Dvorak: Slavonic Dances / Szell, Cleveland Orchestra

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After a slew of second-rate Slavonic Dances recordings, it's gratifying to once again make acquaintance with this classic Szell reading. Yes, the sound's a bit harsh and shallow, but boy, you just don't find performances as exciting and well played as these every day. Szell conducts enthusiastically and enlivens the music with a natural poetic inflection and nuance, while the Cleveland Orchestra takes to these pieces as if bred to play them. Listen to the delightfully bright woodwind tone in Op. 46 Nos. 1, 3, and 4, the sweetly singing strings in Op. 72 No. 1, the dancing lilt of Op. 46 No. 6, or the beautifully sculpted phrasing of Op. 72 No. 8. Plus, Szell is the only conductor on disc to play the opening repeat of Op. 72 No. 7 after the introductory bars (which otherwise is an awkward "restart" that, in the score or no, makes little musical sense). No matter which Slavonic Dances recording you own (even great ones like Kubelik, and Neumann) you simply must not do without this magnificent Essential Classics release.

– Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday.com, reviewing Sony 89845

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 88697857482

  • UPC: 886978574824

  • Label: Sony

  • Composer: Antonín Dvořák

  • Conductor: George Szell

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Cleveland Orchestra