These performances, recorded in 2009/10, are not Delos reissues. If you’ve heard Gerard Schwarz’s Mahler recordings, you will know that his recent work reveals a distinctive and compelling way with romantic music, miles away from his stiff early recordings of Mozart and Haydn. This Dvorák Sixth is wholly personal and worth getting to know. Contrast seems to have become the name of the game. The first movement, with its exposition repeat intact, is uncommonly swift and exciting, the Adagio unusually slow—a real adagio—but still lyrical and flowing. In Schwarz’s hands the music takes on a larger aspect than it usually does.
The scherzo has plenty of the necessary fire, but the finale is also different (legitimately so)Read more from any other version. In the coda, for example, Schwarz has the strings execute their fugato a touch slower than it typically goes, but with great precision, leading to a truly grand reading of the final pages. In every movement Schwarz varies the pulse effectively within a phrase, making effective use of slight ritards and accents to maintain interest. It’s just thoughtful, intelligent music making, with an orchestra able to follow the conductor’s every whim.
Janácek’s Idyll makes an unusual but effective coupling, dating as it does from two years before the symphony. In seven movements lasting some 30 minutes, the piece sounds a lot like Dvorák (albeit without the tunes) and wholly unlike the Janácek on which his reputation rests. Once again, the performance is warm and captivating, the string playing often luscious in sonority. This very enjoyable, well-engineered disc should excite the interest of Dvorák fans; it came as a very pleasant surprise.
Surprisingly inspired and glorious DvorakApril 29, 2013By David R. (Pine, CO)See All My Reviews"What a treat to hear Schwarz's surprisingly excellent Dvorak 6th. Indeed, it is one of his very best recordings with the sensational Seattle Symphony. And Naxos captures it in superlative sound. Seattle's new hall generates a more immediate, dramatic and projected sound than was achieved by Delos in their old hall (even though there were many gorgeous recordings made there). The positive reviews of Marin Alsop's Dvorak readings (also on Naxos) suddenly seem outdated and misinformed. Comparing Schwarz to Alsop in the 6th reveals Marin to be so very ordinary (as I almost always find her to be) and Schwarz in a completely diffeent league altogether. He is inspired and imaginative and capable of bringing his orchestra to life. This disc is very highly recommended for pure enjoyment and a thrilling, joyous Dvorak experience."Report Abuse