Dvorak: Symphonic Poems: The Water Goblin; The Noon-Day Witch; The Golden Spinning-Wheel; The Wood Dove

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COMPOSERS: Dvorak
LABELS: Supraphon
WORKS: Symphonic Poems: The Water Goblin; The Noon-Day Witch; The Golden Spinning-Wheel; The Wood Dove
PERFORMER: Czech PO/Václav Neumann
CATALOGUE NO: SU 0199-2 ADD (1978)
Composed just after his return from America, Dvorák’s late symphonic poems are a remarkable mix of macabre storytelling, rich melody and stunning orchestration. Time and again in these vivid works, Dvorák’s command of atmosphere and occasional moments of near-primitivism look forward to Janácek. Václav Neumann wasn’t completely at ease in this repertoire. There are places, especially in The Golden Spinning-Wheel, where he loses the narrative thread, and nowhere does he achieve the seductive flexibility of a Talich or Chalabala. But these are serviceable performances and the orchestral playing and recording are extremely good. Jan Smaczny

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