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Dvorak: 9 Symphonies - Kubelik

Dvorak: 9 Symphonies - Kubelik

Tower Universal Vintage  PROC-2164/8 (5 discs)

Stereo Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Dvorak: 9 Symphonies

Berliner Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelik (conductor)

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Comment by Contrapunctus - July 30, 2018 (1 of 3)

The Kubelik recordings of the complete Dvorak symphonies are one of the 'classic' accounts (like Kertesz or Rowicki). The regular RBCDs of this set (collector's edition) has never received an appropriate remastering. Only No. 8 & 9 were released as part of the originals-series (using a 24/96-remastering dating back to the late '90s).

Now, in May and June 2018 Emil Berliner Studios (EBS) remastered the old original tapes using 24/192-technology. The new hybrid-SACD-set contains this new remastering (SACD = DSD converted 24/192-files; CD = 16/44.1 derived from the 24/192 master).

The result is overwhelming! While regular CD-release suffered intensly from poor bass, the new set delivers a way more realistic and balanced sound stage including a full-bodied bass-section. The overall improvement in terms of clarity/transparency is immediatelly detectable.

Comment by Tony Reif - August 1, 2018 (2 of 3)

Contrapunctus, how would you say the sound of these remasters (the Tower site description, as translated, seems to suggest that they may also have been remixed) compares to the Kubelik Mahler 3 SHM-SACD, which I like a lot?

Comment by Contrapunctus - August 2, 2018 (3 of 3)

I also like the mentioned Kubelik-Mahler SHM-SACD very much, Tony. But I think it's difficult to compare it with the Dvorak recordings because of different location and orchestra. Saying this, I believe that the Kubelik/Mahler recordings have a better sound in general. Some of the Dvorak-recordings, the early ones - No. 7-9 - appear to me a bit harsh.

After listening and comparing the SHM-SACD of Kubelik's Dvorak 8&9 with the new edition, I can confirm the new remastering (and remixing). The new remastering sounds a bit (you have to listen carefully) more 'direct' and clear (especially the high frequencies) - I like it. Now you can hear details which were hidden on the regular CDs.

Back to your question: the new Dvorak set is probably a bit inferior sounding compared to the Mahler SHM-SACD. But if you know and like the regular CD versions of the Kubelik/Dvorak symphonies, I won't hesitate to buy. The improvement is just amazing! (Many new Japanese (DSD- or 24bit-PCM-)remasterings deliver a more or less better sound, but after my experience there are only very few releases offering such an enormous improvement.

(Let's keep our fingers crossed that Tower is going to release the complete Mahler/Kubelik sometime!)