Notes and Editorial Reviews
An engaging portrait of a much-loved composer, with good musical extracts.
‘Deo Gratias’ (‘Thanks be to God’), Dvorák’s final comment on his life, is an admirably direct and informative documentary, with plenty of illustrations of people and places, complemented by historic film.
The opening, shots of the 1969 moon landing, are a surprise, though we learn that, aptly, the New World Symphony was playing on Neil Armstrong’s headphones as he stepped on to the lunar surface. Other points are less surprising but more revealing: reports from Dvorák’s first music school were unflattering, for example, and his New York salary as director of the Conservatoire was 30 times higher than what he was
getting at home.
The film contrasts the rapturous reception he received in England, and later in the United States, with the relative indifference and even hostility that greeted him in Germany, and covers the composition of key works, giving us an engaging portrait.It is a pity that the musical items are single movements rather than complete works but the selection is fair enough. The New World finale and the first movement of the Cello Concerto, with soloist Gustav Rivinius, are vintage recordings, but the brilliantly played Piano Concerto finale dates from only three years ago.
-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [3/2005]
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra,B191 Op. 104 - Allegro Concerto for Piano and Orchestra,B63 Op. 33 - Allegro con fuoco Serenade,B52 Op. 22 - Finale: Allegro vivace 16 Slavonic Dances,B83 & B147 Opp. 46 & 72 - No. 1 in C;No. 2 in E minor Symphony No 9, 'From the New World',B178 Op. 95 - Allegro con fuoco String Quartet No 12, 'American',B179 Op. 96 - Finale. Vivace ma non troppo 10 Biblical Songs,B185 Op. 99 - The Lord is my shepherd;I will sing a new song Te Deum,B176 Op. 103.
Zdena Kloubová, soprano; Roman Janál and Ivan Kusnjer, baritones; Gustav Rivinius, cello; Martin Kasík, piano; Jaroslav Tuma, organ.
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; Prague Symphony Orchestra; Skampa Quartet; Kühn Mixed Choir; Prague Philharmonia / Gaetano Delogu; Jirí Belohlávek; Jirí Kout; Václav Neumann; Zdenek Kosler.
Works on This Recording
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