, was conducted by a then up-and-coming Leos Janacek -- but, of course, by the late 1890s Dvorák was one of Europe's most established musicians, and Janacek's name is by no means the most prominent among those who conducted the premieres of Dvorák's five tone poems; Hans Richter, Henry Wood, and Gustav Mahler make fine podium peers!

The Wild Dove (or, The Wood Dove), like Dvorák's first three tone poems, takes a poem by Karol Jaromír Erben as its dramatic starting point. Four musical "scenes" relate the story of a woman who poisons her husband (there is a grim funeral march) to wed another man (everything grows bright and a happy dance commences), and when she hears a gentle dove-call above her dead husband's grave, her suppressed guilt is brought to the surface and she takes her own life (an Andante in which the dove is heard in the winds and harp). Dvorák adds a musical epilogue after the sordid tale has run its course.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dvorak's last symphonic poem of this cycle based off Erben's work and a truly remarkable work. Neumann's performance with the Czech Philharmonic made a huge impression on me. I love all of these works, but The Wild Dove may just be my favorite. What do you guys think of the work?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: amw on June 16, 2016, 12:45:08 AM
Dvorak's last symphonic poem
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv8sHg8UyCw (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv8sHg8UyCw)

I haven't actually ever listened to any of Dvořák's symphonic poems more than once ish and evidently without paying a lot of attention. Maybe should look into that as a new listening idea when I get bored of the supraphon chamber music boxes, if that ever happens
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 16, 2016, 04:24:00 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv8sHg8UyCw (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv8sHg8UyCw)

I haven't actually ever listened to any of Dvořák's symphonic poems more than once ish and evidently without paying a lot of attention. Maybe should look into that as a new listening idea when I get bored of the supraphon chamber music boxes, if that ever happens

What I meant was his last of this cycle based off Erben's work. As for the Supraphon chamber sets, I doubt you will ever tire of them, but this is no reason why you can't listen to the symphonic poems. There's enough music to go around for everyone. :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on June 16, 2016, 04:56:13 AM
I haven't actually ever listened to any of Dvořák's symphonic poems more than once ish and evidently without paying a lot of attention. Maybe should look into that as a new listening idea when I get bored of the supraphon chamber music boxes, if that ever happens
I do love the four symphonic poems based on Erben, and recommend them highly - they often feel like attempts to extract maximum color and late-romantic incident out of the minimum possible melodic resources. Dvořák is still Dvořák, of course, in almost every way, with an even bigger palette of orchestral sound and maybe a Mahlerian tendency to excess, but at the same time that you have that excess, you have strictness, too. The Wild Dove is the finest example - it's a theme and variations, more or less; the dance and love song episodes are just tweaks to the opening funeral march theme. Dvořák wanted to show, I suppose, that he didn't just have a gift for melody; he had a gift for taking one melody and spinning it in any direction. The Water Goblin is maybe a rondo, but the main theme is insisted upon in every episode, and nearly every minute, with monomaniacal determination, like a serial killer lurking in the background sizing up each victim. It creates quite an impression seen live in concert, too - the ending, with one final near-silent statement of that theme stretched out over a minute, keeps the whole crowd shut-up and trying their best not to cough.

Maybe the exception to the "economical structure but with bells and whistles" rule is Noon-Day Witch - but that's also the shortest and pithiest. In general, the assignment Dvořák gave himself seems to have been to go on "Survivor" and build a cruise ship.

There are many high-quality recordings; Mackerras' are my favorite, but between Neumann, Kuchar, Harnoncourt, Kertesz, and Wit (Goblin only), it's not like there are wrong answers. There seems to be some controversy regarding what cymbals are to be used in Water Goblin; I don't recall where everyone stands on that.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 16, 2016, 05:30:49 AM
I definitely need to listen to them again. My memory is that The Water Goblin made a strong impression because the story was conveyed particularly clearly to me.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 16, 2016, 05:46:59 PM
I'm currently looking at various Dvorak box sets (for future purchases) and would be thankful for any commentary on these:







Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mc ukrneal on June 16, 2016, 08:07:04 PM
I'm currently looking at various Dvorak box sets (for future purchases) and would be thankful for any commentary on these:



I have a different printing (different cover), but same version. I can confirm it is excellent. In general, the choice is probably between this one and the Mackerras. When the Mackerras came out it was lauded, and for good reason. I don't think you would be disappointed with either. Benackova is excellent here though. That said, Fleming is excellent too (with Mackerras). There is also the Chalabala recording with Milada Subrtova, which is also very good (on Supraphon). Honestly, any one of them does justice to the opera.

The only other version I might consider is with Hickox, which received good reviews, but I have not heard.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 17, 2016, 02:04:38 AM
I have a different printing (different cover), but same version. I can confirm it is excellent. In general, the choice is probably between this one and the Mackerras. When the Mackerras came out it was lauded, and for good reason. I don't think you would be disappointed with either. Benackova is excellent here though. That said, Fleming is excellent too (with Mackerras). There is also the Chalabala recording with Milada Subrtova, which is also very good (on Supraphon). Honestly, any one of them does justice to the opera.

The only other version I might consider is with Hickox, which received good reviews, but I have not heard.

Thanks, Neal. That Mackerras recording does look mighty tempting. :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mc ukrneal on June 17, 2016, 03:15:25 AM
Thanks, Neal. That Mackerras recording does look mighty tempting. :)
And unlike the Janacek sets, he did the Dvorak with the Czech Philharmonic, which I think adds a little something...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: North Star on June 17, 2016, 03:34:21 AM
And unlike the Janacek sets, he did the Dvorak with the Czech Philharmonic, which I think adds a little something...
You mean, unlike the Janáček recordings of Mackerras on Decca or EMI - on Supraphon, the Káta, Amarus, Glagolitic, Šárka, and the recording of much of the orchestral works along with some opera overtures all feature the Czech Phil.  :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on June 17, 2016, 05:21:06 AM
The Naxos box was on my wishlist for a long time in college/post-grad, but I ultimately listened to everything streaming anyway.

Here's a breakdown:

Excellent - CD7 (Piano Concerto / Water Goblin - though in the piano concerto, Richter and Aimard are still the medalists); Symphonies 1, 2, 4, 6, and 9; Symphonic Variations; various recordings involving Antoni Wit (e.g. Czech Suite, Festive March)
Pretty good - Symphony 5; Violin stuff CD; Cello stuff CD; Slavonic Rhapsodies; overture discs; Serenade for Strings
Okay/flawed/tolerable - Slavonic Dances; Symphonic Poems; various recordings involving Dmitry Yablonsky
Among the worst recordings ever made - Symphonies 7 and 8
Can't remember - Symphony 3; Serenade for Winds

Overall I'd say if you'd like some valuable Naxos recordings, you are better off going singly with these:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/514vABG4LKL._SY355_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71rbWnD1KbL._SX355_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51L8DTkfMQL._SY355_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71fLwXasMJL._SY355_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51nzdKRu-DL._SY355_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51L%2BPO2KCbL._SY355_.jpg)

and although it is not part of that series or box

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81LYmnOP6KL._SX355_.jpg)

And of course Naxos does have very good recordings of the chamber music with Vlach Quartet Prague.

EDIT: Forgot by far the best Dvorak recording to ever appear on Naxos, a real Great Disc in both sound quality and performance:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81iJNXq-YOL._SX355_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mc ukrneal on June 17, 2016, 08:13:37 AM
You mean, unlike the Janáček recordings of Mackerras on Decca or EMI - on Supraphon, the Káta, Amarus, Glagolitic, Šárka, and the recording of much of the orchestral works along with some opera overtures all feature the Czech Phil.  :)
I stand corrected...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on June 17, 2016, 08:38:21 AM
Dvorak's tone poems are incredible. My favorite has to be The Golden Spinning Wheel.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 17, 2016, 03:36:02 PM
The Naxos box was on my wishlist for a long time in college/post-grad, but I ultimately listened to everything streaming anyway.

Here's a breakdown:

Excellent - CD7 (Piano Concerto / Water Goblin - though in the piano concerto, Richter and Aimard are still the medalists); Symphonies 1, 2, 4, 6, and 9; Symphonic Variations; various recordings involving Antoni Wit (e.g. Czech Suite, Festive March)
Pretty good - Symphony 5; Violin stuff CD; Cello stuff CD; Slavonic Rhapsodies; overture discs; Serenade for Strings
Okay/flawed/tolerable - Slavonic Dances; Symphonic Poems; various recordings involving Dmitry Yablonsky
Among the worst recordings ever made - Symphonies 7 and 8
Can't remember - Symphony 3; Serenade for Winds

Overall I'd say if you'd like some valuable Naxos recordings, you are better off going singly with these:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/514vABG4LKL._SY355_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71rbWnD1KbL._SX355_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51L8DTkfMQL._SY355_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71fLwXasMJL._SY355_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51nzdKRu-DL._SY355_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51L%2BPO2KCbL._SY355_.jpg)

and although it is not part of that series or box

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81LYmnOP6KL._SX355_.jpg)

And of course Naxos does have very good recordings of the chamber music with Vlach Quartet Prague.

EDIT: Forgot by far the best Dvorak recording to ever appear on Naxos, a real Great Disc in both sound quality and performance:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81iJNXq-YOL._SX355_.jpg)

Thanks for this breakdown, Brian. Very much appreciated. A lot to consider, but I have so much to listen to in regards to those Supraphon sets I bought.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 17, 2016, 04:48:14 PM
Hmm. I've been eyeing a Naxos 2-disc set which has the Slavonic Dances, Slavonic Rhapsodies and the earlyish Rhapsody in A minor.

I believe it's the same recordings as in that larger box - Zdenek Kosler for the Slavonic Dances and op.45 Rhapsodies, Libor Pesek for the Rhapsody in A minor, so it's a pity that the Slavonic Dances side of it isn't getting much of a thumbs up. Though the other disc is still probably one I can get separately.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 17, 2016, 06:01:03 PM
Hmm. I've been eyeing a Naxos 2-disc set which has the Slavonic Dances, Slavonic Rhapsodies and the earlyish Rhapsody in A minor.

I believe it's the same recordings as in that larger box - Zdenek Kosler for the Slavonic Dances and op.45 Rhapsodies, Libor Pesek for the Rhapsody in A minor, so it's a pity that the Slavonic Dances side of it isn't getting much of a thumbs up. Though the other disc is still probably one I can get separately.

I'm surprised you don't go for the Supraphon sets or am I mistaken and you already own them?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 17, 2016, 06:25:07 PM
I'm surprised you don't go for the Supraphon sets or am I mistaken and you already own them?

As is usual with me, I'm not especially inclined to acquire sets with too many double-ups in terms of repertoire. The Naxos double CD was of interest because it would fill specific gaps in the works that I own.

I'm interested in the Supraphon sets but, for example, the set that would give me the op.45 Rhapsodies and the Slavonic Dances would also give me double-ups on the (orchestral versions of) the Legends and the Czech and American Suites, plus yet another Cello Concerto.  And it seems the Rhapsody in A minor isn't in any of the Supraphon boxes, which is disappointing - I suspect that's what led me to the Naxos recording in the first place.

That amount of double-ups is not actually too bad in the scheme of things, but the other question is whether the performances are consistently among the best available. I don't know in that particular case... I haven't seen a review of the full box, but I have seen slightly mixed comments about the performances of the op.45 Rhapsodies for example.

The fact is I almost never buy boxes that have a whole mix of recordings of different performers because it's rarely the case that they are consistently attractive. The Supraphon box of choral works went onto the shopping list because it fulfilled many criteria: 1. No double-ups at all. 2. A lot of repertoire I am interested in, both the better known works and the less well known ones. 3. A number of positive reviews, at most mild criticism of one recording in the box.

I don't expect this to make lots of sense to you, as I'm well aware that your approach to purchasing frequently involves buying 2 or 3 performances of the same work at the same time. This is something I simply would never do. My shopping list starts with a list of works I'm trying to add to my library - I want one of those, and one of those, and one of those, and one of those, and...  The concept of "I want another one of those" only comes up if I'm specifically disappointed in a recording I already have, and most of the time I'm working hard to avoid that happening.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 17, 2016, 06:34:18 PM
As is usual with me, I'm not especially inclined to acquire sets with too many double-ups in terms of repertoire. The Naxos double CD was of interest because it would fill specific gaps in the works that I own.

I'm interested in the Supraphon sets but, for example, the set that would give me the op.45 Rhapsodies and the Slavonic Dances would also give me double-ups on the (orchestral versions of) the Legends and the Czech and American Suites, plus yet another Cello Concerto.  And it seems the Rhapsody in A minor isn't in any of the Supraphon boxes, which is disappointing - I suspect that's what led me to the Naxos recording in the first place.

That amount of double-ups is not actually too bad in the scheme of things, but the other question is whether the performances are consistently among the best available. I don't know in that particular case... I haven't seen a review of the full box, but I have seen slightly mixed comments about the performances of the op.45 Rhapsodies for example.

The fact is I almost never buy boxes that have a whole mix of recordings of different performers because it's rarely the case that they are consistently attractive. The Supraphon box of choral works went onto the shopping list because it fulfilled many criteria: 1. No double-ups at all. 2. A lot of repertoire I am interested in, both the better known works and the less well known ones. 3. A number of positive reviews, at most mild criticism of one recording in the box.

I don't expect this to make lots of sense to you, as I'm well aware that your approach to purchasing frequently involves buying 2 or 3 performances of the same work at the same time. This is something I simply would never do. My shopping list starts with a list of works I'm trying to add to my library - I want one of those, and one of those, and one of those, and one of those, and...  The concept of "I want another one of those" only comes up if I'm specifically disappointed in a recording I already have, and most of the time I'm working hard to avoid that happening.

You're approach certainly makes sense to me. It's me who is the one who actually doesn't make any sense. ;) It's interesting you mentioned the Slavonic Rhapsodies recording in this Surpaphon set (w/ Bohumil Gregor conducting the Czech Philharmonic) as I'm actually a bit underwhelmed with the performances. I think the music itself is lovely, but I they need more of a push from the conductor. I mean these are competent readings, but nothing more. I didn't feel the music like I do when Neumann, Kertesz, Mackerras, or Harnoncourt conducts. I'll probably be seeking alternative performances of these works without a doubt.

P.S. I wasn't aware that Rhapsody in A minor was missing from this Supraphon set. :-\
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 17, 2016, 07:08:54 PM
P.S. I wasn't aware that Rhapsody in A minor was missing from this Supraphon set. :-\

Well, unless I've read the listings wrongly. I haven't spotted it in the orchestral boxes.

It's a fairly early work (op.14) and mightn't actually be all that great compared to Dvorak's orchestral masterpieces, but the Naxos move of combining it with the 3 later rhapsodies is an appealing one.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jo498 on June 17, 2016, 10:34:40 PM
I have the Naxos with the rhapsodies opp. 45 and 14. I was not impressed; it is an early (1987/88) Naxos production and the sound is not very good. Neither is the Slovak Philharmonic as good as the Czech Philharmonic. I am not very familiar with these pieces or their discography but these recordings would probably not be a good reason to get a twofer or larger box. One would hope that there were better recordings of those pieces out there.

While I have only heard 3 volumes or so, I'd recommend the Naxos recordings with the (new) Vlach quartet. If one already has the better known pieces and does not want to go for a big box of string quartets, they are perfect to fill the gaps (and they do hold their own in the late famous pieces, too). The disc with the piano quartets is also very good but the smallish Supraphon box with quintets/quartets is so good and probably fairly cheap that the Naxos is only second choice.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mc ukrneal on June 17, 2016, 11:11:15 PM
I have this version. I remember it being good, but I haven't really listened to it recently. Will try to give a listen and report back.


It also has the suite for large orchestra, which is another piece I did not have...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 18, 2016, 01:24:17 AM
I have the Naxos with the rhapsodies opp. 45 and 14. I was not impressed; it is an early (1987/88) Naxos production and the sound is not very good. Neither is the Slovak Philharmonic as good as the Czech Philharmonic. I am not very familiar with these pieces or their discography but these recordings would probably not be a good reason to get a twofer or larger box. One would hope that there were better recordings of those pieces out there.

I did see an... Amazon customer review I think it was... criticising the sound.

These days I would sample something using iTunes or Deezer before buying to test for things like that as well as the performances. However, choices for these particular works are not thick on the ground.

EDIT: I just found this review of perhaps the most modern version available, with direct comparisons to the Naxos version. Again the sound on Naxos for op.45 gets a bit of a negative. But the impression I get from this and some other reviews is that the performances on Naxos tend to get the thumbs up. http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2015/Feb/Dvorak_rhapsodies_UP01712031.htm

PS Also, quite a few people do seem to like the Naxos Slavonic Dances... I really must listen for myself.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 18, 2016, 04:19:19 AM
I have curious question for anyone that owns the Supraphon set Orchestral Works & Concertos, does the booklet that accompanies the set have missing pages? I just noticed in my set that pages 1-8 are missing. ??? Strange. I contacted the seller I bought this set from to see if they have a full booklet they could send me, but haven't heard anything from them yet.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on June 18, 2016, 04:39:06 AM
I did see an... Amazon customer review I think it was... criticising the sound.
More or less all Naxos Slovak recordings have impaired sound, including some recorded post-2005. I think the engineering team, still occasionally under employ, is responsible; there's a watery reverb and lack of clarity, with brass instruments especially sounding weak. I remember my rage when I first heard the Gunzenhauser Symphony No. 7 and realized the first movement didn't have timpani - they were simply drowned out, or something.

