Dvořák • Smetana
Dvořák: Symphony No. 7; Symphony No. 8; Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World’; The Wood Dove; Smetana: The Moldau (Vltava)
Berlin PO, Bavarian RSO, Boston SO/Rafael Kubelík
DG Double 439 663-2 ADD (1971-76)
Purists may object to Kubelík’s wayward handling of tempo in these three popular symphonies, but for me his judgement nearly always seems right; the exception is the first movement of the Seventh Symphony, where he loses the thread. His way with the Eighth and Ninth symphonies is consistently affectionate and illuminating, while the BPO plays throughout with responsive enthusiasm. But for the slightly acid quality of the recording, his reading of the Eighth makes a sound standard recommendation. Notwithstanding a slightly ragged reading of The Wood Dove, my only real quarrel with this issue is the vacuous and wildly inaccurate sleeve note.