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Symphony No. 6 Scherzo Capric

Alsop; Baltimore Symphony Orchestra , Dvorak Antonin Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 8.65 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description

Widely acclaimed for their Naxos recordings of Dvor k's Symphonies Nos. 7 and 8 and No. 9 'From the New World' with the Symphonic Variations, Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony here present his Symphony No. 6, which at once pays tribute to Dvor k's mentor Brahms and to the rich folk music of his Bohemian homeland, together with one of his most successful works, the waltz-like Scherzo Capriccioso, and the Nocturne, an arrangement for string orchestra of the beautiful slow movement from his Fourth String Quartet.

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Baltimore Symphony Orchestra - Marin Alsop, direction

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Dvorak's Symphony # 6 Oct. 9 2011
Format:Audio CD
As always with Marin Alsop, she creeps into Dvorak's mind and shows us his favorite country, forests, meadows as well as his emotions. I can only say:
listen to it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Naxos Dvorak Symphony no 6 Marin Alsop Dec 14 2010
Format:Audio CD
This new CD from Naxos contains three of Dvorak's best-loved works, all performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop. To attempt to put onto CDs yet another Dvorak symphonic cycle might seem to be economic folly, because these works have been so heavily recorded for the last 60 years by many major orchestras and illustrious conductors.
So, measured against this seemingly overwhelming opposition, how does the Baltimore team fare? I find these performances absolutely delightful, and hope for more recordings of Dvorak's symphonies from them. The sixth symphony is beautifully played, and Ms. Alsop treats us to glorious sounds from the orchestra, yet, it seems to me, she pays great attention to all of the nuances and details that together make this a superb symphony. Similarly, the Nocturne receives a fine performance. The final work on the CD is the Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66, and here we come to a discussion point - timing vs. performance. Music critic David Hurwitz (whose opinion I generally respect) calls Alsop's performance "dreary." I disagree profoundly. Certainly, at 15:04, Alsop's timing is the longest of several that I checked, yet to my ears the performance does not drag; on the contrary, she begins crisply, which seems correct to me, and again pays attention to details and brings out the work's lyrical sections beautifully. The fastest performance to which I have access is that by Kosler, who takes 12:55, yet that performance begins languidly; speed isn't everything!
Naxos annotator Keith Anderson's program notes are excellent, as usual, and the sound quality is superb; in my opinion, Dvorak fans can hardly go wrong with this budget-priced CD.
Ted Wilks
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heavenly Dvorak Jan. 25 2011
By Tom Godell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
There are at least two distinct ways to approach Dvorak's Sixth Symphony. Treat it as a deeply serious symphonic masterpiece (as the great Czech conductors Vaclav Neumann and Rafael Kubelik did) or allow it unwind gracefully as an endless river of song (Istvan Kertesz and now Marin Alsop). Both approches have their merits.

Neumann's recording captures the Czech Philharmonic at the peak of its form. The interpretation may be subdued, but the score's brilliant colors have never come through more vividly. Kubelik had the Berlin Philharmonic, but his stodgy reading and the flat, dull DG sound take his disc completely out of the running. Kertesz has all the joy and lyricism that's missing from Kubelik, and his London Symphony sounds nearly as opulent as Neumann's intrepid band.

Alsop follows in the exuberant footsteps of Kertesz and Leonard Slatkin, whose delightful St. Louis Symphony recording was once available in a limited edition set issued by the orchestra. Her allegros sail along, and she always has a smile on her face--rather like her teacher, Leonard Bernstein. Her tempos are invariably well chosen, and every bar sings. The scherzo could be more incisive, but the blazing finale more than compensates for this minor lapse. The bold sound of the brass in the coda will have you jumping to your feet to shout bravo as the performance ends. The strings seem reedy compared to Supraphon (Neumann) and Decca/London (Kertesz), but otherwise the recording is clean and clear.

