WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Dvorak: Symphonies No 7 & 8 / Ormandy

Release Date: 01/10/2008 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 38118  
Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

*** This title is a reissue of a Japanese release with liner notes in Japanese. ***

Here's another spectacular release from RCA Japan's Ormandy/Philadelphia edition, courtesy of Arkivmusic.com's "on demand" program. These are wonderful, truly Romantic performances featuring amazing playing, string sound that's beyond gorgeous, and interpretations that have a lot more subtlety than Ormandy usually gets credit for. The Seventh is particularly impressive, one of the finest versions available, full of tension in the outer movements, capped by a blazing coda that puts many other, better-known recordings to shame. Listen to the woodwinds cut through the full orchestra in the fortissimo counterstatement of the first
Read more movement's main theme without significant orchestral retouching; or notice the exciting transition to the scherzo's main section--there are many such distinctive moments here.

The Eighth is just as fine, and even better recorded, with more presence from the timpani and a bit more air around the instruments. In the first movement it's amazing to hear string playing with such incisive rhythm, particularly at the climaxes, and it's instructive to note how much passion this generates at a basically moderate tempo. The Adagio's exchanges between winds and strings couldn't be better timed; the third-movement waltz is, as you might imagine, the last word in sophisticated phrasing; and the scherzo-variations in the finale is a riot, with bright horn trills and, in the coda, a really vulgar (and totally apt) trumpet smear to cap the festivities. Ormandy also takes the violins up an octave just before the end, between those slashing final chords, arguably a more effective option than the Czech tradition of doubling them with horns. Hearing these performances again is like getting reacquainted with a best friend that you never should have lost touch with over the years.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphony no 7 in D minor, Op. 70/B 141 by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1885; Bohemia 
Date of Recording: 10/19/1976 
Symphony no 8 in G major, Op. 88/B 163 by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; Bohemia 
Date of Recording: 2/28/1977 

Featured Sound Samples

Symphony no 7: III. Scherzo: Vivace
Symphony no 8: I. Allegro con brio

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Ormandy Rides Again November 14, 2014 By Alan B. (Land O Lakes, FL) See All My Reviews "This recording not only sounds good, but is conducted with style and vigor by Ormandy. Among the many recordings of these symphonies, these rank pretty close to the top." Report Abuse
 Saccharin Performances November 12, 2014 By owen  ryan (lakewood, CA) See All My Reviews "In this recording Symphony no. 7 gives prominence to the strings which sometimes ''masks'' the instruments behind them. The Eighth, recorded 4 months later, has the proper balance and is a better recording. Overall these are pretty good performances although somewhat lacking in the Czechness typical of Dvorak. My recommendation is to hunt down the Mercury recording with Antal Dorati and the LSO; it does not get any better than that!" Report Abuse
Review This Title