DVORAK Complete Symphonies & Concertos/Belohlávek



Complete Symphonies & Concertos
Garrick Ohlsson · Alisa Weilerstein
Frank Peter Zimmermann
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Jirí Belohlávek
Int. Release 23 Jun. 2014
6 CDs / Download
0289 478 6757 9 6 CDs ADD DX6

Track List

CD 1: Dvorák: Complete Symphonies & Concertos

Antonín Dvorák (1841 - 1904)
Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.3 - "The Bells of Zlonice"


Czech Philharmonic, Jiri Belohlavek

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op.104


Alisa Weilerstein, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Jiri Belohlavek

Total Playing Time: 1:23:31

CD 2: Dvorák: Complete Symphonies & Concertos

Antonín Dvorák (1841 - 1904)
Symphony No.2 in B flat, Op.4


Czech Philharmonic, Jiri Belohlavek

Violin Concerto in A minor, Op.53

Frank Peter Zimmermann, Czech Philharmonic, Jiri Belohlavek

Total Playing Time: 1:21:16

CD 3: Dvorák: Complete Symphonies & Concertos

Antonín Dvorák (1841 - 1904)
Symphony No.3 in E flat, Op.10

Czech Philharmonic, Jiri Belohlavek

Piano Concerto in G minor, Op.33

Garrick Ohlsson, Czech Philharmonic, Jiri Belohlavek

Total Playing Time: 1:14:54

CD 4: Dvorák: Complete Symphonies & Concertos

Antonín Dvorák (1841 - 1904)
Symphony No.4 in D minor, Op.13


Symphony No.5 in F, Op.76


Czech Philharmonic, Jiri Belohlavek

Total Playing Time: 1:23:49

CD 5: Dvorák: Complete Symphonies & Concertos

Antonín Dvorák (1841 - 1904)
Symphony No.6 in D, Op.60


Symphony No.7 in D minor, Op.70


Czech Philharmonic, Jiri Belohlavek

Total Playing Time: 1:20:37

CD 6: Dvorák: Complete Symphonies & Concertos

Antonín Dvorák (1841 - 1904)
Symphony No.8 in G, Op.88


Symphony No.9 in E minor, Op.95 "From the New World"


Czech Philharmonic, Jiri Belohlavek

Total Playing Time: 1:20:29

. . . exceptionally high quality of the performances . . . [a] strong feeling this conductor and orchestra have for Dvorák's music . . . few other orchestras communicate the rhythms and colors of the music as vibrantly and with as much excitement . . . Decca's high-definition sound delivers clean details and close-up presence, so even though these recordings are live, they sound as fine as a studio recording. Highly recommended.

For those who have not yet acquired Alisa Weilerstein's raptly passionate account of the Cello Concerto, here it is again as part of a set of the complete mature symphonies and concertos, which are no less desirable . . . the early symphonies sound as if they are ingrained into the Czech musicians' DNA, as much as the supreme last three masterpieces . . . The playing throughout has a transparency, with wonderfully woody woodwinds, and Belohlavek's affectionate accounts of the "pastoral" Fifth (F major) and the vigorous Sixth (D major) are highlights. So, too, is Frank Peter Zimmermann's unapologetic traversal of the Violin Concerto, while Garrick Ohlsson, in the neglected Piano Concerto, is little short of revelatory. Dvorák's stream of melody is irresistible, and it's hard to imagine more idiomatic performances.

These are good times for Dvorák symphonies . . . This new [recording] comes with good credentials; the Czech Philharmonic can still make a distinctive sound, and Jirí Belohlávek has this music in his bones. The orchestral playing is high-class . . . Winds are piercingly clear but never shrill, and there's still a welcome touch of vibrato in the brass. The Cello Concerto's first movement horn solo. . . is exquisite. Belohlávek's strings play with weight, security and agility . . . The three concertos almost justify buying the set; Alisa Weilerstein's Cello Concerto is more than decent, but the real find is Frank Peter Zimmermann's glowing reading of the inexplicably neglected Violin Concerto . . . Garrick Ohlsson makes the strongest case for the even rarer Piano Concerto, making it sound like laid-back Brahms. . . [Symphony no. 7]: I like Belohlávek's doubling of the string line in the finale's coda with brazen trumpets. Working through the other symphonies chronologically is fascinating. No 1 . . . is both accomplished and entertaining, while No 2 has a sublime extended slow movement . . . Belohlávek's 5 is a pastoral delight, and No 6's swinging first movement is delectable. Decca's sound is good, and the whole slimline package is offered at bargain price.

. . . [all soloists] are first class . . . 8,5 hours of very well recorded and performed music . . .

. . . a wealth of illuminating detail and an empathetic approach to Dvorák's symphonic oevre overall, the crowning virtue of this set is in the way it relates the composer's artistic growth. Jiri Belohalávek focuses the precise character of each piece, so that the aura of youthfulness he brings to the First Symphony . . . contrasts markedly with the breadth, mellowness and epic proportions of his "New World" . . . [the Second Symphony] runs the gamut -- even within its first minute -- from darkness to light, and Belohlávek allows its rich fund of ideas to flow freely. . . Belohlávek and his Czech players make the strongest possible case for the Fourth Symphony's highly atmospheric opening pages . . . the symphony's highlight, also the high point on this particular reading, is the breezily cantering Scherzo with its riotously festive Trio . . . [Symphony no. 7]: there are magical moments, one in particular near the start of the slow movement . . . where Belohlávek draws from his orchestra great depth of tone, releasing high woodwinds like a flock of doves . . . as with the Sixth, the finale really blazes . . . [Alisa Weilerstein]: risk-taking flair in the Cello Concerto . . . Belohlávek's predominantly symphonic view of the score provides a powerful but disciplined framework for her spontaneous, tonally full-bodied playing. The Piano Concerto is performed with the greatest sensitivity . . . [in the first movement] Garrick Ohlsson achieves a magical diminuendo and the orchestra respond with gently etched string chords . . . [Ohlsson and Belohlávek] approach the solo part as a first among equals . . . Frank Peter Zimmermann offers a spruce, dancing account of the Violin Concerto, with spot-on intonation and a Milstein-like suaveness of tone. Belohlávek's accompaniment is typically flexible . . . The sound on this new set is by and large first-rate.

Eine durchaus begeisternde Gesamteinspielung . . . schön und begeisternd . . . Unnachahmlich das slawische, genauer: böhmische Glitzern in den Streichern. Unerreicht die schimmernden, tränenfeucht prickelnden Obertöne, die Feinheit der Bläser und eine Orchesterkonsonanz, die man gleichfalls nur hier so findet . . . Eine besser klingende tschechische Aufnahme dieser Werke gibt es nicht . . . Bei den Konzerten hat man mit der aufstrebenden Alisa Weilerstein, dem amerikanischen Altmeister Garrick Ohlsson und mit Frank-Peter Zimmermann (bei seiner zweiten Aufnahme des Violinkonzerts) eine durchweg originelle Wahl getroffen . . . eine echte Alternative.

Nun liegen die neuen Symphonien und die drei großen Konzerte . . . in schönen, klanglich wie formal runden Neueinspielungen vor . . . Belohlávek und seine Musikanten sind natürlich kundige Führer auf dem Weg, die ihren böhmischen Klang (vor allem im Blech) sanft westlichen Gepflogenheiten angepasst, aber ihre weiche Phrasierungskunst nicht verlernt haben.