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Dvorak: Symphonic Works [Box set]

Antonin Dvorak , Vaclav Neumann , Czech Philharmonic Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Price: $44.71 & FREE Shipping. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Czech Philharmonic
  • Conductor: Vaclav Neumann
  • Composer: Antonin Dvorak
  • Audio CD (April 24, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 8
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Supraphon
  • ASIN: B0077DDWEE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,562 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Vaclav Neumann (1920-95) was one of the greatest Czech conductors of his era and he was a Dvorak specialist. This new release from Supraphon gathers his symphonic music from that composer in one box and, if this price of less than $7 in USA holds (in April 2012), makes it available to a new generation of listeners as a fantastic buy. Note that, in June 2012, Amazon discontinued offering this set for prices rangning from $6.95 to $10.95 and priced it around $30.

Recorded during the 1960s and 1970s, some of these pieces are in constricted sound. The tone poems after Erben, in particular, were always below par for its period. And Vaclav Neumann was considered by some more a reliable than inspired conductor, even if his old "three-fer" CD boxes of the symphonies were ranked highly by most critics. I enjoyed the last one of those I had, Symphonies Nos. 4-6, which also earned a 10/10 artistry and sound rating from Classics Today.

Personally, Neumann was always one of my favorite conductors in Czech music. He knew the territory and didn't dawdle over little things. He consistently found the big picture and gave it to you appropriately -- as his genuinely good mood in the festive Symphony No. 6 shows. His "New World" symphony is typically big and brassy.

The big plus is the size of this collection -- every symphony and most of the tone poems and overtures Dvorak wrote for orchestra on 8 disks played by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra from its heyday with wavering tone in the horns. If you are looking to acquire Dvorak's symphonic music, this is staggering in duration for very little money. Here are the contents courtesy of Supraphon's website:

CD 1
1. Symphony No.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, Neumann's Dvorak in one steal of a package June 10, 2012
Format:Audio CD
Great Dvorak is not in short supply. Kubelik, Kertesz, Rowiki (and to a lesser extent Jarvi and Pesek) have all given us fantastic cycles. But, with the partial exception of the Pesek set, none have come from a truly authentic or idiomatic source. Indeed, Kubelik's Berlin cycle was the last word in orchestral opulence and execution even if it lacked rustic charm while Kertesz's gutsy set featured somewhat colorless playing from the London Symphony. Here, however, we finally have Neumann's complete cycle with the incomparable Czech Philharmonic in one, budget-priced set, which now can stand as the reference edition of these works.

The importance of having the Czech Philharmonic playing this music cannot be overstated. Upon first listening, it is immediately apparent that this orchestral timbre add such depth of color, nuisance, and feeling to the music that other sets are put to shame. Take, for instance, Neumann's Carnival overture. The outer sections have all the typical color and flair that you would expect in this music, but has the central interlude ever sounded more poignant or beautifully shaped? If so, I certainly have not heard it. Or listen to the absolutely crushing climax of the Water Goblin, where Neumann's bright, steely trumpets send shivers down the spine. Nothing can compare to the beautiful, watery sound of Czech clarinets, which bathe the opening of the 5th symphony with unending character or the fabulous, rustic horns, which add an extra dose of horror to the eerie glow of the coda of the 7th's allegro. The strings make much of their parts in the dance movements, particularly the furiant in the sixth and the rhythmically complex scherzos in the 7th and 9th.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent throughout May 2, 2012
By Nick
Format:Audio CD
Superb cycle superb value and just to correct an error in the other review Symphonies 1 & 2 are stereo - the entire cycle was recorded over about 18 months in the early 70's. No, the sound is not modern demonstration class but wholly acceptable. At this current price a no-brainer.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Vaclav Neumann had a long distinguished career with his Czech forces . He had lived this music, it was in his blood for sure, and it showed over and over throughout all those years in his recordings and performances, and, particularly in his Dvorak readings.

This traversal, newly released for the first time on CD disc, was prepared and recorded in the 1970's. He would revisit them one last time for Supraphon before he passed away in 1995. These latter recordings are those of an old master and, indeed, show great inner reflection from having lived with this music for so very long. However, they can be over meditative, somewhat lethargic, geriatric (if you will) in their thinking and execution. Still viable however as last-thought readings, but as a stand-out set, the ribbon must go to these recordings here, recorded nearly 20 years prior. They sparkle. They are driven with passion and fire and the nationalism that Dvorak had and has come to be known for.

The remastering here is notated as being AAD, meaning that the master tapes originally used in mixing down are apparently lost and so the final finished tapes were used in the preparation for these discs. This results, naturally, in some flattening, distortion, and constriction of fidelity in some passages, so do not expect sound that will sit you back in your seat. They are, however, very good representational and well preserved and presented recordings from the pre-digital era...only the extreme, most-pickey, will have any problem with them. Personally, I can be very fussy...but I also have the ability to recognize releases of great historical value and thus overlook flaws, both minor and more serious, for the great opportunity to witness greatness as displayed here by Neumann and the Czech P. O.
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