If sound is an important concern, I'd probably forget about the whole Gunzenhauser cycle - even the early symphony performances are greatly exceeded by Rowicki. But the Polish stuff with Wit sounds OK (Natl Radio SO) or great (Warsaw PO), and that Slavonic Rhapsodies disc does still fill a big hole in the catalogue, like it or not. Rhapsody No. 3, plus a few other rarities, are here:

(http://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/00028946029329.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 18, 2016, 04:51:43 AM
Yeah, I'll probably just pass on the Naxos box as I'm a bit of a stickler when it comes to audio quality. In other news, outside of the Supraphon sets, I really want to start exploring this Kertesz set:

(http://ecsmedia.pl/c/dvorak-complete-symphonies-collectors-edition-b-iext24720198.jpg)

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 18, 2016, 04:59:47 AM
Yeah, I'll probably just pass on the Naxos box as I'm a bit of a stickler when it comes to audio quality. In other news, outside of the Supraphon sets, I really want to start exploring this Kertesz set:

(http://ecsmedia.pl/c/dvorak-complete-symphonies-collectors-edition-b-iext24720198.jpg)

Pretty widely praised. I don't have the whole thing, I have a 2-CD version with symphonies 4 to 6 and a few smaller pieces. I think these recordings have been repackaged about 7 different ways over the years.

You mention audio quality: I'm not totally finicky but I do have some issues with some early recordings, and I was pretty pleased with the sound of the Kertesz performances. They're from 1963 to 1966 and while they wouldn't fool you put alongside the very latest recordings, they're all very listenable.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: amw on June 18, 2016, 05:03:27 AM
For some reason they seem to be about 5dB louder than the rest of my collection though, which may be the remasterers getting caught up in the Loudness War™
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 18, 2016, 05:05:21 AM
Pretty widely praised. I don't have the whole thing, I have a 2-CD version with symphonies 4 to 6 and a few smaller pieces. I think these recordings have been repackaged about 7 different ways over the years.

You mention audio quality: I'm not totally finicky but I do have some issues with some early recordings, and I was pretty pleased with the sound of the Kertesz performances. They're from 1963 to 1966 and while they wouldn't fool you put alongside the very latest recordings, they're all very listenable.

I appreciate your feedback here, orfeo. I don't mean to come across as someone who values audio quality over a performance as there's been many performances on record where the audio quality was only serviceable but the performance was so incredible that I easily overlooked the sonic limitations. Yes, this Kertesz is widely praised. I think having the Kertesz and Neumann will be sufficient enough and will probably not seek out other symphony sets. What's nice about this Collector's Edition is Decca have housed all of Kertesz's Dvorak under one roof. My only regret is he didn't record The Wild Dove, Op. 110. :( A shame as he conducted the other Erben-inspired symphonic poems.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 18, 2016, 05:11:16 AM
One problem I do have with the Kertesz set is Decca split-up many of the symphonies. Like in order to finish a symphony, you have to go to the next disc. This is the only annoyance I have with the box though.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 18, 2016, 05:17:17 AM
I have curious question for anyone that owns the Supraphon set Orchestral Works & Concertos, does the booklet that accompanies the set have missing pages? I just noticed in my set that pages 1-8 are missing. ??? Strange. I contacted the seller I bought this set from to see if they have a full booklet they could send me, but haven't heard anything from them yet.
You might know this already but there is a DDD Neumann set from the mid 1980s which might be OOP right now...
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/511XrgsNuWL._AC_US160_.jpg)
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51r1LL0OzWL._SX466_.jpg)
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/21N9VFX1MKL.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jo498 on June 18, 2016, 05:21:41 AM
Just now listening to the above-mentioned Naxos Rhapsodies disc. I am only listening through smallish desktop monitor speakers but the sound is actually o.k. and they are quite enthusiastic performances (I don't know the music well enough to comment further) I do not recall what I disliked about the sound the last time, maybe I was listening with headphones or a better system.
The (single) Slavonic dances with Dorati was one of my first two dozen or so classical discs (or maybe it was originally my brother's, I think my father gave them to us as presents, in any case, it ended up in my collection :D). This is sonically very good.

I was actually going to ask about the czech suite and the american suite as I do not have them. There are probably not too many alternatives to Dorati... (don't really want to get that twofer because I need to keep abovementioned Slavonic dances for sentimental reasons).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on June 18, 2016, 05:26:23 AM
I was actually going to ask about the czech suite and the american suite as I do not have them. There are probably not too many alternatives to Dorati... (don't really want to get that twofer because I need to keep abovementioned Slavonic dances for sentimental reasons).
I just listened to a very good Czech Suite with Wit on Naxos but my suggestion is to go for Thomas Hengelbrock's new Sony disc with (I think) the NDR orchestra - it is coupled with one of the best, most dramatic, most rhythmically precise Fourth Symphony recordings. (Wit's disc may fill some gaps in your collection, however: Hero's Song, Hussite Overture, Festival March.) For the American Suite, I've only heard Tilson Thomas and Yablonsky, the latter of which is not a favorite at all, but honestly I kinda prefer the original piano version.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 18, 2016, 05:36:39 AM
You might know this already but there is a DDD Neumann set from the mid 1980s which might be OOP right now...
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/511XrgsNuWL._AC_US160_.jpg)
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51r1LL0OzWL._SX466_.jpg)
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/21N9VFX1MKL.jpg)

Thanks for the suggestion. My dad actually owns that later Neumann cycle. I should listen to it. Do you know how it compares with his earlier cycle?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 18, 2016, 05:43:58 AM
...but my suggestion is to go for Thomas Hengelbrock's new Sony disc with (I think) the NDR orchestra - it is coupled with one of the best, most dramatic, most rhythmically precise Fourth Symphony recordings.

And only 6.99 at Amazon DE:

https://www.amazon.de/Dvor%C3%A1k-Sinfonie-Nr-B%C3%B6hmische-Suite/dp/B008KHAQYA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1466260908&sr=8-1&keywords=dvorak+hengelbrock

Grabbed a copy for myself  8)

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Scion7 on June 18, 2016, 05:44:24 AM
I have this version. I remember it being good, but I haven't really listened to it recently. Will try to give a listen and report back.
It also has the suite for large orchestra, which is another piece I did not have...

I have that one. Centaur has always put out quality releases, IMO.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 18, 2016, 05:44:39 AM
One problem I do have with the Kertesz set is Decca split-up many of the symphonies. Like in order to finish a symphony, you have to go to the next disc. This is the only annoyance I have with the box though.

This is one reason I like the Symphonies 4-6 version I have. No splits.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 18, 2016, 05:48:17 AM
Re the Czech and American Suites: I have these in my Warner 5-disc set, but I don't know that they're available separately any more - especially as they're not the same conductor.

The American Suite is David Zinman and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (they also contribute the Legends).

The Czech Suite is Armin Jordan and the Orchestre de chambre de Lausanne (their only contribution to the set).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 18, 2016, 05:49:59 AM
Thanks for the suggestion. My dad actually owns that later Neumann cycle. I should listen to it. Do you know how it compares with his earlier cycle?

I think I've seen positive reviews. Certainly I saw a good review somewhere of the Symphonies 1-3 set, as I've got my eye on that one should I ever decide to get those works.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 18, 2016, 05:55:46 AM
Thanks for the suggestion. My dad actually owns that later Neumann cycle. I should listen to it. Do you know how it compares with his earlier cycle?

Don't know, I don't have the earlier cycle.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mc ukrneal on June 18, 2016, 05:56:15 AM
I have that one. Centaur has always put out quality releases, IMO.
Yes, a bit of an unheralded label. They have some quite interesting releases.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 18, 2016, 05:56:17 AM
I think I've seen positive reviews. Certainly I saw a good review somewhere of the Symphonies 1-3 set, as I've got my eye on that one should I ever decide to get those works.

Yeah, I believe I remember reading the positive reviews as well. I suppose I'm just going to hold off buying anything else at the moment and hopefully will not buy anything else until January. I really do have a lot of exploring to do and all of these Supraphon sets have a lot to offer not to mention what my dad already owns. 8)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 18, 2016, 06:04:07 AM
Just had another look around: I suspect that for Neumann's digital cycle, the early symphonies are more highly thought of than the later ones.

Anyway, I have two more things to say before I sign off for the evening. One is that I've loaded all of Symphonies 4-9 onto my iPhone for further listening over the next week and a bit, including some time away.

The second is that this thread has just had a monopoly on the "recent posts" on the forum home page.  ;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on June 18, 2016, 06:08:52 AM
Yes, a bit of an unheralded label. They have some quite interesting releases.
Unrelated, but one of my favorite Centaur releases is the original (reconstructed) nonet version of Brahms' First Serenade, coupled with Louise Farrenc. Joyful music-making.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 18, 2016, 06:55:50 AM
RE: Missing pages from Supraphon's "Orchestral & Concertos" set -

I sent Supraphon a personal message via their website's link and hopefully they'll send me a booklet. I wonder if this particular batch all has missing pages in the liner notes?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 18, 2016, 07:22:31 AM
Just had another look around: I suspect that for Neumann's digital cycle, the early symphonies are more highly thought of than the later ones.

Anyway, I have two more things to say before I sign off for the evening. One is that I've loaded all of Symphonies 4-9 onto my iPhone for further listening over the next week and a bit, including some time away.

The second is that this thread has just had a monopoly on the "recent posts" on the forum home page.  ;D

Classicstoday.com gave this set raving reviews:

http://www.classicstoday.com/advanced-search/?searched_from=digest&pagination_currentpage=&pagination_totalresults=&search_composer_id=&search_soloist_id=&search_conductor_id=11286&search_ensemble_id=&search_tag=&search_composer=Enter+a+Composer&search_worktitle=Enter+a+Work%2FAlbum+Title&search_genre=-1&search_soloist=Enter+a+Soloist&search_conductor=Neumann%2C+Vaclav&search_ensemble=Enter+an+Orchestra%2FEnsemble (http://www.classicstoday.com/advanced-search/?searched_from=digest&pagination_currentpage=&pagination_totalresults=&search_composer_id=&search_soloist_id=&search_conductor_id=11286&search_ensemble_id=&search_tag=&search_composer=Enter+a+Composer&search_worktitle=Enter+a+Work%2FAlbum+Title&search_genre=-1&search_soloist=Enter+a+Soloist&search_conductor=Neumann%2C+Vaclav&search_ensemble=Enter+an+Orchestra%2FEnsemble)

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on June 19, 2016, 12:50:24 AM
Interesting. I always like Neumann. Another unflasy,underrated conductor,like Bryden Thomson,who is actually very good and better than some of the ones they drone on about (who shall remain nameless,for now! ;D). I have his recordings of the Erben Symphonic Poems. They are full of character and atmosphere & I love those Czech orchestras from the old Soviet days. By the way,have you heard Ancerl's Ninth? That's a must have if you like those orchestras. One of the most individual I've heard. The timbre of the woodwinds make it a standout. Unfortunately,my copy made a loud ticking sound in the drive of my mini hi-fi,so I had to make a cd-r!! I also like Reiner and Ormandy. The Reiner has great couplings & the Ormandy glorious performance of the wonderful,underrated Serenade for Strings. Going back to the Erben works;I find the Jarvi set pretty good. I like his Chandos cycle,too. I also have the Chalabala recording of the Erben Poems.I downloaded it,because sellers are always asking ridiculous prices;as if Chalabala actually signed it! ::) I think I'll run some side by side comparisons later.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jo498 on June 19, 2016, 01:07:11 AM
there is a live 9th with Ancerl on Orfeo (+ violin concerto with Suk) that is in decent 60s live mono sound and gives one both of these pieces in very good ans exciting interpretations.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on June 19, 2016, 03:11:58 AM
Thanks! :) I didn't know about the Orfeo release. Bad news for my wallet,though! :(  ;D I tend to dislike live recordings;but there are exceptions! The Gramophone review I looked at just now,raves about this performance and describes the finale as "simply electrifying"! Also,this cd might not make a ticking noise in my mini hi-fi drive! My s/h copy from MusicMagpie was around £4. They also had...........wait for it;the Chalabala recording of the Erben Poems. The other copies are offered by sellers are the usual prices;£42 (I think) upwards!! Think how many meals I can buy with the money I've saved?! Cross fingers,as they say,my s/h copies won't have any scratches! What a haul!! :o ;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jo498 on June 19, 2016, 03:16:51 AM
I can't vouch for (the absence of) clicking noises... I do not know any studio Ancerl 9th. I have the Orfeo and another cheap live one on Aura/Ermitage but the sound on the Orfeo is much better, as far as I recall. Orfeo has the advantage of getting those Salzburg live tapes directly from the Austrian Radio and while they are mono until the mid/late 60s they are usually in pretty good sound.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on June 19, 2016, 03:31:41 AM
I  actually rather like mono sound,funnily enough,on old recordings! The Ancerl I was referring to is on Supraphon. The woodwind is so good on that recording you could almost eat it. Not literally,of course! It's glorious. The Supraphon cd is okay by the way. It's just my mini hi-fi. It only happens with the occasional cd. Which reminds me. I wanted to email Denon about this. Has anyone else here ever had this problem,by the way?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 19, 2016, 03:48:37 AM
Interesting. I always like Neumann. Another unflasy,underrated conductor,like Bryden Thomson,who is actually very good and better than some of the ones they drone on about (who shall remain nameless,for now! ;D). I have his recordings of the Erben Symphonic Poems. They are full of character and atmosphere & I love those Czech orchestras from the old Soviet days. By the way,have you heard Ancerl's Ninth? That's a must have if you like those orchestras. One of the most individual I've heard. The timbre of the woodwinds make it a standout. Unfortunately,my copy made a loud ticking sound in the drive of my mini hi-fi,so I had to make a cd-r!! I also like Reiner and Ormandy. The Reiner has great couplings & the Ormandy glorious performance of the wonderful,underrated Serenade for Strings. Going back to the Erben works;I find the Jarvi set pretty good. I like his Chandos cycle,too. I also have the Chalabala recording of the Erben Poems.I downloaded it,because sellers are always asking ridiculous prices;as if Chalabala actually signed it! ::) I think I'll run some side by side comparisons later.

Those Erben-inspired symphonic poems are absolutely incredible and some of my favorites from Dvorak. Neumann is outstanding in these works. I haven't heard all of Mackerras' recording of those works (yet), but The Water Goblin was mightily impressive. I've always been a fan of Mackerras' conducting anyway, especially when it comes to Czech music. I haven't heard Jarvi or Chalabala, but have doubts they could shake off the impressions I've experienced from Neumann, Harnoncourt, and Mackerras. Plus, I have so much more Dvorak to hear that my head is spinning at the near thought of it. :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on June 19, 2016, 04:55:15 AM
I agree that Jarvi can't do better;but I had the Jarvi set BEFORE I got the Neumann,and the Chandos set includes other Overtures and orchestral works,so if I'm on a Dvorak binge he gets played. I think he's quite good,though. That said,Neumann is brilliant!!! And there's the difference! He really gets under the skin of the music in a way that Jarvi doesn't,and dare I say,can't. Then there's that 'authentic' sound. As to Chalabala. Well,some people seem to rave about his performances (or someone did?) and he is the 'real deal',in the sense that he's one of those Czech conductors from the Soviet era,and his orchestra would have that authentic sound from that hallowed era (musically,I might add,NOT politically!) so his interpretations should have something going for them. He was also one of Supraphons 'house' conductors! That said,I haven't listened to his recordings of them much;mainly because they're on a cd-r & not having jewel case spines,it's a nuisance locating him;so I generally don't bother. This should change once I get the cd. It's usually £40 upwards s/h. I love Dvorak. I had the recordings on a cd-r....how could I resist?!! ::) :( ;D Also,annoyingly;while all four of the Symphonic Poems fit onto the Chalabala Supraphon cd,I could only get three on a cd-r!! Great name too. Chalabala! I like it!!
The Neumann IS the one I play the most,however! You're right to rave about it!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 19, 2016, 05:25:44 AM
I agree that Jarvi can't do better;but I had the Jarvi set BEFORE I got the Neumann,and the Chandos set includes other Overtures and orchestral works,so if I'm on a Dvorak binge he gets played. I think he's quite good,though. That said,Neumann is brilliant!!! And there's the difference! He really gets under the skin of the music in a way that Jarvi doesn't,and dare I say,can't. Then there's that 'authentic' sound. As to Chalabala. Well,some people seem to rave about his performances (or someone did?) and he is the 'real deal',in the sense that he's one of those Czech conductors from the Soviet era,and his orchestra would have that authentic sound from that hallowed era (musically,I might add,NOT politically!) so his interpretations should have something going for them. He was also one of Supraphons 'house' conductors! That said,I haven't listened to his recordings of them much;mainly because they're on a cd-r & not having jewel case spines,it's a nuisance locating him;so I generally don't bother. This should change once I get the cd. It's usually £40 upwards s/h. I love Dvorak. I had the recordings on a cd-r....how could I resist?!! ::) :( ;D Also,annoyingly;while all four of the Symphonic Poems fit onto the Chalabala Supraphon cd,I could only get three on a cd-r!! Great name too. Chalabala! I like it!!
The Neumann IS the one I play the most,however! You're right to rave about it!

Chalabala is ridiculously overpriced and don't really understand why it hasn't been reissued, but I'm not exactly hurting for more recordings of the symphonic poems at this juncture. Have you heard Harnoncourt or Mackerras in these works? They're magnificent!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: amw on June 19, 2016, 06:03:53 AM
I do love the four symphonic poems based on Erben, and recommend them highly - they often feel like attempts to extract maximum color and late-romantic incident out of the minimum possible melodic resources. Dvořák is still Dvořák, of course, in almost every way, with an even bigger palette of orchestral sound and maybe a Mahlerian tendency to excess, but at the same time that you have that excess, you have strictness, too. The Wild Dove is the finest example - it's a theme and variations, more or less; the dance and love song episodes are just tweaks to the opening funeral march theme. Dvořák wanted to show, I suppose, that he didn't just have a gift for melody; he had a gift for taking one melody and spinning it in any direction. The Water Goblin is maybe a rondo, but the main theme is insisted upon in every episode, and nearly every minute, with monomaniacal determination, like a serial killer lurking in the background sizing up each victim. It creates quite an impression seen live in concert, too - the ending, with one final near-silent statement of that theme stretched out over a minute, keeps the whole crowd shut-up and trying their best not to cough.

