Dvorak: Symphonies 8 & 9 - Fischer
Philips Classics 470 617-2
Classical - Orchestral
Dvorak: Symphony Nos. 8, 9 "From the New World"
Budapest Festival Orchestra
Ivan Fischer (conductor)
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Review by Mark Novak - March 25, 2010
In anticipation of the imminent re-release of this recording on Channel Classics, I gave this a relisten after not hearing it for several years. It is as wonderful as I remembered it - vibrant, idiomatic and romantic performances in splendid SACD sound. The Budapest players respond to Fischer's baton in a most sympathetic way. The playing is filled with nice touches from the string portamentos to the finely honed wind and brass dynamics. It should be noted that the violins are divided on the sound stage - firsts on the left and seconds on the right and the cellos and double basses are located just left of center and to the rear. This arrangement best brings out Dvorak's contrapuntal writing for the strings however it also tends to create a "wall of violins" (Phil Spector anyone?) when both sections are playing tutti. The brass sound is powerful and exciting. The low end foundation of the orchestra is a tad weak sounding (check out the opening of the Scherzo movement in Sym No.9 - the tymps lack the distinctiveness and bottom end fullness one would hear in concert. There is an appropriate amount of hall sound present in the stereo SACD tracks.
I will be curious to know how Channel's remastering may change (improve?) the sound. As I am satisfied with this one (although I can imagine it sounding better as per my notes above) I will probably leave it up to others to listen and compare. Recommended.
Copyright © 2010 Mark Novak and HRAudio.net