Andrés Orozco-Estrada / Houston Symphony Orchestra

Dvořák: Symphony No. 6; 2 Slavonic Dances

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As part of their project to record Antonín Dvorák's last four symphonies for Pentatone, Andrés Orozco-Estrada and the Houston Symphony present the Symphony No. 6 in D major with two of the popular Slavonic Dances. The Sixth hasn't won the universal admiration of the Symphony No. 9 in E minor, "From the New World," nor even the popularity of the Symphony No. 7 in D minor or the Symphony No. 8 in G major, but it brought together the essential elements of Dvorák's mature style: the Classical symphonic tradition of Beethoven and Brahms, the Romanticism of Liszt and Wagner, and the Czech nationalism of Smetana. Strongest of all was Brahms' influence, which is apparent in the music's cheerful lyricism and certain similarities in key, style, and orchestration to that composer's Symphony No. 2 in D major, which had been composed three years before. Orozco-Estrada and his musicians play with great warmth and energy, and this live multichannel recording brings out all the rich colors and textures of Dvorák's score. The two Slavonic Dances -- Op. 72, No. 3 and Op. 46, No. 8 -- are welcome choices for their close thematic resemblance to the symphony and jubilant feeling, bringing the program of this hybrid SACD to a lively close.

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