Maybe the exception to the "economical structure but with bells and whistles" rule is Noon-Day Witch - but that's also the shortest and pithiest. In general, the assignment Dvořák gave himself seems to have been to go on "Survivor" and build a cruise ship.

There are many high-quality recordings; Mackerras' are my favorite, but between Neumann, Kuchar, Harnoncourt, Kertesz, and Wit (Goblin only), it's not like there are wrong answers. There seems to be some controversy regarding what cymbals are to be used in Water Goblin; I don't recall where everyone stands on that.
Apparently I have listened to all the symphonic poems once in the Kubelik double. So I tried Neumann's Vodník instead which was good and relatively straightforward to assimilate (both formally speaking and in its quasi-dramatic structure).

Also a while back I think you asked me something about why I like Scherzo capriccioso—I think I'd have to say because despite its "scherzo" moments it is emotionally and harmonically one of Dvořák's more complex works. For instance the piece is in D-flat but begins in B-flat major, and B-flat continues to act as a disruptive presence (e.g. the persistent A-sharps in the second theme, which is in G major, the most distant possible key from D-flat; or how they lead to ending the first half in F-sharp major instead of the home key, etc) until being "exorcised" by B-double-flat. B-flat is, however, realistically a less dissonant note within D-flat major context than B-double-flat, which contributes to a sense of increasing strain throughout the second half as B-double-flat becomes completely overwhelming (taking over the main theme, then turning into A major to alternate with the tonic, throwing itself into the final chords, etc) which leads to the first half being this very emotionally ambiguous waltz-scherzo-thing and then the second half (after the trio) being this more traditional move to triumph but overlaid with this veneer of frenetic anxiety. That's just one example; there are many similar things. Hard for me to explain why, though; it's one of those pieces that clicked for me and became a favourite immediately on first hearing and I'm just trying to analyse in retrospect now.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on June 23, 2016, 09:45:26 AM
Apparently I have listened to all the symphonic poems once in the Kubelik double. So I tried Neumann's Vodník instead which was good and relatively straightforward to assimilate (both formally speaking and in its quasi-dramatic structure).

Also a while back I think you asked me something about why I like Scherzo capriccioso—I think I'd have to say because despite its "scherzo" moments it is emotionally and harmonically one of Dvořák's more complex works. For instance the piece is in D-flat but begins in B-flat major, and B-flat continues to act as a disruptive presence (e.g. the persistent A-sharps in the second theme, which is in G major, the most distant possible key from D-flat; or how they lead to ending the first half in F-sharp major instead of the home key, etc) until being "exorcised" by B-double-flat. B-flat is, however, realistically a less dissonant note within D-flat major context than B-double-flat, which contributes to a sense of increasing strain throughout the second half as B-double-flat becomes completely overwhelming (taking over the main theme, then turning into A major to alternate with the tonic, throwing itself into the final chords, etc) which leads to the first half being this very emotionally ambiguous waltz-scherzo-thing and then the second half (after the trio) being this more traditional move to triumph but overlaid with this veneer of frenetic anxiety. That's just one example; there are many similar things. Hard for me to explain why, though; it's one of those pieces that clicked for me and became a favourite immediately on first hearing and I'm just trying to analyse in retrospect now.

Thanks so much for this. I remember listening to the Scherzo capriccioso for the first few times as a teenager and being caught off-guard: I thought it was just going to be a happy Czech dance thing. But even as you hear it the work defies expectations - the twists and turns he takes, which you describe in far better language. (Shout-out to the moment when the seemingly happy transition to the ending gets upturned entirely by that long, strange French horn solo.)

I listened to the piece a couple times this week after reading your post, in Dohnányi's recording, which has an immediacy and grab-your-collar insistence that my old Tilson Thomas recording lacked. While writing this, I'm writing Josef Suk's tribute to his father-in-law's work, the Fantastické scherzo, which has different mechanics and different language but to me is a similarly hectic kaleidoscope of moods, leading to a deeply weird conclusion that really freaked out my teenage self.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jo498 on June 23, 2016, 10:28:30 AM
I just listened to a very good Czech Suite with Wit on Naxos but my suggestion is to go for Thomas Hengelbrock's new Sony disc with (I think) the NDR orchestra - it is coupled with one of the best, most dramatic, most rhythmically precise Fourth Symphony recordings. (Wit's disc may fill some gaps in your collection, however: Hero's Song, Hussite Overture, Festival March.)
Thanks! I ordered the Wit precisely because it does fill more gaps (I have the Hussite but not "Hero's Song" and that march). The Hengelbrock is on my list  but I am afraid I don't care enough about the 4th to get another recording in addition to Rowicki and Kertesz.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on June 23, 2016, 12:07:54 PM
Thanks! I ordered the Wit precisely because it does fill more gaps (I have the Hussite but not "Hero's Song" and that march). The Hengelbrock is on my list  but I am afraid I don't care enough about the 4th to get another recording in addition to Rowicki and Kertesz.
With Rowicki you already have another of the best 4ths, anyways, so that would not necessarily be an upgrade. Good decision. Wit's Hussite is radically different from, say, Kubelik's, in a slower, more eloquent/less hectic manner I prefer.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 24, 2016, 12:24:51 AM
I had an agonizing 75-minute drive down to Quincy, along with all the afternoon commuter traffic, yesterday.

Don't know that my mind would have held out, if I hadn't had the Seventh Symphony with me to listen to.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jo498 on June 24, 2016, 12:50:15 AM
I bought the set of Rowicki's 4-6 in early october 2004 on a trip in California (probably bought it at Tower records in Downtown San Francisco) and some of the music, especially the 4th (because I had not know this one at all before) will alwas be connected with driving south from San Francisco, along the coast and then into the desert towards Death valley ;)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jo498 on June 25, 2016, 01:12:23 AM
Apparently there was an early 1970s? Teldec recording of the op.45 Rhapsodies (no op.14?) to fill out a 2 LP set of the Slavonic dances by Vaclav Neumann. But as the Dances fit on one CD the Rhapsodies have apparently been "orphaned"; only one of them appeared as a filler for a disk with dances and marches by Fucik, also conducted by Neumann.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on June 25, 2016, 04:30:16 AM
I had an agonizing 75-minute drive down to Quincy, along with all the afternoon commuter traffic, yesterday.

Don't know that my mind would have held out, if I hadn't had the Seventh Symphony with me to listen to.
I've experienced quite a few agonising minutes of Quincy,in my time. Right through to the crummy joke in the restaurant at the end! ::) ;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 30, 2016, 04:04:08 AM
The Dvorak listening has turned into a major symphony binge over the last few days. I'd already listened to several over the course of the month, but now I've listened to the 5th, 9th, 4th, 8th and 6th, each of them more than once.

Not sure if I'll have time for the 7th before bed...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 30, 2016, 04:29:49 AM
The Dvorak listening has turned into a major symphony binge over the last few days. I'd already listened to several over the course of the month, but now I've listened to the 5th, 9th, 4th, 8th and 6th, each of them more than once.

Not sure if I'll have time for the 7th before bed...

Great stuff, orfeo. I actually like all of Dvorak's symphonies. Not a dud in the bunch. I even like The Bells of Zlonice, which gets a lot of negative feedback from listeners it seems. I think the 4th, however, maybe my personal favorite.

I'm going to revisit his Cello Concerto later (the Rostropovich/HvK recording).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 30, 2016, 04:45:19 AM
I don't yet know the first three. But actually it was the 4th that surprised me this time around with how much I liked it. There's definitely a touch of Wagner about it, but not too much.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 30, 2016, 04:47:59 AM
I don't yet know the first three. But actually it was the 4th that surprised me this time around with how much I liked it. There's definitely a touch of Wagner about it, but not too much.

I was quite taken aback by how good it was when I first heard last month, although I may have heard it before, but I certainly don't remember. The last movement, in particular, has some persistent, ferocious rhythms. In a small way, some of these rhythms reminded of Bruckner.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on June 30, 2016, 09:27:54 AM
I love that mysterious opening! Must give it another spin,soon. I've just been listening through a pile of Dvorak orchestral works. Supraphon cds of Ancerl's Sixth and Ninth (a replacement for an earlier cd) and Jarvi's (Chandos) Fifth came through the letterbox only this week. Chalabala's recording of the Erben poems only last week. The live recordings of Ancerl on Orfeo were great. I do like it when the audience wait for the breaks in between to cough!! ::) ;D I wasn't happy with the state of the booklet and case,though. It looked like someone had dropped their breakfast on it,or something worse;but the Seller gave me a speedy refund!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on July 01, 2016, 12:54:41 AM
I dig that mysterious opening! I bought the Kertesz recording recently. I had the Naxos recording before that. Okay,but this one did it for me. Anyone heard the Suitner recording?
Nice to see I was "digging it" on page 18! ??? 8) And I still am!! I've since disposed of the Naxos recording;although I don't think it was that bad. The Suitner is now available at a bargain price. Symphonies 4 & 5 are arranged in order;as are all the symphonies in the set. Some people seem to rate this set highly. One review I read mentioned a squeaky  (or creaky?) chair in the recording of the Fourth which,I remember,put me off! ???
I love the rhythms in the Fourth. Very exciting;although I listened to the Rowicki recording,yesterday. I think you've got to be a bit of a misery not enjoy the Fourth. Annoyingly,the Fourth seems to be a bit neglected if you just want it on a single cd. The Jarvi Fourth on Chandos is coupled with Brian Rayner Cook singing his Biblical Songs in English. I like Jarvi's Dvorak,but,I don't like the sound of that!! Not that I wouldn't like the songs,but Brian Rayner Cook?!!
The Neumann set looks absolutely great. A bit pricey,as yet (incredible value for money as it is) so I'll have to wait. It is nice to see that there are no breaks in the symphonies,where you have to put on another cd to hear the remainder. Very annoying!. This put me off the previous sets. One question I would like to put to lucky owners of this set. How much room does this take? Is it one of those slimline sets with the cds in card sleeves? Or will I have to build an extension to house it?!! ??? ;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 01, 2016, 02:28:24 AM
Nice to see I was "digging it" on page 18! ??? 8) And I still am!! I've since disposed of the Naxos recording;although I don't think it was that bad. The Suitner is now available at a bargain price. Symphonies 4 & 5 are arranged in order;as are all the symphonies in the set. Some people seem to rate this set highly. One review I read mentioned a squeaky  (or creaky?) chair in the recording of the Fourth which,I remember,put me off! ???

Suitner's Fourth, the first movement, is rather slow and laidback and missing some orchestral detail. He also omits the repeat. Not a first choice

I love the rhythms in the Fourth. Very exciting;although I listened to the Rowicki recording,yesterday. I think you've got to be a bit of a misery not enjoy the Fourth. Annoyingly,the Fourth seems to be a bit neglected if you just want it on a single cd. The Jarvi Fourth on Chandos is coupled with Brian Rayner Cook singing his Biblical Songs in English. I like Jarvi's Dvorak,but,I don't like the sound of that!! Not that I wouldn't like the songs,but Brian Rayner Cook?!!

Two very good "single" Fourths are Hengelbrock/NDR (swift and ferocious with a great coupling in the Czech Suite) and Pesek/Czech Phil (with a slower first movement than Hengelbrock, but more detailed, more rhythmically incisive, and far more passionate than Suitner).

The Neumann set looks absolutely great. A bit pricey,as yet (incredible value for money as it is) so I'll have to wait. It is nice to see that there are no breaks in the symphonies,where you have to put on another cd to hear the remainder. Very annoying!. This put me off the previous sets. One question I would like to put to lucky owners of this set. How much room does this take? Is it one of those slimline sets with the cds in card sleeves? Or will I have to build an extension to house it?!! ??? ;D

Neumann's box is quite compact. Just an inch wide, holding marvelous performances of the symphonies, tone poems and overtures, all laid out perfectly (e.g., the overtures on one disc, in proper order).

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on July 01, 2016, 03:14:26 AM
Thanks,Sarge. :) Good! I'd be listening out for that squeaky chair (or toy?! How do they know it's furniture making that noise?!! ;D). Also,I'm not really that fired by the idea of an East German orchestras doing Dvorak. Not that East German orchestras weren't good,of course. Just not Dvorak,for some reason. Of course there could be a Suitner admirer out there who will disagree. If so,speak now or forever hold your peace. (Okay,you don't have to forever!!) And now for the alternatives without the possiblity of strange squeaking noises disturbing my listening. Hengelbrock sounds good. I haven't got the Czech Suite. I do remember looking at that one,but I couldn't find a review. I wanted a cd with No 4 first;which is why I ended up with the Naxos cd. I'm talking about single cds as opposed to collections,I should emphasise. Jarvi's Chandos recording,as I say,was ruled out by the choice of coupling. You only have to spend an hour,or so,hunting for a single cd with No 4 placed FIRST,to find out how neglected this symphony is in this format....box sets,yes;but on it's own,preferably followed by No 5...NO! I also like to hear the symphony FIRST,then the Symphonic poem or Suite,if that is what is chosen (instead of a symphony). I'm very fussy aren't I?
Regarding the dimensions of the Supraphon box. Just an inch wide,and all that inside. I love the minimalist design,too. Cool! 8)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on July 02, 2016, 12:39:31 AM
You really know your Fourth,Sarge! ??? ;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on July 02, 2016, 03:45:10 AM
Cilgwyn, I HIGHLY recommend getting that Neumann Supraphon set. It's worth it's weight in gold. Sizzling performances from start to finish. If you can get it for $35 or cheaper, jump on it. You won't regret it!

(http://www.amoeba.com/sized-images/max/500/500/uploads/buystuff_items/099925409029.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on July 02, 2016, 09:20:18 AM
And only an inch wide!! ??? ;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on July 02, 2016, 05:42:02 PM
And only an inch wide!! ??? ;D

When the music is this good, everything else is of no importance. :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on July 03, 2016, 01:48:37 AM
Agreed! It's just getting a bit cramped here! I'm looking at attic space!! ;D I did consider the Neumann recordings a while back,but at the time,the only available cds had the movements of some of the symphonies split between cds. I find this annoying,so that was the end of that. I did,however,buy the Neumann cd of the Erben Symphonic poems. Now Supraphon have finally solved the problem. That said,it will have to wait a bit longer. The deluge of cds and dvds here has been of Biblical proportions of late!! Neumann is one of my favourite conductors,however;and hey......why buy Suitner when you can buy Neumann,eh?!! ;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on July 03, 2016, 03:55:09 AM
Agreed! It's just getting a bit cramped here! I'm looking at attic space!! ;D I did consider the Neumann recordings a while back,but at the time,the only available cds had the movements of some of the symphonies split between cds. I find this annoying,so that was the end of that. I did,however,buy the Neumann cd of the Erben Symphonic poems. Now Supraphon have finally solved the problem. That said,it will have to wait a bit longer. The deluge of cds and dvds here has been of Biblical proportions of late!! Neumann is one of my favourite conductors,however;and hey......why buy Suitner when you can buy Neumann,eh?!! ;D

It is very possible you're referring to Neumann's second cycle on Supraphon (re: the split-up symphonies over two discs). To my knowledge, his first cycle had never seen a commercial release until that dark purple set (Symphonic Works) was released. Someone more knowledgeable about the Dvorak discography may have to correct me here, but this is all based on what I remember reading.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on July 03, 2016, 04:38:02 AM
The last day or two of conversation, I've been wondering whether or not you are all talking about the same Neumann. It's not at all clear.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on July 03, 2016, 04:40:00 AM
The last day or two of conversation, I've been wondering whether or not you are all talking about the same Neumann. It's not at all clear.

I'm talking about Neumann's first cycle. He has two cycles.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on July 03, 2016, 04:47:40 AM
I'm talking about Neumann's first cycle. He has two cycles.

I know he has two cycles. Isn't that exactly the point of what I just said?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on July 03, 2016, 04:48:55 AM
I know he has two cycles. Isn't that exactly the point of what I just said?

Just clarifying that I'm talking about Neumann's first cycle. That's all.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on July 03, 2016, 04:52:47 AM
Yes, well which one you've been talking about is tolerably clear. But when I say "whether you are all talking about the same Neumann", I'm not talking about your posts, I'm talking about the conversation that's been going on. I'm not suggesting you've been talking at cross-purposes with yourself, I'm suggesting people might have been talking at cross-purposes with each other.

Which is almost exactly the same suggestion you yourself made less than an hour earlier, so I'm not sure what the point of your reply is. It's you who referred to the existence of two cycles and suggested that cilgwyn might be mentioning the other one. So you're actually "talking about" both of them. I know which one you own.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on July 03, 2016, 04:57:48 AM
Allow me for another clarification: Neumann's later cycle on Supraphon has symphonies that are split-up onto two different discs throughout the set. Cilgwyn mentioned how he disliked this, so that's when I pointed him to the Neumann's first cycle (the purple box), which doesn't suffer this kind of problem. Are you still confused?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on July 03, 2016, 05:06:22 AM
Not at all. I'm discussing a couple of days worth of conversation which involved other people besides your good self. Are you still confused about what I'm saying? Just because your post was immediately before mine Does. Not. Make. This. About. You. 

For God's sake, Mirror Image, why are you making this difficult? What I had in mind as having been liable to confusion wasn't your contribution at all, and now what I actually wanted to point to is lost and buried under a useless exchange because you insist on "clarifying" repeatedly something I wasn't confused about in the first place.

