Libor Pesek / Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Dvorák: Symphonies 7, 8 & 9 - American Suite

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Not the greatest performances of Dvorák's three most popular symphonies ever recorded, Libor Pesek and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic 1987 recordings still deserve to be heard by anyone who enjoys the music. A Czech conductor born and raised, Pesek has this music in his blood, and his performances radiate sincerity and integrity. With a strong hand and a clear eye, he shapes the Seventh as a deeply moving symphonic drama, the Eighth as a grandly triumphant symphonic celebration, and the Ninth as a thoroughly enchanting symphonic picture postcard from the New World. With a natural feeling for phrasing and pacing and the skillful and soulful playing of the Liverpool Philharmonic, Pesek drives Dvorák's outer movements, ponders his slow movements, and sings his Scherzos. Coupled with an evocative reading of Dvorák's rarely recorded American Suite, Pesek's recordings of Dvorák symphonies might not have the force of revelation that Talich, Szell, Kubelik, and Kertész's recordings have, but they are honest and affectionate accounts of superbly composed and wholly ingratiating works. Virgin's early digital sound is cool, colorful, and just a bit too distant.

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