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Dvorak: Symphony No. 8, The Golden Spinning Wheel, Scherzo Capriccioso / Flor, Malaysian Philharmonic

Dvorak / Malaysian Pco / Flor
Release Date: 08/28/2012 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1976  
Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  Claus Peter Flor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



DVORÁK Symphony No. 8 in G. The Golden Spinning Wheel, Op. 109 . Scherzo Capriccioso, Op. 66 Claus Peter Flor, cond; Malaysian PO BIS 1976 (SACD: 79:28)


I have always found Claus Peter Flor to be a very interesting, insightful, and exciting conductor, and he does not disappoint here. This is a very attractive and generous program of some of Dvorák’s greatest music. In the Read more Eighth Symphony, arguably the composer’s greatest work in the genre, Flor exhibits his unique ability to imbue the music with fire and passion, yet still mold the work’s somewhat patchwork structure into a convincingly cohesive whole. The various episodic passages of the first movement and the finale are fused together into a seamless flow and one really gets a sense of the grand architecture of these two movements and of the work as a whole. The Adagio and the third movement Scherzo are perfectly paced and lovingly shaped and, for once, the abrupt march-like coda of the latter does not sound like a tagged-on afterthought. I should add that this is Flor’s second go-around with the Eighth, having previously recorded it with the Royal Philharmonic for RCA. That was a distinguished account, but is outshined in every way by this new offering. This is a great interpretation, one to stand alongside the standard-setting recorded performances of Kertész, Szell, Dohnányi, Neumann, and Mackerras.


And as good as the symphony is, The Golden Spinning Wheel is even better. Despite its rather fragmented and episodic structure, I have always considered this to be one of Dvorák’s most sublime creations. Once again, Flor displays his knack for fusing together the seemingling unrelated sections of a work into a seamless, unified symphonic statement. This is the finest recorded performance of this great work I know. The disc is topped off with an exuberant, exhilarating performance of the wonderful Scherzo Capriccioso . Through it all, Flor’s own Malaysian Philharmonic plays magnificently, imbuing the music with both beauty of tone and rhythmic vitality. Flor manages to elicit a marvelously idiomatic sound from his ensemble that is reminiscent of the best Czech orchestras. The woodwinds are rustic and reedy, the brass play with a burnished, darkly hued tone, and the strings are sweet and songful yet have plenty of heft when the music requires. The sound of the SACD hybrid disc is stunning in its impact and clarity. If you love this music—and if you don’t, shame on you—you will not want to miss this disc.


FANFARE: Merlin Patterson
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 8 in G major, Op. 88/B 163 by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  Claus Peter Flor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; Bohemia 
2. Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66/B 131 by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  Claus Peter Flor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Bohemia 
3. Golden Spinning Wheel, Op. 109 by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  Claus Peter Flor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Bohemia 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, B. 163: I. Allegro con brio
Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, B. 163: II. Adagio
Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, B. 163: III. Allegretto grazioso - Molto vivace
Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, B. 163: IV. Allegro ma non troppo
The Golden Spinning-Wheel, Op. 109, B. 197
Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66, B. 131

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