Reviewed on Wed 17 Sep, 2014
Dvořák is a household composer – due to a few everyday pieces. There is a wealth of orchestral and chamber music, and opera, to discover. Here are the nine symphonies, not just the oft-played 7, 8 and New World. We are fortunate to have cycles from Kertész, Kubelík, Rowicki, Suitner and others. Jiří Bělohlávek conjures a superbly committed and idiomatic traversal, the Czech Phil in great form to really strut Dvořák’s stuff: thrilling, beautiful, vital, heartfelt, full of song, dance, picture-painting and endearing personality (the earlier symphonies in particular have so much going for them). You also get Dvořák’s three concertos. That for cello is given a domineering reading by Alisa Weilerstein, and those for violin and piano (deserving as much attention) enjoy, respectively, the excellence of Frank Peter Zimmermann and Garrick Ohlsson. The recording is warm and detailed, the musicians’ instincts for their countryman ideally captured. Welcome to the wonderful world of Antonín Dvořák!