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Dvorák: Three Great Symphonies; Carnival Overture; Bedrich Smetana: Bartered Bride Overture

Szell; Cleveland Orchestra , Dvorak Antonin Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Product Details

Disc: 1
1. Symphony No. 7 In D Minor Op. 70: I. Allegro maestoso
2. Symphony No. 7 In D Minor Op. 70: II. Poco Adagio
3. Symphony No. 7 In D Minor Op. 70: III. Scherzo. Vivace -- Poco meno mosso
4. Symphony No. 7 In D Minor Op. 70: IV. Finale. Allegro
5. Carnival Overture, Op. 92
6. Overture To The Bartered Bride
7. Quartet In E Minor 'From My Life': I. Allegro vivo appassionato
8. Quartet In E Minor 'From My Life': II. Allegro moderato alla Polka
9. Quartet In E Minor 'From My Life': III. Largo sostenuto
10. Quartet In E Minor 'From My Life': IV. Vivace -- Meno mosso
Disc: 2
1. Symphony No. 8 In G, Op. 88: I. Allegro Con Brio
2. Symphony No. 8 In G, Op. 88: II. Adagio
3. Symphony No. 8 In G, Op. 88: III. Allegretto grazioso - Molto vivace
4. Symphony No. 8 In G, Op. 88: IV. Allegro, ma non troopo
5. Symphony No. 9, In E Minor Op. 95: I. Adagio. Allegro Molto
6. Symphony No. 9, In E Minor Op. 95: II. Largo
7. Symphony No. 9, In E Minor Op. 95: III. Scherzo, Molto vivace
8. Symphony No. 9, In E Minor Op. 95: IV. Allegro con fuoco

Product Description


George Szell's great musical hero was Toscanini, but the truth is that on any given day Szell was probably the better conductor. Of course, comparisons like this aren't fair, especially when so much of Szell's musical prime has been preserved in really good sound, which certainly isn't true of the great Italian conductor. But it's worth pointing out all the same, because all of Toscanini's best qualities are here. The razor-sharp rhythms, perfect orchestral balances, and, where required, stunning power of the orchestra are all placed in the service of Dvorák's magnificent music. The result is that the "interpretation" as such simply vanishes; you experience an inevitable, organic musical discourse. It's what all great conductors aspire to- -but for Szell, it was all in a day's work. Essential. --David Hurwitz

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it. Aug. 27 2000
Format:Audio CD
Though Sony doesn't give you a break on price, these two discs are well worth the money. Superb renditions of Dvorak's 7th, 8th, and 9th symphonies and some extras (the Carnival Overture, the Smetana) plus great packaging. Old fans of this music tell me that the engineers have worked sonic wonders here; all I know is that it sounds good. Hard to believe that this is the first time this 7th has seen the light of day on CD, but there you have it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable July 17 2001
Format:Audio CD
Sony has done well to reissue these recordings of Dvorak's best known and loved symphonies, given wonderful treatment by Szell and his well-drilled Cleveland Orchestra. These are recordings to treasure and hear again and again. Szell proves once again to be one of the finest Dvorak interpreters of the twentieth century. The lilting rhythym of the strings at the start of the second movement "Poco Adagio" of the Seventh symphony are really something to hear. The gorgeous, opulent string tone that dominates the third movement of the Eighth symphony can almost sweep you away in its beauty, and the furious rush to the end of the final movement is as amazing for the technical demands it must have placed on the players as it is for power to thrill. Here I am reminded that EMI has reissued Szell's other fine recording of the Eighth from 1970-this recording from 1958 is by no means of inferior sound quality and I think it is a better performance. The Ninth here is again from 1958 and is also very successful if not as well recorded in my opinion. The bonus tracks here, the Carnival Overture, the Bartered Bride Overture and Szell's own orchestral version of Smetana's "From My Life" Quartet are more than just fillers. They are all highly enjoyable in their own right, as I don't think I've heard Carnival and the Bartered Bride played with so much energy and life. Although Sony has done wonders for the sound, as one might expect it is not immaculate. The final few bars of the Allegro con brio from the Eighth seem to become a little distant and somewhat faint and there are some parts of the Ninth where some of the brass and timpani seem to be far away. These are small reservations in the end, although if you are looking for a modern recording in fine digital sound and solid performances I recommend the Dohnanyi with the Cleveland Orchestra on Decca. However, I will treasure these Szell recordings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Deffinitive George Szell May 27 2001
Format:Audio CD
Wow! What to say? These recordings perfectly illustrate just how brilliant George Szell was. The main feature on this 2 disc CD set are Dvorak's 7th, 8th and 9th symphonies. To put it simply, all three symphonies are perfectly executed. While there are many recordings out there which can match the technical brilliance of the Cleveland Orchestra, there is none in which a conductor has such a firm and passionate understanding of Dvorak's great symphonies. Like Szell's recordings of the Slavonic Dances, these recordings of the last three symphonies are the best available on CD.
But there's more! Also included in the set are the "Carnival" Overture, Smetana's Overture to The Bartered Bride and an orchestral version of the String Quartet from Smentana's "From My Life" which George Szell wrote.
Lastly, these recordings have been wonderfully remastered by Sony.
This is a must buy for Dvorak and Szell fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful May 8 2004
Format:Audio CD
All the other reviewers have said basically summed up what needs to be said about these recordings - the razor sharp precision, the amazing orchestral balance, the powerful dynamics. The Cleveland Orchestra under Szell was something unlike anything else in the world of music. Highly Recommended.
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