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Dvorak: Noonday Witch, Serenade, Symphonic Variations / Kertesz, LSO


Release Date: 05/27/2010 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 425061  
Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  István Kertész
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Kertesz...shows the underlying grave beauty of this marvellous set of variations. A good many of them look like a Slavonic dance or the like, but you find that Dvorak has marked them tempo prima, which is a slow one. Var. 7, for instance, looks like light, swift music and it would indeed come off delightfully at the fastish tempo of the preceding variations—I have heard it thus misread. Var. 9 looks exactly like a Slavonic dance and, played briskly, would sound so: but again, it is marked tempo prima. I point this out to show that [he] give[s] most authentic performances of music that is sometimes misread... [A]n excellent recording.

-- Gramophone [11/1971, reviewing the Variations]

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Read more /> It looks as if Kertesz might record all five of the symphonic poems, Dvorak's last orchestral works. I certainly very much hope so, when the results are as good as this, in interpretation, orchestral playing and in recording... The Noonday Witch is best of all [among the symphonic poems], not only because it is the shortest, at just over 13 minutes, but because Dvorak confines himself to the essentials of the story i.e. 'translating' it into music.

This and The Water Goblin are also based on folk ballads by K. J. Erben (the librettist for The Spectre's Bride, as well as poems for several of Dvorak's songs) and very grim they are—as folk tales are liable to be. But the grim features give Dvorak plenty of chance to exercise a wonderful orchestral imagination and his strokes of genius come off superbly in these spectacular performances.

-- Gramophone [6/1972, reviewing the Noonday Witch]

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Kertesz's phrasing is always very sensitive and, in general, the performances are a delight. The wind Serenade of Dvorák is surely the perfect choice for a fourth side and this performance is especially delectable. What an utter charmer the Trio of the Minuet, in particular, is in this engaging performance and how invigorating the zest and point with which the finale is played.

-- Gramophone [9/1981, reviewing the Serenade]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphonic Variations for Orchestra, Op. 78/B 70 by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  István Kertész
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; Bohemia 
Date of Recording: 1970 
2.
Noon Witch, Op. 108/B 196 by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  István Kertész
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Bohemia 
Date of Recording: 1971 
3.
Serenade for Winds in D minor, Op. 44 by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  István Kertész
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Bohemia 
Date of Recording: 1967 
4.
Hussite Overture, Op. 67/B 132 by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  István Kertész
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Bohemia 
Date of Recording: 1971 

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