Notes and Editorial Reviews
This "on-demand" reissue from Arkivmusic.com returns two outstanding performances to the active catalog. Otto Klemperer's "New World" always has been one of the best, a fiery performance with an authentic Czech tang in the forward balance of the woodwinds. It's also not unusually slow, and where the tempo is comparatively leisurely, as in the scherzo, Klemperer more than makes up for it in the clarity of the imitative exchanges of the main theme. Have Dvorák's bass lines ever come through more clearly? Klemperer's unsentimental handling of the Largo also captures the music's melodic purity and serenity as well as anyone ever has. My only quibble concerns the mushy timpani; a touch more crispness and this might
have been virtually perfect.
The Schubert Fifth also is a very fine performance, gracefully played with a relaxed elegance that's about a million miles away from today's school of "authenticity". I suppose the Andante could move with a bit more "con moto", but there isn't an unpleasant moment anywhere in this performance. The sonics have dated since the early 1960s, but not so much as to offer a serious impediment to enjoyment of Klemperer's conducting or the Philharmonia's excellent playing. This disc is a true collector's staple. It should stay in print forever.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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