After a slew of second-rate Slavonic Dances recordings, it's gratifying to once again make acquaintance with this classic Szell reading. Yes, the sound's a bit harsh and shallow, but boy, you just don't find performances as exciting and well played as these every day. Szell conducts enthusiastically and enlivens the music with a natural poetic inflection and nuance, while the Cleveland Orchestra takes to these pieces as if bred to play them. Listen to the delightfully bright woodwind tone in Op. 46 Nos. 1, 3, and 4, the sweetly singing strings in Op. 72 No. 1, the dancing lilt of Op. 46 No. 6, or the beautifully sculpted phrasing of Op. 72 No. 8. Plus, Szell is the only conductor on disc to play the opening repeat of Op. 72 No. 7Read moreafter the introductory bars (which otherwise is an awkward "restart" that, in the score or no, makes little musical sense). No matter which Slavonic Dances recording you own (even great ones like Kubelik, and Neumann) you simply must not do with out this magnificent Essential Classics release.
--Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Slavonic Dances (8) for Orchestra, Op. 46/B 83by Antonín Dvorák
No. 8 in A-flat Major (Grazioso e lento, ma non troppo, quasi tempo di Valse
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Szell & the Cleveland at their best.May 6, 2012By K. BAKER (HEBER CITY, UT)See All My Reviews"If you like Dvorak's Slavonic Dances, this is must have disk. If you don't like Dvorak's Slavonic Dances, this is must have disk. A case can be made that this is greatest orchestral recoding ever made, even with the flaws of Columbia's recording technique of the time for we have here perhaps the greatest orchestra to ever play play classic music in top form led by their legendary Music Director.
When Szell and the Cleveland played, you headr the spaces between the notes, not just the notes"Report Abuse