Dvorak: The Water Goblin; The Wild Dove; The Golden Spinning Wheel

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Dvorak
LABELS: Chandos
WORKS: The Water Goblin; The Wild Dove; The Golden Spinning Wheel
PERFORMER: Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Neeme Järvi
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 241-3 Reissue (1989)
Dvorák’s late symphonic poems on Erben’s Czech ‘folk’ ballads are his most pungent orchestral compositions. Replete with macabre scenarios, in the manner of Grimm’s fairy-tales, they tell stories with a sure instinct for primitive effect and scintillating orchestral detail. Järvi responds well to their febrile atmosphere, playing the melodies like songs – entirely appropriate since Dvorák used settings of Erben’s verse as the basis for many of his themes. Just occasionally over-indulgent rubato compromises a clear sense of narrative and the neurotic world of The Hero’s Song is rendered too literally, but these are mostly fine, perceptive performances. Jan Smaczny

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