&ldquoAs Alsop faced the cellos and drew from them the most tremendously shaped phrases with every inflection of her baton, you were aware of being in the presence of greatness.&rdquo

Dvořák: Symphony No. 9

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Naxos 8.570714
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The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Dvorák’s ‘New World’ Symphony has a verdant freshness which strips away any over-familiarity. We are reminded of its melodic charms, but even more of its structural originality. The disc is also worth having for the lovely and loving performance of the Symphonic Variations. The scoring is Dvorák at his most colourful, the gaiety of the music lifts the heart, and there are tenderly lyrical passages which conductor Marin Alsop treats with just the right amount of extra sentiment.


20th July 2008

It is rare to be able to say that a performance forces one to listen to a work anew, but this is exactly what Alsop’s reading achieves. Excellently recorded and with an elegant and witty performance of the Symphonic Variations as makeweight, this is a superb issue all round.


JULY 2008

Marin Alsop, having moved into main-line repertoire with a highly praised set of the four Brahms symphonies, now undertakes what for me is the greatest individual 19th-century Romantic symphony, Dvořák’s New World – already recorded by almost everyone who matters! But she makes it very much her own, with her fine Baltimore orchestra responding with an account full of warmth, moments of high drama, and, above all, finely paced with a flowing, spontaneous feeling.


August 2008

This is a wonderful disk…Alsop directs a straight forward account, pointing the many felicitous details of orchestration, enjoying the humour of the waltz episode, building a marvelous climax in the middle, with the lugubrious trombones to the fore, and generally making the music smile. 


July 2008