Dvorák: Symphony No. 6

Colin Davis

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Dvorák: Symphony No. 6 Review

by James Leonard

As fine a symphony as Dvorák ever composed is given a performance as fine as any ever recorded in this September 2004 recording by Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra of Dvorák's Symphony No. 6. The LSO, with its consummate virtuosity, has recorded memorable performances before, notably the Kertesz and the Rowicki recordings from the '60s. But although Davis has demonstrated his complete command for Dvorák's symphonic idiom in his powerful recordings of the last three symphonies with the Concertgebouw, he has not recorded his interpretation of Dvorák's Symphony No. 6 until now. Because while Dvorák's last three symphonies are standard repertoire, his Sixth has never been accepted into the symphonic canon and most conductors rarely program it. But as Davis and the LSO's urgent performance demonstrates, Dvorák's Symphony No. 6, with its soaring lyrical and powerfully muscular themes, its emotional depths and immense strength, and its warm colors and infectious rhythms, is as fine a symphony as Dvorák ever composed. LSO Live's sound is a bit recessed, but at the same time, a little too loud.

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