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Overtures


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Product Details

  • Performer: Handley; Ulster Orchestra;
  • Composer: Dvorak Antonin
  • Audio CD (Feb. 9 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chn
  • ASIN: B000000AE9
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #182,008 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. In Nature's Realm, Op. 91
2. Carnival, Op. 92
3. Othello, Op. 93
4. Scherzo Capriccioso, Op. 66

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Most helpful customer reviews

By A Customer on May 4 1999
Format: Audio CD
Although the "Carnival Overture" is very familiar and frequently recorded, the other pieces on this collection are comparatively rare. However, I came away from this disc thinking that all this music was first-rate Dvorak. I especially liked Handley's version of "In Nature's Realm," which I found particularly atmospheric. This music may not be as famous as Symphonies 8 + 9, the Cello Concerto, and the Slavonic Dances, but this disc is a must for all true Dvorakians.
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By A Customer on June 23 2001
Format: Audio CD
An excellent recording. I have two other recordings of the carnival overture, both associated with recordings of the 9th symphony. However, it was not until recently that I discovered there were 2 other pieces that went with it. I was very pleased to find this recording, and the overall quality of the performance is excellent. A surprising, but pleasant find. I strongly recommend this recording to any true Dvorak fan.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Lively Dvorak from an unusual source! May 4 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Although the "Carnival Overture" is very familiar and frequently recorded, the other pieces on this collection are comparatively rare. However, I came away from this disc thinking that all this music was first-rate Dvorak. I especially liked Handley's version of "In Nature's Realm," which I found particularly atmospheric. This music may not be as famous as Symphonies 8 + 9, the Cello Concerto, and the Slavonic Dances, but this disc is a must for all true Dvorakians.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Dvorak: "In Nature's Realm",Vernon Handley, conductor March 1 2006
By Holly Lane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In Nature's Realm is a not only a rarely recorded composition, it is even rarer that it is grouped with Carinval and Othello, the other pieces that Dvorak composed with it as a set. These three works, plus the Scherzo Capriccioso displays Dvorak's range, from lyrical and at ease, to the romping, to tragic intensity to the lively and vigorous. Vernon Handley's interpretations are well paced, attuned and sparkle with clarity.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great musical performances spoiled by short timing July 4 2005
By Larry VanDeSande - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't argue with the other reviewers that have given this CD five stars for the music and the performances. Vernon Handley and the Ulster Orchestra show they can take on Dvorak's romantic tone poetry with the temperament needed to realize these portraits of nature, Otello and absolute music.

My quibble -- and it is a large quibble -- is that this exquisitely manufactured CD contains only 52 minutes of music and continues to be marketed by Chandos as a full price CD for a list price of $17.98. That makes the music-value quotient substantially lower, in my opinion, since there is plenty of space to include one or two more Dvorak pieces. Had they done that, this would clearly have been a five star selection. As it is, the music alone is great but overpriced for what is offered.

The notes to this issue provides some background on all the music and a paragraph on the performers, who together have taken on many of Britain's greatest composers and a few others worldwide. Handley is clearly one of today's better conductors, with an ear and temperament for music of the 19th and 20th centuries that renders his performances always of the first rank. I have heard him perform equally well with British, Russian and, now, Czech music. He is clearly at home with a very wide repertoire and the evidence on this CD is more proof of his connection to both the orchestra and the romantic period.

However, I cannot in good faith recommend you spend full price on a recording with so little musical contents. If you can acquire this from an Amazon.com vendor for $14 or less, it is quite a buy. It is a wonderful musical selection in any event.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An excellent find June 23 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
An excellent recording. I have two other recordings of the carnival overture, both associated with recordings of the 9th symphony. However, it was not until recently that I discovered there were 2 other pieces that went with it. I was very pleased to find this recording, and the overall quality of the performance is excellent. A surprising, but pleasant find. I strongly recommend this recording to any true Dvorak fan.
Natural, free-flowing Dvorak from an unlikely source Dec 3 2010
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The slightly unlikely teaming up Vernon Handley with the Ulster Orchestra in 1985 to record some lesser, relatively rare Dvorak in the Ulster Hall produced very attractive results. The acoustic of the hall is flattering and the Northern Irish orchestra seems surprisingly idiomatic, with its tangy woodwind and confident horns. Handley takes a relaxed approach to Dvorak's bucolic charm but is also able to generate a tension and ebullience - sometimes reminiscent of Berlioz - without becoming frenetic.

By far the most familiar piece here is the "Carnival", but it is good to hear it within its proper context as the middle movement of the symphonic overture sequence of three, Op.91, 92 and 93, representing Nature, Life and Love and all beginning with the same motto or theme. The opening piece is typically melodic and insouciant in its evocation of the Bohemian countryside and there are echoes of "Rusalka" in the third, melodramatic overture, "Othello", even if it hardly rises to tragedy. The grander, larger-scale and altogether more jovial Scherzo Capriccioso forms a fitting conclusion to a satisfying, if occasionally little light-weight, programme which is rather short-measure at only 53 minutes.


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