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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kosler is highly underrated, December 27, 2009
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This review is from: Slavonic Dances (Audio CD)
The late conductor Zdenek Kosler has in the past, I believe, been highly underrated. He has produced some really outstanding recordings for the Supraphon label in the past, the best being, of course, with the legendary Czech Philharmonic. In a marathon listening session I just got through listening to this Naxos recording of the Slavonic Dances with Kosler, after having heard the same pieces played by Kubelik and the Bavarian Radio Symphony, The justly revered Sejna recording and those of Neumann and Mackerras, all with the Czech Phil. And in my view, in that august company, Kosler and his Slovak Orchestra do not come off anywhere nearly as bad as some would contend. He and his musicians have the requisite lilt and bounce that makes performances from other parts of the world sound a bit square and clueless. The pungent and colorful east European tone color is there, and I would call these performances highly idiomatic and well worth hearing.

An understanding and proper execution of the myriad and mercurial shifts of rhythm, dynamics, and tone inherent in these pieces, something that comes naturally to performers like the ones on this recording, is not an accomplishment to be dismissed lightly. Getting all that right, I would propose, is as highly complex and nuanced an artistic task as the understanding and interpretation of the gravest Bruckner symphony...though I imagine the stuffed shirts at the world's most famous concert halls would find that hard to admit.

As to sound quality, I would judge the sound of this recording to be at the very least on a par with the masterful Karel Sejna recording, which is a touchstone for this repertoire despite its 1959 recording date.

Bottom line.....I've spent all night listening to the best, and good old Kosler's recording deserves respect and admiration in such company. For the price, it's an outstanding CD.
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Location: Chicago, IL USA

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