Supraphon's first-rate sonics also distinguish this, the most consistently excellent of all complete Dvorák symphony cycles, from the rest of the pack. - David Hurwitz
Rafael Kubelik was one of our foremost interpreters of Dvorak and other great Czech composers such as Smetana and Janacek. His critically acclaimed 1960's Dvorak symphony Deutsche Grammophon cycle was reissued several years ago as a budget-priced collection.
Two glorious Czech masterpieces are presented on this 2014 release from Alpha, performed on period instruments by the exceptional Anima Eterna Brugge, directed by Jos van Immerseel. Considering that Antonín Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 in E minor, "From the New World" was completed in 1893, and Leos Janácek's Sinfonietta dates from 1926, and the period instruments movement mostly has been concerned with Baroque and Classical era works, original instrumentation might strike some listeners as odd. Yet performances in the late 19th and early 20th centuries called for instruments that differ substantially in construction and tone quality from modern models, and the variety of timbres was much greater with handmade instruments than the homogenized sounds of today's mass-produced woodwinds and brass.
"…MDG provides typically fine sonics, with the strings well balanced against a piano that turns a bit glassy in its upper register at higher dynamic levels. The real question is whether or not, with such fine versions already available from various Czech groups on Supraphon (Panocha Quartet) and Praga (Klánský/Prazák Quartet), you will want to spend premium price to acquire this newcomer, even if the coupling of these two particular works is somewhat unique. This is a decision you must make for yourself; if you ultimately opt to go for it, you won’t be sorry." ~classicstoday
"…The program she presents here is terrific: the Wesendonk Lieder and Zemlinsky songs are pretty common in recitals, but I know of no other recital disc where the “Song of the Wood Dove” from Schoenberg’s massive Gurrelieder appears, and the Brahms Alto Rhapsody is similarly rarely recorded outside of complete Brahms sets. Pecková, whose voice is a hair light for all the music here (she sings Rosina and Cherubino, and the lighter soprano role of Varvara in Katya Kabanova), does much of the program proud…" ~classicstoday
Sir Charles Mackerras and the London Philharmonic Orchestra shared a musical heritage spanning 45 years and this live recording of Dvorák’s Symphonic Variations and Symphony No. 8 from 1992 pays tribute to a partnership that exuded a joy and vivacity in music making.
In 2004 Bernarda Fink released a recording of Dvorák songs that was awarded critical plaudits internationally. Now, eight years later, she returns to the composer, in the company of young soprano Genia Kühmeier, to sing 13 of the Moravian Duets which brought the young musician fame far beyond his homeland. The other two cycles, for solo voice, round out the portrait of a Dvorák still attached to musical traditions, whether sacred (Biblical Songs) or secular (Gypsy Melodies).