Antonin Dvorak – Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 – Czech Philharmonic, Jiri Belohlavek (2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

(Last Updated On: February 16, 2018)

Antonin Dvorak – Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 – Czech Philharmonic, Jiri Belohlavek (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:15:33 minutes | 1,39 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Booklet, Front Cover | © Decca
Recorded: December 2014, October 2015, Rudolfinum, Dvorák Hall, Prague, Czech Republic

Maestro Belohlavek and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra return to Decca with the unforgettable Slavonic Dances from one of the most melodious, harmonious and evocative late 19th Century composers – Dvorak. Decca’s acclaimed 2014 Complete Dvorak Concertos and Symphonies release was named as one of the Top Recordings of 2014 by the New York Times: “…the set as a whole stands as eloquent testimony to this eminent orchestra’s triumphant return to international prominence…” James R. Oestreich, New York Times. Performed and recorded by musicians who have an innate understanding and deep-rooted love for this music of their homeland, this is a first-rate recording, bringing great passion and lyricism to Dvorak’s spellbinding Slavonic Dances. There is no more authentic team today to play these works: the leading Czech orchestra with the leading Czech conductor, recording in the fine acoustic of the famous Rudolfinum in Prague. In two sets, the Op.46 Slavonic Dances were such a success on release (in the late 1800’s) that Dvorak’s publisher immediately commissioned a further set (to become the Op.72) – which inspired an equally enthusiastic reception. Lively and colourful, both sets feature a variety of traditional forms of dance; Dvorak expertly working with the leaping gallop, polka odzemek and skocna, contrasted alongside luscious mazurkas and sousedsky.

Classical music listeners resort to ethnic and national generalizations too often. Some of the most insightful Beethoven interpreters were French, and there are plenty of classic non-Czech recordings of Dvorák. Yet there’s something uniquely satisfying about this version of the much-recorded Slavonic Dances (both sets, Op. 46 and Op. 72), and the satisfaction has something to do with the all-Czech origins. Take for example the match between the superb sound, recorded in Prague’s Rudolfinium hall, and the texture of Jirí Belohlávek’s Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, an ensemble he has molded into his own. The orchestra doesn’t produce a Vienna Philharmonic-like sheen, but rather a slightly gutsier sound that is reproduced to the hilt by Decca’s engineers in this recording. Listen to this, and you’ll be reminded of the Czech Philharmonic’s glory days in the 1960s and 1970s, when it was one of the few institutions in the country not under grim Soviet control. Belohlávek thinks each of these dances through. He delivers crisp readings of the basic exposition of the dance rhythms, but the real fun comes as he develops the material. Each of these dances is like a little ternary symphonic movement, and that’s the way the work should be done. Sample the Slavonic Dance in F major, Op. 46, No. 4, where the minuet theme evolves into a sensitive study of register. Belohlávek will get your foot tapping in pieces like the Slavonic Dance in G minor, Op. 46, No. 8, which with its mode mixture is almost a little study for the Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, to come. But it’s in the small details that he and the musicians really shine. A superior Dvorák recording. –AllMusic Review by James Manheim

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)
8 Slavonic Dances, Op.46, B.83
1 No.1 in C major: Presto 4.25
2 No.2 in E minor: Allegretto scherzando 4.54
3 No.3 in A flat major: Poco allegro 4.40
4 No.4 in F major: Tempo di minuetto 7.17
5 No.5 in A major: Allegro vivace 3.37
6 No.6 in D major: Allegretto scherzando 6.03
7 No.7 in C minor: Allegro assai 3.38
8 No.8 in G minor: Presto 5.00
8 Slavonic Dances, Op.72, B.147
9 No.1 in B major: Molto vivace 4.13
10 No.2 in E minor: Allegretto grazioso 5.40
11 No.3 in F major: Allegro 3.40
12 No.4 in D flat major: Allegretto grazioso 5.32
13 No.5 in B flat minor: Poco adagio 2.46
14 No.6 in B flat major: Moderato, quasi minuetto 3.44
15 No.7 in C major: Allegro vivace 3.28
16 No.8 in A flat major: Grazioso e lento, ma non troppo, quasi tempo di valse 7.31

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Jiří Bělohlávek, conductor


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