The "Scherzo capriccioso" is quite similar in style to the Sixth Symphony, alternating joyous outbursts with richly lyrical writing. Alsop's performance is every bit as charming as Neumann's. (Was his delightful Nonesuch LP ever issued on CD?) And her Nocturne is quite touching, if not nearly as languorous or intense as Neumann's heart-rending reading.

Overall, though, this is a splendid introduction to these three great scores at a super bargain price.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Naxos Dvorak Symphony no 6 Marin Alsop Dec 14 2010
By E. S. Wilks - Published on Amazon.com
This new CD from Naxos contains three of Dvorak's best-loved works, all performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop. To attempt to put onto CDs yet another Dvorak symphonic cycle might seem to be economic folly, because these works have been so heavily recorded for the last 60 years by many major orchestras and illustrious conductors.
So, measured against this seemingly overwhelming opposition, how does the Baltimore team fare? I find these performances absolutely delightful, and hope for more recordings of Dvorak's symphonies from them. The sixth symphony is beautifully played, and Ms. Alsop treats us to glorious sounds from the orchestra, yet, it seems to me, she pays great attention to all of the nuances and details that together make this a superb symphony. Similarly, the Nocturne receives a fine performance. The final work on the CD is the Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66, and here we come to a discussion point - timing vs. performance. Music critic David Hurwitz (whose opinion I generally respect) calls Alsop's performance "dreary." I disagree profoundly. Certainly, at 15:04, Alsop's timing is the longest of several that I checked, yet to my ears the performance does not drag; on the contrary, she begins crisply, which seems correct to me, and again pays attention to details and brings out the work's lyrical sections beautifully. The fastest performance to which I have access is that by Kosler, who takes 12:55, yet that performance begins languidly; speed isn't everything!
Naxos annotator Keith Anderson's program notes are excellent, as usual, and the sound quality is superb; in my opinion, Dvorak fans can hardly go wrong with this budget-priced CD.
Ted Wilks
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music making in the US alive and well!! June 23 2012
By Shane Saunders - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Here is yet another gem in the Dvorak Symphony Series with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony!As in the other performances in the series,the playing is so warm and spacious,and yet a certain intensity is injected when needed.To the reviewer that mentioned the long timing in the Scherzo Capriccioso:that is because Alsop takes a rare repeat at about 6:30 into the performance.I can only hope that there will be more Dvorak from these forces!Hopefully a recording of the great 4th Symphony will be coming!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good price for a good rendition. Dec 23 2012
By Fannish - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
We heard this symphony on a local PBS station. We wanted a copy, and were pleased to find this version by the Baltimore Symphony; a nearby orchestra. The quality is excellent and this version is very pleasant.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice, but this Dvorak Sixth is too often literal or cautious Dec 16 2010
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This new installment in Alsop's ongoing Dvorak cycle for Naxos is as bright and refresshingly direct as the ealier ones. Naxos is one to something here, and clearly Dvorak is one of the conductor's strong suits. there have not been any outstanding recordings of the sixth since Kertesz in the Sixties, although some might rank Kubelik's DG recording. As jubilant as the opening movement is, and as easy as the other movements are to like, conductors don't seem to gravitate to this work. I wonder why we haven't heard great accounts from Czechoslovakia since the days of Talich and Sejna.

Alsop hasn't got much competition, then, certainly not in such good sound. The Baltimore Sym. plays with commitment, and the woodwind and brass balances are impressive. Still, I can't call this an outstanding recording. Alsop tends to lose energy in the first movement and fails to lean passionately into the soaring second theme. The Adagio goes well altogether, with lovely solo contributions from the first horn and oboe. The syncopated Scherzo, marked Presto, should rollick more; this is an unbuttoned furiant, a fast rustic dance. The buildup in the finale from the initial mood of anticipation to the full-throated outburst of the main theme is handled somewhat timidly. In fact, if this reading has an overall flaw, it's absence of risk and passion. But on it's own terms this is a pleasing performance. The major filler, Scherzo capriccioso, falls into line with the same pluses and minuses.

In the interest of fairness, this recording was named an Editor's choice in the Gramophone (a publication I don't treat with undiluted reverence).
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