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Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 - From the New World, Op. 95 / Carnival Overture / Slavonic Dances Nos. 1 & 3
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Dvorák: Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 "From the New World"
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I hate to give such a difference of opinion here, but I really do not have the same opinion as most people seem to with this recording of Dvorak's 9th. The reason for this is mainly the second movement; for whatever reason, many conductors take this piece at a tempo that to my ears just seems very slow and pondering. Yes, it is an adagio, but it is also a very song-like melody that needs to flow, and Bernstein here simply does not put forth the forward movement that to me is needed here. In the 4th movement, also, he seems to slow and speed a bit too eclecticly that grates on me, though the music is marvelously played with wonderful brass.
On the flip side, there are the first and third movements. Simply put, this is the finest rendition of the first movement I've ever heard. It contains all the enegery needed, and what is possibly my favorite musical moment ever -- the spot where there is a low flute solo at the end of the exposition -- is so beautiful I want to melt. So to the third movement is great, though perhaps a bit TOO fast (better too fast than too slow in this case, though), and if it weren't for the second movement's problems I'd say that these two movements make this a must buy.
As for the rest of the CD, it too has ups and downs. On the up is the Carnival Overture, given a fine performance full of excitement and vigor. On the down, however, are the Slavonic Dances, which lack excitement and vigor, and like other parts of the CD are just too slow.Read more ›
I bought this on the basis of all the swooning reviews here for this recording, in my endless search for the perfect recording of this piece. This one is not my cup of tea. I found it loud and intense, and I was exhausted by the end of it.
I have seen many reviews for various pieces that say, in effect "Too much Bernstein, not enough___. (Fill in the blank)" and since they are usually a minority opinion, I discount them. It caught up to me this time.
While the first movement is deeply enjoyable, the second movement, one of Dvorak's most famous pieces, does not cut it for me. I am largely disappointed with the tempo of the second movement. Yes, I know it's an adagio; it's meant to be this way. But Bernstein's interpretation is too slow. It's almost so slow that that the melody - yes, the very melody - is almost lost. While Dvorak wrote beautiful harmonies, which the sound engineers captured excellently in the final mix, the tempo just disappointed me.
The rest of the piece is excellent, and I think Bernstein's interpretations of everything outside of the second movement are some of the best out there. But because of the hyper-slowed tempo of the second movement, I would only recommend Bernstein's interpretation of this symphony to those who already know it from other composers, and who wish to make a comparison.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautiful recording and rendition of this symphony. I always look for Leonard Bernstein's recordings with the New York Philharmonic whenever I am purchasing a selection of... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mary Ann
I love this recording of the New World. I'm not a connoisseur of various orchestras, conductors, etc. but I don't see how you could do better than this one.Published 13 months ago by Connecticut bookworm
This is a fine presentation of "The New World" by an outstanding conductor and orchestra. It was difficult finding the entire symphony done well on a single disk along... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Richard A. Merritt
We like to have a collection of music from the concerts we have heard.Published 17 months ago by Cat lover doc