Lilting melodies and exhilarating dance rhythms; gentle pathos, brooding drama and robust high spirits; the spirit of rural Bohemia and the sophistication of Prague, Vienna, New York and London in the late 19th century: Antonin Dvořák’s music is unfailingly distinctive and captivating. In all his works – from the epic ‘New World’ Symphony and Cello Concerto to the irresistible Slavonic Dances, haunting ‘American’ String Quartet, quirky violin Humoresque and yearning Song to the Moon – he is a composer whose heart is open and generous, and whose love for his homeland always shines through. This box provides an illuminating and enriching survey of his works, including his complete symphonies. A number of the celebrated performers have Slavonic roots themselves; all their interpretations draw on a deep affinity with Dvořák’s inspiration and humanity.
The Bottom Line: Well knock me over with a pin! Someone over at Warner Music knows how to put together a first class Dvořák collection. You get all the symphonies and major orchestral works (including Neumann’s Telefunken recordings with the Czech Philharmonic), the concertos, an imposing selection of chamber works, songs and other vocal pieces, the Requiem, and even a few opera arias. Best of all, the selection of performances is almost uniformly beyond criticism. If you’re looking for an excellent basic Dvořák set in a box, here it is.
– ClassicsToday.com (David Hurwitz)