Martinu: Symphony No. 3; Symphony No. 4

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LABELS: Supraphon
WORKS: Symphony No. 3; Symphony No. 4
PERFORMER: Czech PO/Václav Neumann
CATALOGUE NO: 11 1967-2 AAD (1977)
Martinu is the true heir of Dvorák in the Czech symphonic tradition. The late Václav Neumann recorded all six symphonies with the Czech Philharmonic during the late Seventies, and they rank among his finest achievements. Indeed they have been recognised as such with several international awards. Both these performances are strongly characterised and the individuality of each symphony is clear: the intense conflicts of the Third, the sunnier, more lyrical disposition of the Fourth. While the playing is excellent, the somewhat recessed recorded sound is not ideal, and the Fourth in particular suffers from the lack of detail and clarity in fully scored passages. Terry Barfoot