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Dvorak: Slavonic Dances / Alfons & Aloys Kontarsky

Release Date: 01/14/2011 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 449550  
Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Alfons KontarskyAloys Kontarsky
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Though orchestral versions of Dvoi'ak's Opp. 46 and 72 abound, the current catalogue lists only one oldish (1975) recording of these 16 Slavonic Dances as originally written for piano duet, from the Czech pianists, Vlastimil Lejsek and Vera Lejskova-a four-sided Supraphon set (111 13012, 7/75) also including the Legends, Op. 59. So the Kontarsky brothers' single-disc challenge is timely and welcome. Having recently heard them in waltzes by Brahms (to be reviewed next month) and found them unromantic and insufficiently seductive, I was pleased to discover a much keener response to local colour here, particularly the swift mood changes characterizing those dances of Dumka-like inspiration, such as the ever popular Op. 46 No. 2 in E minor. Now Read more and again in the earlier set I wondered if the Kontarskys' basic tempo was a little too moderato for some of the livelier dances (notably Nos. 3, 5 and 7). But not in the furiant rhythm of Nos. 1 and 8, both splendidly exuberant. They certainly revel in the greater expressive range and subtler textures of the later set, written eight years after by a considerably maturer composer. The nostalgia of No. 2 in E minor, the yearning of No. 4 in D flat and the seductive waltz-like charm of the last in A flat are realized with beautifully-judged rubato. Always their balance is exemplary, with many an attractive suggestion of orchestration in their colouring and shading.

-- Joan Chissell, Gramophone [1/1982]
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Works on This Recording

Slavonic Dances (8) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 46/B 78 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Alfons Kontarsky (Piano), Aloys Kontarsky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Bohemia 
Slavonic Dances (8) for Orchestra, Op. 72/B 147 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Alfons Kontarsky (Piano), Aloys Kontarsky (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886-1887; Bohemia 

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