Marcus Bosch / Nuremberg State Philharmonic Orchestra

Dvorák: Symphony No. 6

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Marcus Bosch came to international attention with his live performances with the Aachen Symphony Orchestra of the original versions of Anton Bruckner's symphonies, which he recorded for Coviello Classics in an exceptional series of hybrid SACDs. Having completed that cycle, Bosch turns his attention to the symphonies of another late Romantic genius, Antonin Dvorák, only this time he performs them with the Nuremberg State Philharmonic, and the change of orchestra and performance venue gives them a distinctly different character and sound quality. Where the sound of the Aachen recordings was highly echoic and reverberant, due to the responsive acoustics of the church where they were performed, the acoustics of the Meistersinger Hall in Nuremberg are less obtrusive and the microphone placement focuses the sound much better in these recordings of Dvorák's Symphony No. 6 in D major and the tone poem Vodnik (The Water Goblin). The orchestra's playing is quite precise and fine details of both scores are brought out with care, so Bosch seems to be aiming for a drier and clearer sound overall. This is advantageous in the symphony, where every note counts, and perhaps less critical in the tone poem, where the atmosphere doesn't rely too much on crisp playing. Nowhere is the clean sound easier to appreciate than in the scherzo of the symphony, where the furiant rhythms need to be absolutely precise to have the most exciting effect. Thanks to vigorous playing and the controlled audio, it is a genuinely thrilling high point of this first rate album.

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