If anyone can be arsed to look back that far, it wasn't clear whether Sergeant Rock and cilgwyn were talking about the same cycle.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on July 03, 2016, 05:17:08 AM
Not at all. I'm discussing a couple of days worth of conversation which involved other people besides your good self. Are you still confused about what I'm saying? Just because your post was immediately before mine Does. Not. Make. This. About. You. 

For God's sake, Mirror Image, why are you making this difficult? What I had in mind as having been liable to confusion wasn't your contribution at all, and now what I actually wanted to point to is lost and buried under a useless exchange because you insist on "clarifying" repeatedly something I wasn't confused about in the first place.

If anyone can be arsed to look back that far, it wasn't clear whether Sergeant Rock and cilgwyn were talking about the same cycle.

You're such a jolly good bloke. Sorry, my medication hadn't kicked in yet. :-\
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 03, 2016, 05:20:04 AM
If anyone can be arsed to look back that far, it wasn't clear whether Sergeant Rock and cilgwyn were talking about the same cycle.

cilgwyn said:

It is nice to see that there are no breaks in the symphonies,where you have to put on another cd to hear the remainder. Very annoying!. This put me off the previous sets.

So I think we were talking about the same boxes (the purple analogue vs the earlier digital box where some of the symphonies are broken between discs). Since I mentioned the inclusion of tone poems and overtures, he must've known which box I was referring to. I can't be sure, though, if he knew (or knows) that they are different symphony cycles.

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on July 03, 2016, 05:28:28 AM
(the purple analogue vs the earlier digital box where some of the symphonies are broken between discs).

See, this is the kind of thing that causes confusion. This could read as if you're talking about two different presentations of the same recording. You're not. You're talking about two entirely different recordings.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on July 03, 2016, 05:33:39 AM
The only thing I'm confused about is orfeo's confusion. :laugh:
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 03, 2016, 05:41:22 AM
The only thing I'm confused about is orfeo's confusion. :laugh:

Me too. I give up.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on July 03, 2016, 05:43:30 AM
Me too. I give up.

We'll just blame cilgwyn and call it a day and pretend none of this ever happened. 0:)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 03, 2016, 06:09:07 AM
We'll just blame cilgwyn and call it a day and pretend none of this ever happened. 0:)

Just in case cilgwyn is confused: there are two different cycles, one analogue, one digital. I recommended the former.

The analogue recordings with the symphonies (none split between discs), tone poems and overtures are in this box:




The digital recordings with just the symphonies are in this box:




Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on July 03, 2016, 06:11:54 AM
Okay...now I'm confused. ;) J/k, Sarge. :P

Speaking of Neumann's second cycle, I haven't heard it, but my dad owns it. What do you make of the performances? I loved his analogue cycle. I'm wondering if they have that same kind of energy?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 03, 2016, 06:18:48 AM
Speaking of Neumann's second cycle, I haven't heard it, but my dad owns it. What do you make of the performances? I loved his analogue cycle. I'm wondering if they have that same kind of energy?

I have not heard it (the digital). Just know of it from reviews.

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on July 03, 2016, 06:28:13 AM
I was Sarge!  :( Thanks! I'm afraid I didn't know that he had made two complete cycles. I just looked for a Neumann cycle at the time and I saw that some of the symphonies were split between two cds. I find this a bit annoying,so I decided to give the recordings a miss. I must admit I didn't really look into it any further. If I had the DDD on the box might have provided me with a clue. It would have been surprising if someone who had been conducting as long as Neumann hadn't had more than one crack of the whip at one of their greatest composers. So the purple box set consists of an earlier analogue cycle! Okay,now I know. Apologies for any confusion caused by my post! Everythings okay now here,I hope?!! (Gulp!)  ???
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on July 03, 2016, 06:40:02 AM
I was Sarge!  :( Thanks! I'm afraid I didn't know that he had made two complete cycles. I just looked for a Neumann cycle at the time and I saw that some of the symphonies were split between two cds. I find this a bit annoying,so I decided to give the recordings a miss. I must admit I didn't really look into it any further. If I had the DDD on the box might have provided me with a clue. It would have been surprising if someone who had been conducting as long as Neumann hadn't had more than one crack of the whip at one of their greatest composers. So the purple box set consists of an earlier analogue cycle! Okay,now I know. Apologies for any confusion caused by my post! Everythings okay now here,I hope?!! (Gulp!)  ???

You should definitely hear this analogue cycle, cilgwyn! Right up your alley.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mjmosca on July 04, 2016, 02:37:40 AM
It would be difficult for anyone not to like Dvorak- a superb melodic craftsman, excellent grasp of structure and wonderful orchestration! One of his works that I have really come to love is "The Golden Spinning Wheel" - crazy story, but who cares! Dvorak transforms it into a magnificent sonic experience. I have the Jarvi recording, which is splendid. I often find Jarvi too fast, but he seems perfect in this (and the other symphonic poems.

I don't know the early symphonies, however. Any input would be appreciated. thank you!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on July 04, 2016, 11:09:28 AM
It would be difficult for anyone not to like Dvorak- a superb melodic craftsman, excellent grasp of structure and wonderful orchestration! One of his works that I have really come to love is "The Golden Spinning Wheel" - crazy story, but who cares! Dvorak transforms it into a magnificent sonic experience. I have the Jarvi recording, which is splendid. I often find Jarvi too fast, but he seems perfect in this (and the other symphonic poems.

I don't know the early symphonies, however. Any input would be appreciated. thank you!

I'd say get the Symphonic Works box set on Supraphon (the purple box). For me, Neumann beats Jarvi in every aspect of Dvorak's music, but, of course, YMMV.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: jlaurson on July 04, 2016, 11:44:50 AM
It would be difficult for anyone not to like Dvorak- a superb melodic craftsman, excellent grasp of structure and wonderful orchestration! One of his works that I have really come to love is "The Golden Spinning Wheel" - crazy story, but who cares! Dvorak transforms it into a magnificent sonic experience. I have the Jarvi recording, which is splendid. I often find Jarvi too fast, but he seems perfect in this (and the other symphonic poems.

I don't know the early symphonies, however. Any input would be appreciated. thank you!

The early symphonies are mostly/all worth hearing. Some are very Wagnerian, others are proto-Brahmsish... a little less Czech/Bohemian as later Dvorak comes across. Very roughly you could group 1-5 as the early ones and 6-9 as the mature masterpieces.

The early symphonies are most conveniently, most acquired in a complete set. Here's a list of all the available Dvorak Symphony Cycles I've put together:
A Survey of Dvořák Symphony Cycles
(http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-survey-of-dvorak-symphony-cycles.html)

Istvan Kertesz' has always been known for the early symphonies, but in part that's because he was the conductor who meant the first exposure of many/most (Western) ears to these works and he did a good job.
There are other cycles worth considering -- and in fact I would make one consideration that none of the symphonies (sometimes it's No.4 that suffers, as in Kertesz, sometimes No.5 [Kubelik older set, I think], or No.2 [the otherwise superb Rowicki set]) are split over two discs. That's just too annoying. But there are sets that don't do that (Kubelik in the latest, Eloquence, edition; Neumann 70s and several others I don't remember off the top of my head). Hope that helps; if you have other questions, shoot -- it's what the forum's here for as you well know.  :D


Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on July 04, 2016, 11:50:49 AM
The early symphonies are mostly/all worth hearing. Some are very Wagnerian, others are proto-Brahmsish... a little less Czech/Bohemian as later Dvorak comes across. Very roughly you could group 1-5 as the early ones and 6-9 as the mature masterpieces.

The early symphonies are most conveniently, most acquired in a complete set. Here's a list of all the available Dvorak Symphony Cycles I've put together:
 or No.2 [the otherwise superb Rowicki set]) are split over two discs. That's just too annoying. But there are sets that don't do that (Kubelik in the latest, Eloquence, edition; Neumann 70s and several others I don't remember off the top of my head). Hope that helps; if you have other questions, shoot -- it's what the forum's here for as you well know.  :D
(http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-survey-of-dvorak-symphony-cycles.html)

Try this one, you don't get any splits, bit you get 9 symphonies on 6cds with no coupling. Is that better than splitting them up and squeeze in something extra?
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51sdIBphwGL._SL500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: jlaurson on July 04, 2016, 12:07:12 PM
...You get 9 symphonies on 6cds with no coupling. Is that better than splitting them up and squeeze in something extra?


Yes, much better!  (Well, I think so, at any rate; mjmosca may be his own judge on the matter.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on July 05, 2016, 04:28:41 AM
Neumann set is very interesting. Until Neumann's cycle there were no integral sets of the Dvorak symphonies. As to me? I like Jarvi's Dvorak;although I've got the original single cd releases. I think they are lively,vigorous readings with humour and atmosphere in abundance. Jarvi at his best! I like the fill-ups too,and I must say,I love the 'folksy' artwork. There's also the Suitner set,which doesn't have any side breaks. I haven't heard it,though;so I'm not in a position to recommend it. You also get the great 'Chandos' sound with Jarvi (so called,I'm a bit of a fan of their sound engineering!). Of course,if you've got an arm and a leg to spare,you've got Neumann. I've been reading all the reviews. This was the first complete cycle issued in what was Czechoslovakia. As complete cycles this is as about as authentic as it gets. Unless you have some aversion to Eastern European orchestras and sound engineering this will probably be your first choice once you have parted with the requisite dosh;although it's always interesting to hear alternative interpretations;and Jarvi is Eastern European. Not Czech I know;but it probably gives him an edge. His Martinu cycle is a case in point;although again,as Mirror Image would point out,Neumann is the real deal! And he is!! ;D I do think some of this is subjective,however. People respond to things in different ways,to some degree. At least I hope so;otherwise we'd all be robots and there would be no threads on this forum. Everyone would just agree with each other and have the same opinions. On the plus side...no arguments!! That said;I do have a penchance for music recorded by a fellow countryman (or woman!). So I like Boult,Barbirolli,Beecham,Handley,Thomson or Hickox,say,in Elgar,VW,Bax,Delius (to varying degrees) for example. And French conductors and French orchestras performing French music,say. There's an authenticity about the interpretations,an insight and special sound. Also,there's always something about first recordings or first complete cycles. Although Kertész who got there first with Dvorak was born in Hungary. I have a certain sympathy for the reviewer's (of Neumann,Musicweb again) nostalgia for those old Supraphon recordings with their often engageing artwork (pasted on) and endearing transliterations;often unintentionally hilarious and,to be fair,never as dull and opaque as some of the ones you get from Cpo,which read like they've been typed into the translate gizmo on Google! Phew!! ::) And you still can't beat the sheer excitement and frisson of getting your recordings over enemy lines. Exciting!! Although,not for the poor people living there! :(

PS: Just sell the car (if you've got one) and buy Neumann! ;D I  just want to give my postman a break and wait for a good deal. Seriously,it really is fantasic value for the money.

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2012/July12/Dvorak_symphonies_SU40902.htm (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2012/July12/Dvorak_symphonies_SU40902.htm)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on July 05, 2016, 04:48:55 AM
Symphonies split between cds are a pain;and obviously unecessary in this day & age. I'd rather pay a bit more if necessary to avoid them. Of course,people of my generation regularly had to break their a*** to lift an Lp off the record player turntable spindle and turn it over to hear side two. Although,this is coming back into fashion!! ;D We also had to fast forward and reverse musicassettes,and even worse;physically get up off our backsides and walk across the floor to the tv to change channels,by the sweat of our own brow!!
Those were hard times! :( ;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jo498 on July 05, 2016, 05:16:20 AM
I wonder if there was a combined Supraphon Cycle pre-Neumann?
I am not sure about 1 and 2 but the others were recorded:
3 Smetacek 1959
4 Neumann 1959 (not sure if this is part of the first Neumann)
5 Sejna 1952
Talich did 6-9?, certainly 7-9 already in the 1930s. There is another 6th with Ancerl from the 1960s, 6+7 with Sejna from the same time.

I also dislike splits but the worst treated piece in my collection is Tchaikovsky's 5th. I can understand the split in a a twofer. But I have boxes where one could have (easily) managed to avoid the split and filled the 3 discs with other stuff, e.g. Silvestri and Markevitch. The Klemp romantic symphonies splits #6 (some fairness for #5).
Of course, with LPs this was just the normal way things were.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on July 05, 2016, 06:09:07 AM
The Neumann was the first intergral Czech cycle,according to that review on Musicweb. Without recourse to a library or any other source,at the moment,I can only assume he's correct about that. I know that in trying to find early recordings of Dvorak symphonies,by Czech conductors,on cd I haven't been able to find as much as I hoped. Ancel's 6th and 9th are fantastic. The couplings are quite special,too;but he doesn't seem to have recorded any others! :( I have listened to Talich,and it would nice to add Sejna to my collection....but phew,they're expensive s/h at the moment. Of course some people don't like old mono recordings. I do!! :)
As to Lp's. This was meant to be a humorous reference to the fact that breaks symphonic works were something that you took for granted years ago. I can't remember it ever having bothered me at the time. On the contrary,I think I actually enjoyed it!! ??? ;D In this respect it has occurred to me that maybe I'm just moaning about nothing. After all,it's not exactly breaking rocks in a quarry! But of course the difference with cds is.......that(fanfare!) you don't bloomin' well have to! Well,not always,anyway;and you certainly shouldn't have to in a Dvorak symphony! For one thing,it interrupts the flow.....it spoils the mood! One way I often get around it is buying the set with the break and then getting the original issue releases of the split ones. You can't do this always,and not,as far as I'm aware,with Rowicki. Unless I buy one of those (now trendy again) turntables;buy a s/h Rowicki Lp and then I'll have to turn over the d*** thing,anyway! >:( ;D
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on July 05, 2016, 06:15:42 AM
Let us know when you buy the Symphonic Works (purple) set on Supraphon. ;)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jo498 on July 05, 2016, 06:33:11 AM
I only listened to LPs (even more to MCs) for about two years, ca. 1987-88. One was simply used to it but even then I did not like having to turn sides within long movements (like Eroica funeral march). Fortunately, I did not listen to Bruckner, Mahler or Wagner yet. Those came only with the CD age...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on July 05, 2016, 06:55:47 AM
The age of iTunes has one major bonus: the ability to stitch things together from separate CDs.

Though I'd still much rather that the discs didn't have unnecessary splits. But it comes in handy for works over 80 minutes (of which there are a couple in the Sacred Works & Cantatas box).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 05, 2016, 07:03:09 AM
I only listened to LPs (even more to MCs) for about two years, ca. 1987-88. One was simply used to it but even then I did not like having to turn sides within long movements (like Eroica funeral march). Fortunately, I did not listen to Bruckner, Mahler or Wagner yet. Those came only with the CD age...

Well, don't forget 78s where each side on those heavy discs was 4 minutes long. We still had some at home when I was first finding music around 1960, and to this day I still hear certain pieces in my head with breaks after each 4-minute block. Today when works are broken up between CDs, I extract the WAV files and burn my own CD.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jo498 on July 05, 2016, 07:41:15 AM
I don't think I ever listened to a 78 disc. Even the player my parents had in the late 1970s when I was a kid did only have 33 and 45 turns.
I once accidentally listened to Dorati's LP with Haydn's clock symphony at 45 and kept thinking that this was much faster than I remembered. For some reason it took quite a while until I realized the mistake and the higher pitched sound. It is so obvious with voices (we did it all the time for fun with popular music, in both directions) but if one is fairly new to the timbres of an orchestra and the overall playback equipment is not so good...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on July 05, 2016, 09:19:40 AM
Actually,the first ever 'record player' I owned was an old HMV wind-up gramophone. It belonged to my grandparents and they were going to get rid of it. This was in the 60's I should point out. I got my first record player in my teens. A Fidelity with a carry handle,from Woolworths. I still have the Gramophone and a tall waist high HMV I bought when I was a bit drunk!! I'd play it;but there's no volume control (an excuse for playing loud music if ever there was) and there are people next door! And there are some things on top of it at the moment, Remember when the clockwork motor ran down and you had to rush to wind it up? Allright in a power cut,mind and enviromentally friendly (no carbon footprint!) Apart from that,I'd rather listen to recordings from that era on cd. I think I did  Dvorak's Ninth on a 78;or parts of the set. I bet it was Hamilton Harty! At the time you would have probably not minded winding up the clockwork motor and having eight or more side changes. It was the music that counted and your snazzy new wind up gramophone!
Not so great in the 1970's;although strangely enough when the other village kids saw it they all wanted to have a go at playing it. They couldn't seem to get their heads around a record player that worked without electricity! :o Strangely enough,I've had this reaction more than once from various adults!!
Fortunately,Mirror Image and his generation don't need  to roll up their sleeves to  listen to their Dvorak collection! My biceps were pretty pumped looking,though! ::) ;D Although all those box sets must involve some heavy lifting?!! ???

Incidentally,the first ever Dvorak Ninth (or symphony for that matter) I ever heard in Lp form was Enrique Jorda conducting the New Symphony Orchestra on the Decca Ace of Clubs label. It was recorded in the Kingsway Hall in 1951. As far as I can make out it has never been released on cd;or at least the last time I looked. I notice it can be downloaded from one of those Vinyl blogs!! It was in my granparents collection and I used to play it on their Radiogram  (big wooden things like a bit like a sideboard with doors and a radio as well). Was it a particularly good performance,I don't know? I enjoyed it then. It's at my fathers house now. If I buy a turntable...........
What was your first Ninth? I can't remember which was the second recording I heard. I've got several Ninths on cd,now. It might have been Kertesz? They had them all in the library with those Breughel paintings. They looked great,incidentally.

