Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 in E minor (From the New World); Cello Concerto; Carnival Overture; Slavonic Dance No. 1; Slavonic Dance No. 3; Slavonic Dance No. 8; Slavonic Dance No. 9; Slavonic Dance No. 10

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COMPOSERS: Dvorak
LABELS: Decca
WORKS: Symphony No. 9 in E minor (From the New World); Cello Concerto; Carnival Overture; Slavonic Dance No. 1; Slavonic Dance No. 3; Slavonic Dance No. 8; Slavonic Dance No. 9; Slavonic Dance No. 10
PERFORMER: Lynn Harrell (cello), etcVarious orchestras and conductors
CATALOGUE NO: 443 765-2 ADD/DDD (1961-83)
Some might think that ‘Essential Dvorák’ should include more from his eleven operas than Rusalka’s ‘O silver moon’, and that in a quavery rendition in poor Czech by Pilar Lorengar. Still, Dorati’s performance of the New World Symphony is certainly recommendable and Kertesz’s Carnival Overture and Scherzo capriccioso are among the best on record; other performances on the disc are sound, if not exactly inspired. My main gripe is with Ashkenazy and Harrell’s way with the Cello Concerto: the opening Allegro is inflated far beyond Dvorák’s intentions and the remaining movements, while tonally beautiful, are still far too self-conscious for enjoyable listening. Jan Smaczny

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