Andrés Orozco-Estrada / Houston Symphony Orchestra

Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 "From the New World"; 2 Slavonic Dances

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With this radiant recording of Antonín Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 in E minor, "From the New World," Andrés Orozco-Estrada and the Houston Symphony complete their project to record the four late symphonies for Pentatone. As in the previous releases of the Symphony No. 6 in D major, the Symphony No. 7 in D minor, and the Symphony No. 8 in G major, Orozco-Estrada and his musicians present Dvorák's music with great passion and warmth, balancing the requirements of an expanded symphonic form with the Romanticism and nationalism that were essential to the composer's character. Yet the interpretation and underlying influences on this work -- Czech dances, American spirituals and popular songs, and the model of Brahms -- almost seem secondary to the glorious sound of the Houston Symphony and Pentatone's fabulous engineering. "From the New World" may be Dvorák's most brilliant work in terms of transparent orchestration and musical scene-painting, to say nothing of the many infectious themes that have made it one of the most beloved of all symphonies. The symphony and the Slavonic Dances, No. 3 in A flat major and No. 5 in A major receive luminous renditions here, and the multichannel recording captures the Houston Symphony's burnished sonorities in the responsive acoustics of the Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts in Houston.

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