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Jo498 on July 05, 2016, 10:22:38 AM
My first Dvorak 9th was on a cheapo MC (owned actually by my father or the whole family and frequently played in the car on longer drives) and I do not remember the conductor. Maybe Järvi. I think it was some Eastern European orchestra/conductor. There were a few "companion" MCs, maybe a cheap serie, it was ca. 1986. The Tchaikovsky 1st concerto was with the young Sokolov (not that I knew anything about him), there was a Liszt recital with Gilels and others? and 3 Beethoven sonatas with the Bulgarian Yuri Boukoff. I got rid of all those MCs years ago or if I didn't, I cannot find them anymore. I kept more LPs for nostalgic reasons but there is no Dvorak among those.

The first I bought on CD (much later, the MC served for years) was maybe Kubelik and I think I bought it as a gift for my younger brother....not sure anymore.
My first Dvorak CD was the Slavonic Dances with Dorati. This disc was for a while used to entertain/distract my youngest sister (then about 4 years old if my parents were away and we had to care for her and she did not want to go to bed).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on July 27, 2016, 10:19:08 AM
What on earth is the structure of the Fifth Symphony's finale? It feels like an exposition and then a ton of repeats and then a coda. I've listened to this piece a million times but still haven't figured out that finale. (Not to mention the emotional disconnect from the rest of the work - though in that respect, this symphony very strongly presages Mahler's First!)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Daverz on July 27, 2016, 12:19:25 PM
Ancel's 6th and 9th are fantastic. The couplings are quite special,too;but he doesn't seem to have recorded any others!

There are live Ancerl recordings of 8.  One is in the Great Conductors of the 20th Century series.  May be the same as the recording on Tahra.



Quote
:( I have listened to Talich,and it would nice to add Sejna to my collection....but phew,they're expensive s/h at the moment. Of course some people don't like old mono recordings. I do!! :)

If you can do digital files, http://www.supraphonline.cz/ has them very cheaply.

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 27, 2016, 01:22:33 PM
What on earth is the structure of the Fifth Symphony's finale? It feels like an exposition and then a ton of repeats and then a coda. I've listened to this piece a million times but still haven't figured out that finale. (Not to mention the emotional disconnect from the rest of the work - though in that respect, this symphony very strongly presages Mahler's First!)

"Dvorak plunges dramatically into the Finale with a striking theme through which he not only remembers the A minor key of the second movement but also the need to consolidate the whole structure of the symphony with music set in a broader time-signature than had hitherto been employed. His ultimate goal is of course F major. But in this remarkable example of what is called 'progressive tonality' that goal is reached only after a veritable battle royal with the determined A minor key--an onslaught here parried if not overcome after 54 bars of strenuous struggle. A prolonged development follows a suave second subject in D flat. But the strenuous climaxes soon return and eventually Dvorak steers the music back to the A minor theme now reintroduced by the oboe and then followed, as a complete surprise, by the bass clarinet. From now on much of the music is either restated or varied both in tonality and orchestration as with sure steps it approaches the final F major victory." --The Symphony, Volume 1, Penguin, edited by Robert Simpson

That description probably doesn't help you. Me, I just wallow in the drama, paying no mind to any logical, or not so logical progression or structure.

Sarge
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: amw on July 27, 2016, 02:04:39 PM
IIRC finale of the 5th is a sonata form without development (similar to finale of Brahms 1) which derives most of its complexity from beginning the exposition and recap in the wrong key. I could be wrong.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on July 27, 2016, 11:57:24 PM
There's a development. Really, a development isn't much more than "a ton of repeats" of material set out in the exposition, varied in different ways.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: amw on July 28, 2016, 01:15:37 AM
Ok yes, there is actually a development.

Structure is
exposition (first theme bars 1-80, transition bars 81-92, second theme bars 93-116, closing theme bars 117-130)
bipartite development starting at bar 131 (horn fanfare) and ending at bar 227 (bass clarinet solo)
recapitulation (first theme 228-282—the opening bars omitted and some tonal changes, transition 283-291, second theme 292-337—expanded with new material, closing theme 338-349)
coda from bar 350 (recurrence of 1st movement motive in winds)

The "sonata form without development" feeling probably comes out of the way the development section focuses exclusively on the main theme, apart from the closing theme appearing again to set up Part 2. This makes it feel like an extension of those opening 20-30 bars of the first theme that don't recur in the recapitulation. Those opening bars in turn were highly developmental in texture and harmony, so I guess I interpreted it as a feeling of "development - exposition - development 2: electric boogaloo - recapitulation".
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on July 28, 2016, 02:33:37 AM
Yes, I agree that the main theme really dominates and gives that effect.

It's certainly not a straightforward example of the genre!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on July 28, 2016, 03:49:53 AM
Ok yes, there is actually a development.

Structure is
exposition (first theme bars 1-80, transition bars 81-92, second theme bars 93-116, closing theme bars 117-130)
bipartite development starting at bar 131 (horn fanfare) and ending at bar 227 (bass clarinet solo)
recapitulation (first theme 228-282—the opening bars omitted and some tonal changes, transition 283-291, second theme 292-337—expanded with new material, closing theme 338-349)
coda from bar 350 (recurrence of 1st movement motive in winds)

The "sonata form without development" feeling probably comes out of the way the development section focuses exclusively on the main theme, apart from the closing theme appearing again to set up Part 2. This makes it feel like an extension of those opening 20-30 bars of the first theme that don't recur in the recapitulation. Those opening bars in turn were highly developmental in texture and harmony, so I guess I interpreted it as a feeling of "development - exposition - development 2: electric boogaloo - recapitulation".
You figured all that out? I am impressed.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on August 01, 2016, 03:56:07 PM
Ok yes, there is actually a development.

Structure is
exposition (first theme bars 1-80, transition bars 81-92, second theme bars 93-116, closing theme bars 117-130)
bipartite development starting at bar 131 (horn fanfare) and ending at bar 227 (bass clarinet solo)
recapitulation (first theme 228-282—the opening bars omitted and some tonal changes, transition 283-291, second theme 292-337—expanded with new material, closing theme 338-349)
coda from bar 350 (recurrence of 1st movement motive in winds)

The "sonata form without development" feeling probably comes out of the way the development section focuses exclusively on the main theme, apart from the closing theme appearing again to set up Part 2. This makes it feel like an extension of those opening 20-30 bars of the first theme that don't recur in the recapitulation. Those opening bars in turn were highly developmental in texture and harmony, so I guess I interpreted it as a feeling of "development - exposition - development 2: electric boogaloo - recapitulation".
Thank you so much for this. I will listen to this symphony closely soon with your post handy.

You figured all that out? I am impressed.
Not too surprising; amw is a badass.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on August 01, 2016, 04:00:40 PM
Thank you so much for this. I will listen to this symphony closely soon with your post handy.
Not too surprising; amw is a badass.
Now all scholarship needs to be peer-reviewed. Who is going to do that?
Our friend Sforzando seems like he knows his way around a score or two, maybe he will chime in?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on August 02, 2016, 04:04:41 AM
Now all scholarship needs to be peer-reviewed. Who is going to do that?

It's as if my post before amw's never existed...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on August 02, 2016, 05:20:32 AM
It's as if my post before amw's never existed...
(http://www.prdaily.com/Uploads/Public/rodney-dangerfield-no-respect.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on August 02, 2016, 05:44:37 AM
Now all scholarship needs to be peer-reviewed. Who is going to do that?
Our friend Sforzando seems like he knows his way around a score or two, maybe he will chime in?

I'm sorry; I just found this post by accident. So I don't have to slog through this entire thread, just what am I supposed to chime about?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on August 02, 2016, 05:48:57 AM
I'm sorry; I just found this post by accident. So I don't have to slog through this entire thread, just what am I supposed to chime about?
Apparently PW wants someone to double-check amw's perfectly thorough post on the finale of the Symphony No. 5. I'm not sure why; there's a faint whiff of condescension in the air.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on August 02, 2016, 06:01:18 AM
Apparently PW wants someone to double-check amw's perfectly thorough post on the finale of the Symphony No. 5. I'm not sure why; there's a faint whiff of condescension in the air.

Faint aromatic molecules are reaching me even as we speak. (Oh wait, that's the croissants coming out of the oven at the Barnes & Noble café where I am now ensconced.) My experience with amw has been that amw knows his stuff; hence if I "double-check" at some point when I have nothing better to do, I expect to find nothing amiss.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on August 02, 2016, 06:19:45 AM
Apparently PW wants someone to double-check amw's perfectly thorough post on the finale of the Symphony No. 5. I'm not sure why; there's a faint whiff of condescension in the air.
No there isn't ! It was a joke ! I appreciate amw's analysis.
It's as if my post before amw's never existed...
I appreciate your post also :)
I for one couldn't really make heads or tails of this movement.
Faint aromatic molecules are reaching me even as we speak. (Oh wait, that's the croissants coming out of the oven at the Barnes & Noble café where I am now ensconced.) My experience with amw has been that amw knows his stuff; hence if I "double-check" at some point when I have nothing better to do, I expect to find nothing amiss.
I thought they all closed down. I used to be a member but discontinued my membership and never bought any item from there again after they refuse to replace my lost membership card - likely thinking that I was lying and wanted a SECOND card so someone else can use it...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on August 16, 2016, 02:26:19 PM
I heard "My Home" from this recording:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/213T66E2AKL.jpg)

Easily the finest rendition of that piece which I never used to like. Just great conducting, idiomatic in every sense of the word, from Previn with the LAPO never sounding more fresh and committed, anywhere. Gotta be heard to be believed.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on October 06, 2016, 04:42:05 AM
(http://i1362.photobucket.com/albums/r688/dinasman/71JTA3699AL._SL1024__zpsze7i6tp3.jpg)

Dear Deidre

 I've been living under a lake for the last four hundred years and I'm increasingly worried about my appearance.
I wonder if you could please provide me with some tips? I've tried various skin creams but they don't seem to help.


                                                                                                                                       Yours Faithfully

                                                                                                                                        A. Walter Goblin
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on October 12, 2016, 04:50:04 AM
Looks a bit like Baldrick!
I received a s/h copy of the Supraphon set od Dvorak's The Spectres Bride,yesterday. A nice low price;albeit,one very small red label on the front corner inlay. One of those embossed things you made yourself,with one of those hand held gadgets. They had a roll of plastic sort of tape in them? Do they still make them,by the way?! It looks very neat,and seems to blend in with the purple on the paper inlay. The seller probably didn't notice it,fair play! I might try and see if it peels off. On the other hand,it possibly adds a bit of character?!!!

Now onto the music!! This is the first time I have heard The Spectre's Bride. What a lusty,rousing colourful piece?! If anyone did think choral music was dull;this ghoulish ballad is just the ticket! It's an absolute cracker.......I loved it;and the performance is terrific. I love those old Eastern bloc recordings. The sound is very good for the period too,imho. As to the Novak. Again,I have been aware of this music for years. I remember reading the original Gramophone recording for the later stereo recording;which is unfortunately too expensive for me s/h (I have looked on Amazon,ebay & the Music Magpie sites). I may download it later,however. That said,I'm quite happy with the old mono recording on cd 2 of this set. Having an interest in vintage recordings,old mono recordings don't bother me. Indeed,I actually like them! ??? ;D Anyway,to my ears this is a pretty good sounding recording for it's period and you do get that sound from the orchestra and vocalists that makes some of those ancient old eastern bloc recordings so collectable. Also,even if I could have bought the stereo recording I would have wanted to hear this one at some point. Technology aside,the singing and playing is wonderful;and what a fantastic piece of music this is. Novak's The Storm really deserves all the praise it gets in some sane quarters! It is hard to believe that it has received so few recordings. Nice cover art on this Supraphon set,too ! (I like their coloured cds!) I rather miss the old postage stamps these days!! Absolutely fantastic music on both cds. The Spectre's Bride and The Storm deserve to be heard allot more than they do.......and vandermolen is absolutely 100% right about the inspirational quality of the latter. Again,as per The Spectre's Bride,if anyone thinks choral music is dull,or stuffy they need to hear Novak's The Storm;although younger people may need to start with the stereo recording. Marvellous! Sometimes superlatives just aren't enough!!!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on October 12, 2016, 05:53:47 AM
I am finding a newfound appreciation for some of his concert overtures. I mentioned "My Home" already. The other day I listened to "Hussite". They are direct, sincere, well-constructed and expertly orchestrated.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on October 25, 2016, 09:48:23 AM
Are there different or controversial editions of the Third Symphony? Because I was just listening to this recording on NML:

(http://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/ovcl-00197.jpg)

and there is a substantial section of the first movement's coda (9:18 to 9:48) which is VERY different from all the other recordings I've ever heard. Compare it to 10:09-10:33 on Rowicki, or 8:41-9:00 on Suitner, or 10:09-10:32.

Macal is clearly conducting a COMPLETELY different score for 30 seconds. Not only is the instrumentation/balance changed, but the theme being presented is different! And the timpani interjections are gone. Until now, I had absolutely no inkling - had never heard even a suggestion - of multiple performing editions of this symphony.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on October 25, 2016, 09:57:38 AM
Have just read that between the premiere in 1874 and a subsequent performance in the 1880s, Dvorak did make a number of changes. Maybe Macal is performing the "original" version? Anybody have liner notes for this?

EDIT: Whoa! More departures from the original, at 9:55 in the slow movement...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on October 25, 2016, 12:54:19 PM
I found a couple of online copies of this album that, for Symphony no.3, say "Simrock edition" as a subtitle.

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: SymphonicAddict on February 20, 2017, 07:58:53 PM
Here is another great fan of this impressive composer!! He is one of my 10 favorite composers of all time. I love his charming symphonies, especially 5 to 9: his orchestration, his melodies, those are simply perfects, I never tire of listening to them. The tone poems and overtures are superb, are just amazing! He has nothing to envy to other geniuses of the same genre. His best concertante work is the Cello concerto op. 104, the soul of cello expressing a lot of feelings. On the other hand, about his chamber works well... how much excellent stuff is there: string quartets, piano quintets, piano quartets, string quintets, string sextet, piano trios, Bagatelles op. 47, etc. My favorite chamber work is the Piano quintet, op. 81: this is absolutely masterly, I think is the best piano quintet ever (highlighting the 2nd movement)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 20, 2017, 08:25:27 PM
Have just read that between the premiere in 1874 and a subsequent performance in the 1880s, Dvorak did make a number of changes. Maybe Macal is performing the "original" version? Anybody have liner notes for this?

EDIT: Whoa! More departures from the original, at 9:55 in the slow movement...
According to wiki:
Quote
The composition was revised by Dvořák in 1887–1889, though not printed until 1912 (after the composer's death) by N. Simrock in Berlin.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Maestro267 on November 08, 2017, 02:20:28 AM
Looking at Dvorák complete symphonies boxsets, and the Belohlavek one looks right up my street. It doesn't split any of the symphonies across two discs, instead pairing the first three symphonies with one of the three major concerti on the first three discs. That's the right way to do it!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on January 22, 2018, 10:01:52 AM
I didn't realize this but Krzysztof Penderecki recorded the Seventh Symphony, coupled with his own Symphony No 2.

(https://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/190295708214.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: schnittkease on July 31, 2018, 05:40:39 PM
Eschenbach / Thymos... this has to be one the finest recordings of the A major Piano Quintet - if not the best! The intonation is a bit spotty in the dumka, but there's plenty of impassioned playing to make up for it. What a find.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkJHhNVZKRE&index=14&list=PLWh5y9cVJmfwsAG68iRVVw_d_e56WWRv_
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Cato on July 31, 2018, 06:16:54 PM
I have been revisiting the First Symphony, along with II and III via Witold Rowicki's set.

Sure, it wanders, but there are more good parts than mediocre, and no bad parts.  The Scherzo is perhaps the strongest of the four movements: one even hears flashes of Wagner's Rienzi Overture and Tannhaeuser Overture (either by chance or by homage).  In general, the symphony has more in common with the past (e.g. Schubert, Kalliwoda) than the future direction of the composer's music, but is not without interest.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: kyjo on July 31, 2018, 06:38:00 PM
I have been revisiting the First Symphony, along with II and III via Witold Rowicki's set.

Sure, it wanders, but there are more good parts than mediocre, and no bad parts.  The Scherzo is perhaps the strongest of the four movements: one even hears flashes of Wagner's Rienzi Overture and Tannhaeuser Overture (either by chance or by homage).  In general, the symphony has more in common with the past (e.g. Schubert, Kalliwoda) than the future direction of the composer's music, but is not without interest.

I also find the scherzo of the 1st to be the most interesting movement - it contains some really strong flashes of inspiration in what is overall a work that is far too long for its material IMO. For some odd reason, I haven't heard the 2nd Symphony yet. In any case, the 3rd is a huge step up from the 1st, and contains some truly wonderful and inspired music. The 4th is a bit of a step down from the 3rd, but contains many interesting moments, particularly in the Tannhauser-esque slow movement.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on August 01, 2018, 12:39:20 AM
I love the way the Fourth symphony begins. Very mysterious.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on August 01, 2018, 01:25:01 AM
I have been revisiting the First Symphony, along with II and III via Witold Rowicki's set.

Sure, it wanders, but there are more good parts than mediocre, and no bad parts.  The Scherzo is perhaps the strongest of the four movements: one even hears flashes of Wagner's Rienzi Overture and Tannhaeuser Overture (either by chance or by homage).  In general, the symphony has more in common with the past (e.g. Schubert, Kalliwoda) than the future direction of the composer's music, but is not without interest.

