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Two degrees of Dvorak inspiration

CLASSICAL MUSIC | RECORDINGS

October 09, 2005|Daniel Cariaga

Dvorak: Symphony No. 9, "From the New World"

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Mariss Jansons, conductor.

(RCO Live)

* * * *

Dvorak: Symphony No. 9, "From the New World"

Martinu: Symphony No. 2

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Jarvi, conductor. (Telarc)

* * 1/2

SUPERFLUOUS or not, the Concertgebouw Orchestra's latest "New World" Symphony is a model of restraint, balance, controlled virtuosity and interpretive panache. Jansons lets the work, and this great ensemble, speak eloquently and with mellow articulation; he never overreaches. In contrast, the performance by Jarvi and the Cincinnatians is pedestrian. It moves along with some deliberation and only occasional urgency, a decent reading but uninspired. Martinu's neo-Franckian Symphony No. 2 is its pleasant, charming companion piece, a jaunty souvenir of another Czech composer's fruitful middle period. This revival of the 1943 work is justly deserved and felicitously realized.

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