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Reviews: Dvorak: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 7 - Macal

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Reviews: 4

Site review by Geohominid May 18, 2008
Performance:   Sonics:    
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

http://www.HRAudio.net/showmusic.php?title=4554#reviews

Site review by akiralx June 24, 2008
Performance:   Sonics:  
Dvorak's darkest, and probably best, symphony - the Seventh, is here given a very intense performance by Macal. His direct way with Dvorak works better here than with his rather bland account of the New World, though I felt a little more flexibility would not have gone amiss.

He chooses some pretty fast tempi throughout which creates a sense of great momentum even if some of the warmth that others conductors have found is totally absent. His interpretation reminds me a little of Szell's, whose late 1950s version is one of the few misfires of his glorious Cleveland reign, clearly lacking the idiomatic approach which inspires Dorati's famous LSO recording, made a few years later.

The recording throughout the disc (I listened in stereo only via a Stax earspeaker system) is fine, well-detailed if close, giving suitable impact to Macal's vigorous view of the work. The wind, brass and timpani are well focused.

But the vivid sound coupled with the rather penny-plain, unrelenting interpretation becomes wearing after a while.

The Third is a finer performance and perhaps the main reason to buy this SACD: the immediately attractive melody unfolding warmly, and the alla Marcia section of the central movement played with rather more vibrancy than is on display in the Seventh.

This SACD is recommendable but it wouldn't be anywhere near my first choice for the Seventh, that would rest either with Levine's brilliant, powerful but lyrical Chicago SO recording, Giulini's weighty late recording with the Concertgebouw, or perhaps best of all: Neumann's wonderful early 1980s Supraphon account with the Czech Philharmonic, from the same excellent venue but given a little more space around the sonic image.

Site review by Polly Nomial August 22, 2008
Performance:   Sonics:  
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

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Review by hiredfox November 30, 2008 (2 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
The main reason for buying this SACD is for completeness if you are a Dvorak fan and want all the symphonies 3-9. Otherwise don't bother, these are not great performances, too often muddy and lacking refinement in detail which is surprising for a national orchestra and the miking leaves a great deal to be desired. Whatever happened to the emotinal content of the 7th.

7 is better than 3 but I wonder if the Japanese recording engineers are really as well tuned into the nuances of classical orchestration as the people in The Netherlands?

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