I seem to remember preferring the 1st to the 2nd. Though I've only listened to both of them once. I don't own a recording of the first 3 as yet.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Cato on August 01, 2018, 01:31:53 AM
I also find the scherzo of the 1st to be the most interesting movement - it contains some really strong flashes of inspiration in what is overall a work that is far too long for its material IMO. For some odd reason, I haven't heard the 2nd Symphony yet. In any case, the 3rd is a huge step up from the 1st, and contains some truly wonderful and inspired music. The 4th is a bit of a step down from the 3rd, but contains many interesting moments, particularly in the Tannhauser-esque slow movement.

The Second shows progress, perhaps in that it is more concise, but also is just more memorable.  And yes, the Third Symphony presents us a more recognizable Dvorak.

I love the way the Fourth symphony begins. Very mysterious.

The Fourth is one of my favorites!  Yes, the opening is marvelous, but I like the following section with its dreamy, nostalgic, dance-like theme of yearning even more!

I seem to remember preferring the 1st to the 2nd. Though I've only listened to both of them once. I don't own a recording of the first 3 as yet.

The old Istvan Kertesz recording is a good one: as mentioned, I have the Witold Rowicki set on Philips, and am very satisfied with it.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on September 05, 2018, 02:51:22 PM
Just heard the Piano Trio, great piece. Can't believe Brahms was the editor of the score. The pressure of having Brahms as the editor.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on September 05, 2018, 05:45:04 PM
Just heard the Piano Trio, great piece. Can't believe Brahms was the editor of the score. The pressure of having Brahms as the editor.

There are 4 piano trios.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on September 06, 2018, 07:11:34 AM
No.4.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: North Star on September 06, 2018, 07:17:52 AM
It seems that Dvorak, or the publisher, let Brahms proofread the score as Dvorak was in America at the time. I doubt he was feeling an enormous pressure.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on September 06, 2018, 03:12:51 PM
Yes, that's not editing.

And by that stage, Brahms and Dvorak had known each other for about 15 years.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on September 07, 2018, 12:29:21 PM
I believe the first Brahms/Dvorak interaction came around 1875?
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on September 07, 2018, 01:37:36 PM
Something like that, yes.

EDIT: The excellent Dvorak website gives December 1877 as "establishes contact with Brahms", followed by December 1878 for travelling to Vienna to visit Brahms.

Looking more carefully, it seems that 1877 is when Brahms recommended Dvorak to the publisher Simrock, and wrote a letter to Dvorak telling him this. This is why the String Quartet No.9 was dedicated to Brahms.  But Brahms had seen Dvorak's music for a couple of years before that, because of the applications for a state scholarship.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Irons on September 25, 2018, 11:48:11 PM
I love the one written by Elgar, also Tchaikovsky, but for me the best of all is Dvorak's Serenade for String Orchestra. Dvorak's Serenade is imbued with themes fresh as the day they were written. A work I never tire of. The two recordings I own make a good contrast with an idiomatic Czech reading and the precision of the Academy playing. 

(https://i.imgur.com/4LHxZHo.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/5JaSHHj.jpg)

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 26, 2018, 10:05:27 AM
I love the one written by Elgar, also Tchaikovsky, but for me the best of all is Dvorak's Serenade for String Orchestra. Dvorak's Serenade is imbued with themes fresh as the day they were written. A work I never tire of. The two recordings I own make a good contrast with an idiomatic Czech reading and the precision of the Academy playing. 

(https://i.imgur.com/4LHxZHo.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/5JaSHHj.jpg)

I am with you in the greatness of the Dvorak's Serenade above the others. Likewise, the one by his compatriot Suk, a rather charming early work.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on December 13, 2018, 05:17:27 AM
The @ionarts Dvořák Symphony Cycle Survey has been updated: @bambergsymphony cycle (first to be on SACD) announced and @liverpoolphil / Libor Pešek re-issue on @WarnerClassics added & various links fixed.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-survey-of-dvorak-symphony-cycles.html …

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DuTAZfWWoAAju6B.jpg)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DuTARO-WwAAsY1a.jpg)
 (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-survey-of-dvorak-symphony-cycles.html)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on December 13, 2018, 06:13:17 AM
The @ionarts Dvořák Symphony Cycle Survey has been updated: @bambergsymphony cycle (first to be on SACD) announced and @liverpoolphil / Libor Pešek re-issue on @WarnerClassics added & various links fixed.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-survey-of-dvorak-symphony-cycles.html …

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DuTAZfWWoAAju6B.jpg)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DuTARO-WwAAsY1a.jpg)
 (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-survey-of-dvorak-symphony-cycles.html)

This is the cycle that I have in my collection and have been enjoying for over a decade.  The best performance of the 4th I have heard to date.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on December 13, 2018, 10:30:35 AM
I have been looking for a good recording of the Fourth,on it's own,as opposed to,as part of a box set;and I have thought about buying Pešek's recording,on occasion.. The Jarvi is paired with songs;which put me off. I'll look out for this s/h,now. Nice artwork,too. I like the mysterious opening of this symphony. Someone mentions the Serenade. A lovely work. I do like the pairing of the Ormandy recording of the Ninth with this work. Kempe's conducting of this work (Serenade) is superb. The Ormandy Ninth is another favourite of mine. Although,if I had to pick one,it would probably be Ančerl.
I love the,truly,distinctive,sound of the woodwind on that Supraphon recording. But,everything about it! Just magical! :) And the Overtures! His Sixth is wonderful,too! I only wish he could have recorded the complete cycle! :(

(https://i.imgur.com/KW5NXiF.jpg)      (https://i.imgur.com/C7IjqvY.jpg)      (https://i.imgur.com/T0msct4.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Daverz on December 13, 2018, 11:42:15 AM
You can still get the Kertesz 4th as a separate "ADRM" CD on Amazon.  You can also get Rowicki's middle symphonies, and a Neumann recording (no coupling; from his digital cycle).





Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on December 13, 2018, 11:54:14 AM
The @ionarts Dvořák Symphony Cycle Survey has been updated: @bambergsymphony cycle (first to be on SACD) announced and @liverpoolphil / Libor Pešek re-issue on @WarnerClassics added & various links fixed.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-survey-of-dvorak-symphony-cycles.html …

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DuTAZfWWoAAju6B.jpg)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DuTARO-WwAAsY1a.jpg)
 (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-survey-of-dvorak-symphony-cycles.html)

And I found a completely new (to me) cycle that I've added, since! Bosch/Nuremberg on SACD.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Draško on December 13, 2018, 12:08:24 PM
I have been looking for a good recording of the Fourth,on it's own,as opposed to,as part of a box set

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/515NoWQcqYL.jpg)

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: cilgwyn on December 14, 2018, 02:03:40 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/515NoWQcqYL.jpg)
Yes,and I don't think I've got the Suite?! I'll have to play the Fourth again. I love the way it opens. I'm wondering whether the rest lives up to expectations? That said,I don't think there's a Dvorak symphony I don't like at all. No's ! & 3 are the weakest,for me (I seem to remember?).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Daverz on December 14, 2018, 12:54:54 PM
Listened to the 24/96 download of the Kertesz 4th the other day.  It's a thrilling performance, beautifully recorded.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: TheGSMoeller on December 14, 2018, 02:11:37 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/515NoWQcqYL.jpg)

This one is a great sounding 4th, and very exciting. Hengelbrock/NDR and Rowicki/LSO offer up a lot of detail and balance, while I go to Jarvi/SNO and Kertesz/LSO for a more muscular tone. These four versions of the 4th are my favorite.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 14, 2019, 05:44:25 AM
I have been looking for a good recording of the Fourth,on it's own,as opposed to,as part of a box set;and I have thought about buying Pešek's recording,on occasion.. The Jarvi is paired with songs;which put me off. I'll look out for this s/h,now.
Speaking of the Fourth, I came across this one which I really like:

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/91xokSRnRkL._SS500_.jpg)

https://www.amazon.com/Dvo%C5%99%C3%A1k-Complete-Symphonies-Vol-3/dp/B01MEEDT8J/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=dvorak+deutsche&qid=1555252799&s=gateway&sr=8-8 (https://www.amazon.com/Dvo%C5%99%C3%A1k-Complete-Symphonies-Vol-3/dp/B01MEEDT8J/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=dvorak+deutsche&qid=1555252799&s=gateway&sr=8-8)

I don't see a cd version. It is labeled as Volume 3 but strangely enough I don't see Volumes 1 and 2.

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Biffo on April 14, 2019, 06:24:37 AM
Speaking of the Fourth, I came across this one which I really like:

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/91xokSRnRkL._SS500_.jpg)

https://www.amazon.com/Dvo%C5%99%C3%A1k-Complete-Symphonies-Vol-3/dp/B01MEEDT8J/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=dvorak+deutsche&qid=1555252799&s=gateway&sr=8-8 (https://www.amazon.com/Dvo%C5%99%C3%A1k-Complete-Symphonies-Vol-3/dp/B01MEEDT8J/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=dvorak+deutsche&qid=1555252799&s=gateway&sr=8-8)

I don't see a cd version. It is labeled as Volume 3 but strangely enough I don't see Volumes 1 and 2.

Vols 1 (No 1) and 2 (No 5) are available from Presto Classical - https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/search?search_query=karel+mark+chichon

Never previously heard of him. Do I need more Dvorak symphonies? - no, but might give them a listen if they are on Spotify.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on May 11, 2020, 03:45:24 AM
Here’s a question for my fellow Dvořákians: what recording(s) of the songs/lieder would you recommend?

I’ve been looking at the following:

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODAwNTk5NC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0MjM1MDM2NzF9)

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODA2NDEwOC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0MzM0MjgzODB9)

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODI4OTQ0OC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1MTQzNzE1OTF9)

(https://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/SU0206-2.jpg)

(https://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/SU3437-2.jpg)

Thanks in advance. It seems the songs and the solo piano music are the only things I’m missing from my Dvořák collection. I’m missing almost all of the operas except Rusalka, which I have conducted by Václav Neumann on Supraphon. It seems he composed many operas and many of them are difficult to obtain, so I won’t even try. ;)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on May 11, 2020, 04:07:21 AM
Can't generally help you with the songs. Coverage is frustratingly patchy and I haven't figured it out yet myself, apart from scribbling notes for later about possible albums. And working out there was a Czech online store that had a bigger range than elsewhere (if it was accurate).

Except that you'd already have the Biblical Songs in the sacred music box set you've been listening to. Not absolutely sure it's the same recording, but think it might be.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on May 11, 2020, 04:19:23 AM
Can't generally help you with the songs. Coverage is frustratingly patchy and I haven't figured it out yet myself, apart from scribbling notes for later about possible albums. And working out there was a Czech online store that had a bigger range than elsewhere (if it was accurate).

Except that you'd already have the Biblical Songs in the sacred music box set you've been listening to. Not absolutely sure it's the same recording, but think it might be.

Thanks, Madiel. Yes, I do have the Biblical Songs in the Supraphon set, but it’s the orchestrated version of course and I’d love to have the version for voice/piano. It seems like the Bernarda Fink recordings on Harmonia Mundi have received some favorable reviews and I had a credit on Amazon UK, so I went ahead and bought both of her recordings. She does have nice voice and, although, I could’ve probably went for a Czech performance, I have hardly ever (if ever) been disappointed with a Harmonia Mundi recording. The price was also pretty good, especially compared to what these recordings cost in the US.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on May 11, 2020, 04:27:30 AM
Thanks, Madiel. Yes, I do have the Biblical Songs in the Supraphon set, but it’s the orchestrated version of course and I’d love to have the version for voice/piano.

The set actually has both. The 5-song orchestral version, and the original 10-song piano version.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on May 11, 2020, 04:31:16 AM
The set actually has both. The 5-song orchestral version, and the original 10-song piano version.

You’re absolutely correct! Wow...how’d I miss that? :-[ Thanks for catching this. When I was ripping this set, I must’ve missed the eighth disc.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on May 11, 2020, 04:33:21 AM
The other thing that bugs me is some albums (like the one I'm streaming right this second) have songs in German, not the original Czech version. There are a few songs that are supposed to be in German, but mostly Dvorak wrote them in Czech. The German is mostly thanks to the publisher Simrock, who (probably correctly) thought that Czech wouldn't sell and wanted German versions. But these days people really should go back to what Dvorak originally intended.

As far as Bernarda Fink is concerned, I've seen pretty consistent positive reviews. I've hesitated because in some cases she does extracts rather than complete sets, but if that doesn't trouble you then I expect she'll be good.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on May 11, 2020, 04:53:25 AM
The other thing that bugs me is some albums (like the one I'm streaming right this second) have songs in German, not the original Czech version. There are a few songs that are supposed to be in German, but mostly Dvorak wrote them in Czech. The German is mostly thanks to the publisher Simrock, who (probably correctly) thought that Czech wouldn't sell and wanted German versions. But these days people really should go back to what Dvorak originally intended.

As far as Bernarda Fink is concerned, I've seen pretty consistent positive reviews. I've hesitated because in some cases she does extracts rather than complete sets, but if that doesn't trouble you then I expect she'll be good.

I didn’t know that. That is interesting. Yes, I’m with you as far as the original language goes. I do wish they would sing in the language that the composer intended. Yeah, there are some excerpts on the Fink recording with Roger Vignoles, but there does look there are some full song cycles on there:

[Click to enlarge]
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/714jv0LWpFL._AC_SL1200_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on May 11, 2020, 05:01:31 AM
I'm gonna do some streaming (now that I've got Primephonic to make it so much easier to find things). In between all the other streaming projects of course.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on May 11, 2020, 05:11:17 AM
I'm gonna do some streaming (now that I've got Primephonic to make it so much easier to find things). In between all the other streaming projects of course.

Very good. If you listen to any of Fink recordings, please share your thoughts here. She sounded rather nice or, at least, from the audio samples.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on May 11, 2020, 01:10:32 PM
I enjoy the Fink/Vignoles recording. I also recently quite enjoyed the Dvorak + Janacek + Martinu recital in the Rudolf Firkusny box set, featuring Gabriela Benackova.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: vers la flamme on May 11, 2020, 01:30:24 PM
I must confess that I don't "get" Dvořák. He might be the only one of the major composers that just doesn't do much for me. I used to like his New World symphony, but I burned it out pretty quickly and in any case, I don't have it on CD at the moment. The only works of his that I actually do like somewhat are the B minor Cello Concerto & the E major string serenade, though I prefer his student Suk's work in that genre. I found myself especially unimpressed with the string quartets but I owe them a more serious listen; he left behind a formidable cycle.

I'm planning on checking out the piano & violin concertos and taking it from there. I do think he is a great composer and I hope his work clicks with me some day. Seeing this thread has made me want to revisit one of his works so I shall do that soon—I'm thinking maybe the 7th or 8th symphony, both of which I have on CD. I will probably get the Kertész cycle of the symphonies some day. I like the sound of it, what I've heard anyway.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on May 11, 2020, 02:01:09 PM
I enjoy the Fink/Vignoles recording. I also recently quite enjoyed the Dvorak + Janacek + Martinu recital in the Rudolf Firkusny box set, featuring Gabriela Benackova.

Excellent, Brian. Good to hear I made a good choice.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on May 11, 2020, 02:08:21 PM
I must confess that I don't "get" Dvořák. He might be the only one of the major composers that just doesn't do much for me. I used to like his New World symphony, but I burned it out pretty quickly and in any case, I don't have it on CD at the moment. The only works of his that I actually do like somewhat are the B minor Cello Concerto & the E major string serenade, though I prefer his student Suk's work in that genre. I found myself especially unimpressed with the string quartets but I owe them a more serious listen; he left behind a formidable cycle.

I'm planning on checking out the piano & violin concertos and taking it from there. I do think he is a great composer and I hope his work clicks with me some day. Seeing this thread has made me want to revisit one of his works so I shall do that soon—I'm thinking maybe the 7th or 8th symphony, both of which I have on CD. I will probably get the Kertész cycle of the symphonies some day. I like the sound of it, what I've heard anyway.

My advice is don’t start at the start. For example some of the first half dozen string quartets are frankly pretty tiresome. It took Dvořák some years to click into his style.

You’d be on safe ground with the 7th/8th symphonies though (and ones earlier than that).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on May 11, 2020, 02:20:17 PM
I must confess that I don't "get" Dvořák. He might be the only one of the major composers that just doesn't do much for me. I used to like his New World symphony, but I burned it out pretty quickly and in any case, I don't have it on CD at the moment. The only works of his that I actually do like somewhat are the B minor Cello Concerto & the E major string serenade, though I prefer his student Suk's work in that genre. I found myself especially unimpressed with the string quartets but I owe them a more serious listen; he left behind a formidable cycle.

I'm planning on checking out the piano & violin concertos and taking it from there. I do think he is a great composer and I hope his work clicks with me some day. Seeing this thread has made me want to revisit one of his works so I shall do that soon—I'm thinking maybe the 7th or 8th symphony, both of which I have on CD. I will probably get the Kertész cycle of the symphonies some day. I like the sound of it, what I've heard anyway.

The later SQs are where it’s at. The earlier SQs are much like Sibelius’ earlier ones in the that they don’t really reveal or give insights into the composer’s musical voice, but even then, there still can be some good music found in these works. A lot of times, also, it’s a matter of spending some time away from the composer, which can have a reverse effect, too, but I have found that if I don’t enjoy a composer’s music initially that if I leave that door open, then maybe someday I’ll get it. There has always been something special about Dvořák, especially whenever I heard the much too performed 9th symphony for the first-time. One of the things I did was avoid the classical ‘hits’ and stuck to my own musical journey. Quite frankly, I don’t care how popular a work is, if I enjoy it and get gratification from it, then nothing will get in the way of that. The Cello Concerto is another oft-mentioned and recorded work, but it's a stunning piece of music. I think sometimes the hype is real and is justified --- both of the afore mentioned works are a case in point. I’m not sure why you don’t enjoy Dvořák’s music that much. Several reasons why I enjoy it are for its earthiness, soulfulness, vitality and, most of all, beauty. Also, I just love these composers who were influenced by the folk music of their native countries and find ingenious ways of incorporating that world into their own music and make it their own. I say listen to more of his chamber music and if you haven’t heard any of his symphonic poems. then check those works out as well. There’s so much to explore within his oeuvre that sometimes I just feel like a kid in a candy store.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brewski on May 11, 2020, 02:24:38 PM
My advice is don’t start at the start. For example some of the first half dozen string quartets are frankly pretty tiresome. It took Dvořák some years to click into his style.

