Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

Antonin DVORAK
Symphony No. 9 in E minor, B178, 'From the New World'a. Piano Trio in E minor, B144, 'Dumky'b. Slavonic Dances, B83c. Serenade for Strings in E, B52d. Carnival Overture, B169c.
aBerlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan; bBeaux Arts Trio; cBavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Rafael Kubelik; dAcademy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields/Sir Neville Marriner.
DG Panorama 469 133-2 [140'34] [ADD] Recorded 1964-77.

There are some real gems in this set - certainly enough to justify the modest outlay. For pure joie de vivre, the infectious performance by Kubelik of the Slavonic Dances, Op. 46 is hard to beat. The second (in E minor), for example, has real swagger and character and yet at the same time everything is so carefully balanced that nothing sounds congested. It may date from the mid-seventies, but the years have done nothing to dim the sparkle in this performance's eye. The Carnaval Overture, from two years later, has the same qualities and is a perfect feel-good way to end the set.

The highlight of the Beaux Arts Trio's account of the Dumky Trio is the intimate, whispered Poco adagio. Elsewhere they play with lively, pointed rhythms and an appropriately light touch in the fifth movement. This performance brings a problem in its wake, however: how does one adjust to its life-affirming virtues after Karajan's closely-recorded, big, schmaltzy New World, complete with ponderous Largo and fit only for the Karajan-club?

Sir Neville Marriner's Serenade, made with his 'other half' of the period, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, is characteristic of the clean, unfettered approach which characterised recordings from this combination. The Scherzo is fresh, the Menuetto elegant. Only when one encounters the last movement does some strain become apparent from the high strings.

Buy this set, play the Slavonic Dances. And smile.


Colin Clarke

Performances Slavonic Dances and Carnaval

Trio and Serenade

'New World'


Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers : - The UK's Biggest Video Store

Concert and Show tickets


Musicians accessories

Click here to visit

Return to Index