by Michael Lyons, Music Director
Czech Mate!!! Ivan Fischer conducting his Budafest Festival Orchestra. Exhilerating! And when they take on Dvorak, it doesn’t get any better.
On this recording the legendary sets of Slavonic Dances are presented in living color.
The first set, eight tiny masterpieces known as Op.46, is the very set of dances that caught the ears of a composition jury that included one Johannes Brahms. Based upon Brahms’ enthusiastic reaction and subsequent recommendation, and based on the inherent quality of the music, Dvorak’s international career was launched…
”the news flashed across the German music world of a miraculous talent residing in Prague, who is holding forth in spirited creation with astonishing productivity and a striking wealth of melodies, and who for years has been laying up treasures, sprung from his muse, that are as mysterious as they are appealing.”
The publisher Simrock demanded a second set right away—the motive of course was profit–Dvorak obliged with his Op.72 set of Slavonic Dances-eight more gems that flowed from his pen in all of two weeks.
This must-have Dvorak receives definitive performances from Fischer and the BFO-spirited and as magical as the music itself without ever overdoing it as found in many other performances– all with a beautifully balanced sound on this Philips disc.