You’d be on safe ground with the 7th/8th symphonies though (and ones earlier than that).

The later SQs are where it’s at.

Yes, to all of this. Do give the 7th and 8th symphonies a whirl (I also love the Sixth), as well as the later quartets. Those are so tuneful and catchy, it's easy to overlook how damn difficult they are to play.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on May 11, 2020, 02:29:48 PM
My advice is don’t start at the start. For example some of the first half dozen string quartets are frankly pretty tiresome. It took Dvořák some years to click into his style.

You’d be on safe ground with the 7th/8th symphonies though (and ones earlier than that).

Rather sound advice right there.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on May 12, 2020, 03:31:51 AM
Here’s a question for my fellow Dvořákians: what recording(s) of the songs/lieder would you recommend?

I’ve been looking at the following:

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODAwNTk5NC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0MjM1MDM2NzF9)

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODA2NDEwOC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0MzM0MjgzODB9)

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODI4OTQ0OC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1MTQzNzE1OTF9)

(https://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/SU0206-2.jpg)

(https://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/SU3437-2.jpg)

Thanks in advance. It seems the songs and the solo piano music are the only things I’m missing from my Dvořák collection. I’m missing almost all of the operas except Rusalka, which I have conducted by Václav Neumann on Supraphon. It seems he composed many operas and many of them are difficult to obtain, so I won’t even try. ;)

You'll see my comments on the Fink 'songs' album elsewhere, though on a 2nd sampling I think I like her more than the first time. And I was reasonably happy the first time!

But I came back here to also say Peckova sounds, from the briefest sampling, to be a very nice singer.

However, the older 'Biblical Songs/Gypsy Songs' album, I'm not fond of when comparing it to newer recordings. I'm beginning to think that the reason I find the piano version of Biblical Songs to be slightly heavy going is that performance.

I've been sampling half a dozen other things too, and been pleasantly surprised at just how many singers sound quite good in this repertoire. I didn't really come across any duds.

Also, I've FINALLY been able to get the tiniest sample of this album:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Zqhj59kyL.jpg)

Which is of interest to me because it mostly has rarer songs, some otherwise impossible to get. The one track I got to sample of one of the two main singers was very nice. So I might be hunting down a copy. (The album is on Spotify, but restricted to certain countries)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on May 12, 2020, 04:57:44 AM
I appreciate you doing some of the heavy-lifting, Madiel. 8) I liked what I hear from Pecková. She has a nice voice. She does a fine job on this Martinů recording:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61kxE9bIkPL.jpg)

But I’m glad I went with the Bernard Fink recordings of Dvořák lieder. 8)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on May 13, 2020, 01:33:39 PM
In my attempts to narrow down some song cycle choices, I listened to 5 women singing In Folk Tone, and then noticed all 5 also sang the Gypsy Songs.

All 5 of these are pretty good you understand. The bad-sounding ones didn't get as far as the comparison! Nevertheless I did develop a bit of a ranking. And really I think the top 2 are the ones I'm most seriously considering.

1. Marta Infante / Jorge Robaina (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61l6Ub%2Bd0mL._SX522_.jpg)

2. Bernarda Fink / Roger Vignoles (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81w-%2BFpAOtL._SX522_.jpg)

3. Barbara Ulricca Theler / Bruno Canino (https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/816DQlirYLL._SS500_.jpg)

4. Dagmar Peckova / Irwin Gage (https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71otSM7TOFL._SS500_.jpg)

5. Olga Stepanova / Frantisek Maly (https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81MZ1d-bG-L._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on May 13, 2020, 01:37:45 PM
Excellent, Madiel. Appreciate you doing this survey. It appears that I made a good choice in the Fink/Vignoles. 8)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on May 13, 2020, 01:44:26 PM
Excellent, Madiel. Appreciate you doing this survey. It appears that I made a good choice in the Fink/Vignoles. 8)

Yes, I think you did. Though as you can see she's not currently my first choice. After this the programs of my top 2 diverge somewhat.

I haven't even brought the men in yet... some men do the Gypsy Songs (and indeed the very first performer appears to have been male) though none of them seem to do In Folk Tone.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on May 13, 2020, 03:30:17 PM
Yes, I think you did. Though as you can see she's not currently my first choice. After this the programs of my top 2 diverge somewhat.

I haven't even brought the men in yet... some men do the Gypsy Songs (and indeed the very first performer appears to have been male) though none of them seem to do In Folk Tone.

Very nice, indeed. I can’t wait to get those Fink recordings.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on May 14, 2020, 02:22:25 AM
After more streaming (males singing the Gypsy Songs, both genders singing the Biblical Songs)... I think I've got the list of song recital albums I'm interested in down to six.

Which is still too many!

Though in some cases whether or not I can even get a hold of them might end up being a factor.

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: kyjo on October 11, 2020, 08:26:39 PM
Cross-posted from the WAYLT thread:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71e3eGCkawL._SX450_.jpg)

This is one of those instances where I find myself repeatedly asking: "Why did I wait so long to listen to this??". This is absolutely glorious music; I really don't have enough superlatives to describe it!! It confirms Dvořák's status as one of my most cherished composers, perhaps my most cherished. Really, this is more like a gigantic tone poem with voices than an opera; it all flows so seamlessly and organically, with the glittering strands of Dvořák's masterly orchestration driving the action. And I really can't imagine a more magnificent recording that the one here. Discovering music like this is why I will always - as the Hurwitzer says - "keep on listening"! :) :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on October 11, 2020, 09:12:19 PM
Cross-posted from the WAYLT thread:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71e3eGCkawL._SX450_.jpg)

This is one of those instances where I find myself repeatedly asking: "Why did I wait so long to listen to this??". This is absolutely glorious music; I really don't have enough superlatives to describe it!! It confirms Dvořák's status as one of my most cherished composers, perhaps my most cherished. Really, this is more like a gigantic tone poem with voices than an opera; it all flows so seamlessly and organically, with the glittering strands of Dvořák's masterly orchestration driving the action. And I really can't imagine a more magnificent recording that the one here. Discovering music like this is why I will always - as the Hurwitzer says - "keep on listening"! :) :)

Yeah, I saw your original post, and this recording (almost universally praised) has been sitting in one of my queues for forever waiting to be listened to. I needed a break between Dvorak operas. Best get back to it then. It helps that I should be able to access a libretto, now. Come to think of it, I should go back to the earlier ones with a libretto to hand.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Scion7 on October 12, 2020, 01:19:22 AM
I was sitting at the ER parking lot at Duke University Hospital (a girlfriend's friend's mother is dying) and listened to the seventh symphony rendered by Jarvi and the Scottish National Orchestra - had not heard this piece in quite some time - delightful experience for an awful time.  I returned home after an hour - awaiting word.  Brahms - like so many others - saw the inspired spirit within Dvorak - this is a prime example of his creativity.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on October 12, 2020, 03:23:37 PM
Cross-posted from the WAYLT thread:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71e3eGCkawL._SX450_.jpg)

This is one of those instances where I find myself repeatedly asking: "Why did I wait so long to listen to this??". This is absolutely glorious music; I really don't have enough superlatives to describe it!! It confirms Dvořák's status as one of my most cherished composers, perhaps my most cherished. Really, this is more like a gigantic tone poem with voices than an opera; it all flows so seamlessly and organically, with the glittering strands of Dvořák's masterly orchestration driving the action. And I really can't imagine a more magnificent recording that the one here. Discovering music like this is why I will always - as the Hurwitzer says - "keep on listening"! :) :)
Nice to hear your praise of this wonderful recording.  And so happy to read that you also are a big lover of Dvorak's music overall.  ;D

PD
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Roasted Swan on October 14, 2020, 06:42:09 AM
Nice to hear your praise of this wonderful recording.  And so happy to read that you also are a big lover of Dvorak's music overall.  ;D

PD

Absolutely +1 for this work and this recording.  But I would also strongly recommend hearing Neumann Czech PO recording which with Czech singers has that extra tang of authenticity.  The was one of Supraphon's quite early attempts at digital recording and I they 'borrowed' Denon's tech.  Whatever the truth of that, the actual recording is technically fine too if not quite in the Decca class. 

I think the tone-poem is a good analogy all the more so because of course around this point in his career (past the 100 Opus mark) Dvorak was exploring folk-tales as inspiration for his late tone-poems not only due to the narrative element but the way in which he deployed musical rhythms to mimic the word patterns of the Erben poems.  This pre-dates the likes of Janacek who also sought to write music that more closely followed speech patterns rather than the speech being distorted to "fit" the music.

(https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/Ca8AAOSwlBtehHDB/s-l300.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Symphonic Addict on October 15, 2020, 09:59:59 AM
My only meeting with Rusalka was on DVD, but it was with that "modern" staging which I didn't like at all, and it put me off. I need to listen to it again.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Daverz on October 15, 2020, 11:30:30 AM
My only meeting with Rusalka was on DVD, but it was with that "modern" staging which I didn't like at all, and it put me off. I need to listen to it again.

Also avoid the Chalabala DVD, which is a lip-synched film and pretty awful.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Roasted Swan on October 15, 2020, 02:27:17 PM
My only meeting with Rusalka was on DVD, but it was with that "modern" staging which I didn't like at all, and it put me off. I need to listen to it again.

I saw a deeply tasteless modern staging on DVD which linked this most magical and beautiful of works with the appalling and sad story of Josef Fritzel who locked his daughter in a cellar for 8 years and abused her.  I'm fairly open to contemporary restagings of great work but that genuinely made me very angry.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: kyjo on October 18, 2020, 11:02:44 AM
Absolutely +1 for this work and this recording.  But I would also strongly recommend hearing Neumann Czech PO recording which with Czech singers has that extra tang of authenticity.  The was one of Supraphon's quite early attempts at digital recording and I they 'borrowed' Denon's tech.  Whatever the truth of that, the actual recording is technically fine too if not quite in the Decca class. 

I think the tone-poem is a good analogy all the more so because of course around this point in his career (past the 100 Opus mark) Dvorak was exploring folk-tales as inspiration for his late tone-poems not only due to the narrative element but the way in which he deployed musical rhythms to mimic the word patterns of the Erben poems.  This pre-dates the likes of Janacek who also sought to write music that more closely followed speech patterns rather than the speech being distorted to "fit" the music.

(https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/Ca8AAOSwlBtehHDB/s-l300.jpg)

Thanks RS, I’ll have to check out the Neumann recording. Regarding your second point, I can’t help but wonder what masterpieces Dvorak would have produced had he lived another 10-15 years. As evidenced by his late works such as Rusalka, the final tone poems, and the last two string quartets, he was continuing to refine and develop his style to be more complex and colorful - without sacrificing his innate melodic gift - and to wondrous results.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: kyjo on October 18, 2020, 11:04:38 AM
My only meeting with Rusalka was on DVD, but it was with that "modern" staging which I didn't like at all, and it put me off. I need to listen to it again.

Oh yes, you must give it another try! Considering you’re a huge Dvorak admirer like I am, you can’t afford to miss out on one of his masterpieces (like I did for years ::)).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Biffo on October 19, 2020, 02:28:21 AM
My only meeting with Rusalka was on DVD, but it was with that "modern" staging which I didn't like at all, and it put me off. I need to listen to it again.

My first meeting was at English National Opera - it was a 'modern staging' but nothing too ridiculous. As soon as the performance was over I bought a ticket for another performance. Not long after I bought the Neumann recording on LP, later still on CD.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: kyjo on October 29, 2020, 03:15:57 PM
I was fortunate enough to come across the OOP Supraphon recording (the only one, I believe - a travesty!) of his opera Dimitrij (1881-82) at a local shop:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51-VqxpyrpL._SX450_.jpg)

...and WOW! It's very nearly as wonderful as Rusalka! Perhaps the reason it isn't performed more is for dramatic rather than musical reasons, because it's absolutely inspired over its entire 3+ hour duration. Dvořák's melodic fecundity here is really astonishing - just one marvelous idea after the other. Of particular note are some of the really rousing choruses, which have a rather Russian flavor to them, as befits the subject matter.

The whole recording can be found on YT. Please do make an effort to hear it - it's truly prime Dvořák!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mykFfZTioag-tPQaj-xKbwvjRgELcWU-c
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Symphonic Addict on November 02, 2020, 03:43:04 PM
So much music to discover, but so little time available. Thank you, Kyle. Sounds like I have to listen to it as soon as possible.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on December 12, 2020, 04:15:35 AM
Does anyone happen to have a physical copy of this album? If so I have a question.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51C8TS3YJML._SX425_.jpg)

Originally on the Unicorn label, later released by Treasure Island.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: aligreto on March 08, 2021, 03:24:50 AM
Dvorak: Piano Concerto

I have always liked this work from the first time that I heard it. This is not an overtly virtuosic work and this aspect has apparently worked against it in the concert hall environment. This is unfortunate, if this is the case, as it is a really wonderfully strong, well constructed, lyrical work which is filled with flowing melodies, tension, excitement, drama and emotion.
This work boasts a wonderfully appealing opening movement. The exposition is wonderfully taut and tension filled. The piano enters somewhat hesitatingly but gradually builds in confidence and eventually holds its own with the orchestra ultimately establishing a voice of its own. The first movement is filled with very lyrical, melodic tunes. The drama and tension gradually builds up in the first movement to a wonderfully fulfilling and exciting crescendo that is well sustained.
The slow movement is wonderfully lyrical and atmospheric and it also has wonderful moments of great drama. I find that there is an element of pathos prevailing throughout this movement.
The wonderful Finale is a charming, exciting movement which dances along with great forward momentum. It is sometimes spirited and sometimes restrained but always lyrical and it ends with an intense and exciting conclusion. It contains the most recognisable music by Dvorak, stylistically, than the other two movements, I think.

I only have three versions of this work in my collection but I like them all:
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: aligreto on March 08, 2021, 03:26:10 AM
Dvorak: Piano Concerto [Firkusny/Susskind]


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/511GJrl5nIL._AC_SX425_.jpg)

The opening movement is quite lyrical but it is big and bold. It is played very much in the grand Romantic style, to my ears. That is just a personal observation on interpretative style. It is well driven with good forward momentum. Both Firkusny and Susskind emphasise the drama in their presentations but it is still very eloquent.
This version presents a magical, lyrical Andante movement as befits this wonderful music. It is delicate, graceful, poignant and captivating. It is quite tender; wonderful!
The Finale is another robust presentation in a similar vein to that of the opening movement. It also has its contrasting delicate sections which are finely played. Both do not go for an overtly exuberant conclusion to the work; it is a more measured affair.
The requisite drama and intensity for this work is well portrayed here.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: aligreto on March 08, 2021, 03:27:29 AM
Dvorak: Piano Concerto [Moravec/Belohlavek]


(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71uCvTQTgUL._SS500_.jpg)


I find this to be a particularly fine performance. It is robust and somewhat assertive in the outer movements and it has quite a lyrical slow movement. The performance of the orchestra is taut and sensitively accompanies the soloist throughout. The recording is also very good and well balanced.
After the exposition in the first movement, Moravec enters with assertion and continues fluidly and with great confidence, but not over assertively, throughout. The drama and tension gradually builds up to a very fine, robust conclusion.
The performance of the slow movement displays wonderful grace, charm and poise from all of the forces. There is no sentimentality here, just fluid lyricism if slightly tempered with earnestness which is not necessarily a bad thing.
The presentation of the final movement is one of great assurity from all concerned. It is robust but not over assertive. The balance of the tone is well accomplished. Moravec has a wonderful lightness of touch.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: aligreto on March 08, 2021, 03:28:32 AM
Dvorak: Piano Concerto [Ponti/Rohan]


(https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/uploads/monthly_2020_04/P1010080.JPG.b50a54c47c44d30ba10a4da55864c9b6.JPG)


The outer movements are performed here with intensity and passion, but in a somewhat understated way. That final flourish at the end of the first movement is wonderfully done. The performance is always lyrical.
This performance also has a magical, beguiling and lyrical Andante movement which sets a wonderfully atmospheric scene and tone which is thoroughly and delightfully captivating. Ponti gets the tone, and therefore the atmosphere, just right here with his wonderful touch.
This is an easy, free flowing Final movement from both Ponti and Rohan. The energy and excitement gradually builds up as the movement progresses. There is a strong conclusion to the movement.
This is a compelling performance from all concerned which has a great presence and an intensity to it. One feels that the orchestra has this music in its blood.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Roasted Swan on March 08, 2021, 05:02:44 AM
A shame that Ponti's recording has never made it to CD - one of the few of his Vox/Turnabout LP's not to as far as I know.  But as I recall he does use the 'revised' version of the score which has now been generally supplanted by pianists going back to Dvorak's original intentions I think.....
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Daverz on March 08, 2021, 05:49:12 AM
Dvorak: Piano Concerto

Hurwitz did a video:

https://www.youtube.com/v/Ic0C7a7F_0E

His top choice was Firkusny/Czech Phil/Neumann, and I concur:
 
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41SC6YHB31L.jpg)

According to Wikipedia: "Once a student of Kurz, Firkušný performed the revised solo part for much of his life, turning towards the original Dvořák score later on in his concert career."

