Dvořák: Symphony No. 9
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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.
MICHAEL KENNEDY, THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (UK)
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.
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
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.
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.