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These accounts are quite magnificent, and their claims on the allegiance of collectors remain strong. Their freshness and vigour remind one of what it was like to hear these symphonies for the... —
Dvořák: Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88
Berliner Philharmoniker Rafael Kubelik Recorded: 1966-06-09 Recording Venue: Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin
3. Allegretto grazioso - Molto vivace
Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 'From the New World'
Berliner Philharmoniker Rafael Kubelik Recorded: 1972-06-10 Recording Venue: Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin
1. Adagio - Allegro molto
3. Scherzo (Molto vivace)
These accounts are quite magnificent, and their claims on the allegiance of collectors remain strong. Their freshness and vigour remind one of what it was like to hear these symphonies for the first time. The atmosphere is authentic in feeling and the sense of nature seems uncommonly acute. Kubelík has captured the enthusiasm of his players and generates a sense of excitement and poetry. The playing of the Berlin Philharmonic is marvellously eloquent and, as is often the case, a joy in itself. The woodwinds phrase with great poetic feeling and imagination, and all the departments of this great orchestra respond with sensitivity and virtuosity.
The recording has great dynamic range and encompasses the most featherweight string pianissimos to the fullest orchestral tutti without discomfort. The listener is placed well back in the hall so that the woodwind, though they blend beautifully, may seem a little too recessed for some tastes, though it should be said that there's no lack of vividness, power or impact.
The balance and the timbre of each instrument is natural and truthful; nothing is made larger than life and Kubelík has a natural warmth and flexibility. This will remain high on any list of recommendations for it has a vernal freshness that's wholly reviving.
Kubelik draws truly idiomatic performances from the BPO giving these oft encountered works a real sense of originality