EDIT: this makes it seem like I was saying the recording with Susskind is the Kurz revision.  Pretty sure it's the original as well.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brian on March 08, 2021, 10:02:39 AM
I also agree on Firkusny, but the new one with Ivo Kahanek, paired to Martinu's Incantations, is also excellent.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: aligreto on March 08, 2021, 11:52:07 AM
A shame that Ponti's recording has never made it to CD - one of the few of his Vox/Turnabout LP's not to as far as I know.  But as I recall he does use the 'revised' version of the score which has now been generally supplanted by pianists going back to Dvorak's original intentions I think.....

I have checked that on the LP notes and you are correct.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on March 08, 2021, 02:06:51 PM
Dvorak: Piano Concerto [Firkusny/Susskind]


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/511GJrl5nIL._AC_SX425_.jpg)

The opening movement is quite lyrical but it is big and bold. It is played very much in the grand Romantic style, to my ears. That is just a personal observation on interpretative style. It is well driven with good forward momentum. Both Firkusny and Susskind emphasise the drama in their presentations but it is still very eloquent.
This version presents a magical, lyrical Andante movement as befits this wonderful music. It is delicate, graceful, poignant and captivating. It is quite tender; wonderful!
The Finale is another robust presentation in a similar vein to that of the opening movement. It also has its contrasting delicate sections which are finely played. Both do not go for an overtly exuberant conclusion to the work; it is a more measured affair.
The requisite drama and intensity for this work is well portrayed here.

I don't know the recording with Susskind, but I do have a download of the one with George Szell which I enjoy (Naxos).  I noticed a comment on a youtube upload that apparently  "And a really rare one, one of the very few presenting Vilem Kurz' revision of the piano score, which actually was approved by Dvorak."  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9D4gCsrAGg

I'm not certain whether or not the one that I have is still available as a download.  I had purchased it years ago from prestoclassical.  All I have is a rather slightly fuzzy cover image--no notes.

PD
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Daverz on March 08, 2021, 08:13:28 PM
A shame that Ponti's recording has never made it to CD - one of the few of his Vox/Turnabout LP's not to as far as I know.  But as I recall he does use the 'revised' version of the score which has now been generally supplanted by pianists going back to Dvorak's original intentions I think.....

This recording did make it to CD on a Vox Box titled Music from Prague:

https://www.amazon.com/Music-Prague-1-Dvorak/dp/B000001K55

(https://rovimusic.rovicorp.com/image.jpg?c=Sda5zdUutfGgNe5Uc3PpNh_TZlp6n_cq-Emr2zx15tU=&f=5)

Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Roasted Swan on March 09, 2021, 12:35:46 AM
This recording did make it to CD on a Vox Box titled Music from Prague:

https://www.amazon.com/Music-Prague-1-Dvorak/dp/B000001K55

(https://rovimusic.rovicorp.com/image.jpg?c=Sda5zdUutfGgNe5Uc3PpNh_TZlp6n_cq-Emr2zx15tU=&f=5)

Excellent - thankyou for letting me know.  I have always enjoyed Ponti's bravura and back in the day of me collecting LP's I bought a lot of his "Unknown Romantic Piano Concertos" series.  But oddly this was not included in any of the big anthologies of Concerti either as VoxBox downloads or the Brilliant 40 disc "Romantic Piano Concertos" box.  The toruble is these Vox sets are quite often a bit pricey in the UK - but at least I now know to keep an eye out!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: MusicTurner on March 09, 2021, 02:30:07 AM
Dvorak: Piano Concerto [Firkusny/Susskind]


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/511GJrl5nIL._AC_SX425_.jpg)

The opening movement is quite lyrical but it is big and bold. It is played very much in the grand Romantic style, to my ears. That is just a personal observation on interpretative style. It is well driven with good forward momentum. Both Firkusny and Susskind emphasise the drama in their presentations but it is still very eloquent.
This version presents a magical, lyrical Andante movement as befits this wonderful music. It is delicate, graceful, poignant and captivating. It is quite tender; wonderful!
The Finale is another robust presentation in a similar vein to that of the opening movement. It also has its contrasting delicate sections which are finely played. Both do not go for an overtly exuberant conclusion to the work; it is a more measured affair.
The requisite drama and intensity for this work is well portrayed here.

Agree, it's a fine set; and I've always liked that piano concerto.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Brewski on March 17, 2021, 06:22:05 AM
Excellent piece by Douglas W. Shadle, associate professor of musicology at Vanderbilt University, on Dvořák's "New World" Symphony and its context and legacy.

Beloved and moving, the “New World” Symphony has a secure place on programs well into the future. But Dvorak, and the white composers who followed in his footsteps, should not be the loudest voices speaking on behalf of all Americans.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/17/arts/music/dvorak-new-world-symphony.html

--Bruce
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on April 26, 2021, 04:46:02 AM
Maiden Monday Listen (to the work itself, and obviously thus, the recording)

I am floored at how great this is!

Dvořák

Requiem, Opus 89


(https://storage.highresaudio.com/library/bild/c_610000/613326/field4.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on May 05, 2021, 09:48:50 AM
Continuing my traversal through the Naxos complete published orchestral works box....

Listening to the Slavonic Rhapsodies, the Rhapsody Symphonic Poem and the Serenades.  All terrific stuff.

This box is proving to be a really great investment, and I still have another 5 discs to listen to before I complete my first run.  The only "duds" so far were on the same disc, those being the Gunzenhauser recordings of the 4th and 8th.  The rest of the Gunzenhauser recordings of the symphonies are very, very well done!  :)

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61Y1zzJ-EHL._AC_SX466_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 05, 2021, 09:51:05 AM
Nice, Ray!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on May 05, 2021, 09:55:21 AM
Nice, Ray!

Listening to the Five Prague Waltzes, B. 99 at the moment.  This is marvelous, unknown stuff to me!   :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on May 05, 2021, 10:00:00 PM
I’m still vaguely considering hunting down a couple of the individual Naxos discs. The mention of the rhapsodies reminded me.

Now that I’ve picked up most of the songs...
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on May 06, 2021, 11:49:03 AM
Well.....this box just keeps getting better with each disc......

Listening to the seven Intermezzos, B.15 and the absolutely gorgeous Polonaise in E flat major, B.100 and the fun Festival March, Op. 54 B.88


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61Y1zzJ-EHL._AC_SX466_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: kyjo on May 11, 2021, 07:01:01 AM
Maiden Monday Listen (to the work itself, and obviously thus, the recording)

I am floored at how great this is!

Dvořák

Requiem, Opus 89


(https://storage.highresaudio.com/library/bild/c_610000/613326/field4.jpg)

Yeah, as I commented in the WAYLT thread, I just listened to this work for the first time and was floored as well. It’s intensely serious but never dour or depressing with moments of great beauty and drama. And one hell of a performance too!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on May 11, 2021, 07:22:57 AM
Yeah, as I commented in the WAYLT thread, I just listened to this work for the first time and was floored as well. It’s intensely serious but never dour or depressing with moments of great beauty and drama. And one hell of a performance too!

I'm glad to hear that you also enjoyed the work and performance!  :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 16, 2021, 03:49:16 PM
Just thought I would drop by to mention this fantastic resource:

http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/about-web (http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/about-web)

There is so much valuable information packed within this site that the books I was considering on the composer are basically out-the-window at this juncture.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Roasted Swan on June 16, 2021, 10:32:01 PM
Just thought I would drop by to mention this fantastic resource:

http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/about-web (http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/about-web)

There is so much valuable information packed within this site that the books I was considering on the composer are basically out-the-window at this juncture.

Never visited that site before - its great thankyou for the heads up.  New facts I now know about Dvorak;
1)  His main hobby was collecting pigeons
2) he suffered from agrophobia
3) he once said to a student; “You don’t smoke? Then you’ll never be a composer. All composers have to smoke!”
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Wanderer on June 16, 2021, 11:37:20 PM
Agrophobia or agoraphobia (or maybe acrophobia)? Agrophobia would be a fear of fields. 😀
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Roasted Swan on June 17, 2021, 02:18:18 AM
Agrophobia or agoraphobia (or maybe acrophobia)? Agrophobia would be a fear of fields. 😀

Hah!  If you could smell the slurry they're spreading on the fields next door to my house just now you'd be afraid of them too!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 17, 2021, 03:05:23 AM
Just thought I would drop by to mention this fantastic resource:

http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/about-web (http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/about-web)

There is so much valuable information packed within this site that the books I was considering on the composer are basically out-the-window at this juncture.

Oh yeah. I've used it tonnes. One of the best composer websites out there. Put it this way, my Firefox browser knows that if I start typing about Dvorak, I probably want the works page.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on June 17, 2021, 04:50:34 AM
Just thought I would drop by to mention this fantastic resource:

http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/about-web (http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/about-web)

There is so much valuable information packed within this site that the books I was considering on the composer are basically out-the-window at this juncture.
Yes, that's a great site.  I discovered it back when I was first getting seriously interested in Dvorak's works and also Czech composers' works in general.  I remember then also being delighted (and not surprised) at finding out that Sir Charles Mackerras was the then head of the UK-based Dvorak Society for Czech and Slovak Music.  Another handy resource (have been tempted to join it):  https://www.dvorak-society.org

PD
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 17, 2021, 04:51:23 AM
Never visited that site before - its great thankyou for the heads up.  New facts I now know about Dvorak;
1)  His main hobby was collecting pigeons
2) he suffered from agrophobia
3) he once said to a student; “You don’t smoke? Then you’ll never be a composer. All composers have to smoke!”

You’re welcome! Those are some facts that I didn’t know either. :)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 17, 2021, 04:54:01 AM
Oh yeah. I've used it tonnes. One of the best composer websites out there. Put it this way, my Firefox browser knows that if I start typing about Dvorak, I probably want the works page.

Excellent!
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 17, 2021, 04:57:06 AM
Yes, that's a great site.  I discovered it back when I was first getting seriously interested in Dvorak's works and also Czech composers' works in general.  I remember then also being delighted (and not surprised) at finding out that Sir Charles Mackerras was the then head of the UK-based Dvorak Society for Czech and Slovak Music.  Another handy resource (have been tempted to join it):  https://www.dvorak-society.org

PD

What I like about the Dvořák site I linked is being able to view his oeuvre and there’s so much information if you click on a work --- from its’ inspiration to performance history, etc. This is extremely helpful.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on June 17, 2021, 12:03:53 PM
What I like about the Dvořák site I linked is being able to view his oeuvre and there’s so much information if you click on a work --- from its’ inspiration to performance history, etc. This is extremely helpful.
Yes, as I said, I like it and have appreciated it for a number of years.  I was trying to share with you another site and the history behind it and also how I found about it..that's all. , :

Best,

PD
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 17, 2021, 05:48:21 PM
Yes, as I said, I like it and have appreciated it for a number of years.  I was trying to share with you another site and the history behind it and also how I found about it..that's all. , :

Best,

PD

Okay. ???
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on June 18, 2021, 05:36:09 AM
Okay. ???
Sorry, I did a lousy job of typing a wink in a hurry in my previous posting.

PD
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 18, 2021, 05:40:39 AM
Sorry, I did a lousy job of typing a wink in a hurry in my previous posting.

PD

No worries, PD.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 18, 2021, 05:59:49 AM
Oh yeah. I've used it tonnes. One of the best composer websites out there. Put it this way, my Firefox browser knows that if I start typing about Dvorak, I probably want the works page.

Just a follow-up, I also like the Sibelius website:

http://www.sibelius.fi/english/index.htm (http://www.sibelius.fi/english/index.htm)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on June 18, 2021, 08:47:44 AM
Just a follow-up, I also like the Sibelius website:

http://www.sibelius.fi/english/index.htm (http://www.sibelius.fi/english/index.htm)
Yes, that's a very nice one too.  You might check to see whether or not someone has already posted a link in the Sibelius thread and if not post it there?  :)

PD
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 18, 2021, 06:31:43 PM
Yes, that's a very nice one too.  You might check to see whether or not someone has already posted a link in the Sibelius thread and if not post it there?  :)

PD

Good idea. I believe I’ve already posted a link to this site on the Sibelius thread several years ago. 8)
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 18, 2021, 07:33:04 PM
Just a follow-up, I also like the Sibelius website:

http://www.sibelius.fi/english/index.htm (http://www.sibelius.fi/english/index.htm)

Yes, it's also a very good one.

Another excellent one, especially for knowing about recordings, is for Medtner: https://www.medtner.org.uk/
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 18, 2021, 07:36:59 PM
Yes, it's also a very good one.

Another excellent one, especially for knowing about recordings, is for Medtner: https://www.medtner.org.uk/

If only I were a fan of Medtner. :-\ But yes, that does look like a nice site.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on June 18, 2021, 07:42:16 PM
If only I were a fan of Medtner. :-\

With the right resources you could become one!  :laugh:
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Mirror Image on June 19, 2021, 06:16:26 PM
With the right resources you could become one!  :laugh:

 :P
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: aligreto on June 20, 2021, 03:39:49 AM
Dvorak: Slavonic Dances Op. 72 [Szell]


(https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/FoEAAOSw-MpgMeIo/s-l500.jpg)


Both the music and the presentation of it are always strong, assertive and terrifically energetic and exciting in the two works on this CD.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on September 02, 2021, 04:04:54 AM
As mentioned in the WAYLT thread, I'm trying the early quartets again for the first time in several years. I own the Prague Qt box (Deutsche Grammophon), but these days with access to streaming I thought I'd try elsewhere.

And goodness, maybe I thought that early Dvorak was interminable because the Prague Quartet play the whole shebang, without any edits. I've not listened to their performance of quartet no.1 again yet, but the difference in timing between the recordings of no.1 I'm aware of is pretty stark:

Panocha Quartet 33:31
Zemlinsky Quartet 34:03
Vlach Quartet 36:49
Stamitz Quartet 40:13
Prague Quartet 48:28

The Zemlinsky Qt are explicit in saying they're using a critical edition that makes cuts. Presumably at least some of the others are as well, and I've actually come across a review of the Vlach complaining at how they'd cut music in the introduction that the Prague include.

I'm quite enjoying the Panocha version. So next I'll have to go back to the Prague and see how I react to it. If I get no joy out of it then... well, maybe I need an alternate set to redeem the earlier quartets (because normally I only listen from no.7 onwards).
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: kyjo on September 02, 2021, 06:31:21 PM
Dvorak's early quartets contains much fine - and characteristic - music in them. The Panocha recordings are superb.

I was listening to his Symphony no. 2 recently (a work which I hadn't paid much attention to before) - sure, the first two movements may be a bit structurally incoherent, but the scherzo and finale are in a whole different league! They're quite remarkable for their freshness of invention, life-affirming energy, and symphonic sweep. As I've said before, in these two movements one can really hear Dvorak "coming into his own". I listened to Otmar Suitner's recording with the Staatskapelle Berlin - a fine performance. 
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: OrchestralNut on September 03, 2021, 02:32:53 AM
Dvorak's early quartets contains much fine - and characteristic - music in them. The Panocha recordings are superb.

I was listening to his Symphony no. 2 recently (a work which I hadn't paid much attention to before) - sure, the first two movements may be a bit structurally incoherent, but the scherzo and finale are in a whole different league! They're quite remarkable for their freshness of invention, life-affirming energy, and symphonic sweep. As I've said before, in these two movements one can really hear Dvorak "coming into his own". I listened to Otmar Suitner's recording with the Staatskapelle Berlin - a fine performance.

Over time, it seems the schrezo to Symphony No. 2 has become my favourite schrezo of Dvorak's symphonies. Lately, the 2nd symphony has been the one I listen to most frequently.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: DavidW on September 03, 2021, 02:52:09 AM
As mentioned in the WAYLT thread, I'm trying the early quartets again for the first time in several years. I own the Prague Qt box (Deutsche Grammophon), but these days with access to streaming I thought I'd try elsewhere.

And goodness, maybe I thought that early Dvorak was interminable because the Prague Quartet play the whole shebang, without any edits. I've not listened to their performance of quartet no.1 again yet, but the difference in timing between the recordings of no.1 I'm aware of is pretty stark:

Panocha Quartet 33:31
Zemlinsky Quartet 34:03
Vlach Quartet 36:49
Stamitz Quartet 40:13
Prague Quartet 48:28

The Zemlinsky Qt are explicit in saying they're using a critical edition that makes cuts. Presumably at least some of the others are as well, and I've actually come across a review of the Vlach complaining at how they'd cut music in the introduction that the Prague include.

I'm quite enjoying the Panocha version. So next I'll have to go back to the Prague and see how I react to it. If I get no joy out of it then... well, maybe I need an alternate set to redeem the earlier quartets (because normally I only listen from no.7 onwards).

And here I thought the Stamitz Quartet was overly long and tedious in this work!  I stand corrected!  I also prefer the Panocha Quartet.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: kyjo on September 03, 2021, 09:01:36 AM
Over time, it seems the schrezo to Symphony No. 2 has become my favourite schrezo of Dvorak's symphonies. Lately, the 2nd symphony has been the one I listen to most frequently.

Indeed, it’s a remarkable movement that, rather unusually for a scherzo, has a long-breathed melodic sweep and keen sense of pacing that’s so engaging to the listener.
Title: Re: Dvorak's Den
Post by: Madiel on September 03, 2021, 08:38:29 PM
I've confirmed for quartet no.1 that the Prague Qt are using a different edition to everyone else. The introduction to the 1st movement has a whole pile of extra music. Similarly in the finale it doesn't take long to find the Prague are playing extra bars.

As far as I can gather from comments elsewhere, this means that most quartets are following Dvorak's later revision, where he heavily cut 3 of the movements, but the Prague must be playing the original version.

I don't yet know what's going on in quartets 2 and 3 because as far as I know Dvorak didn't revise those. If anything he didn't want them around...