José Serebrier / Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Dvorák: Symphony No. 7; In Nature's Realm; Scherzo Capriccioso

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This is the second in a series of Dvorák recordings by veteran Uruguayan conductor José Serebrier with the Bournemouth Symphony in England, released on the revived Warner Classics label. It's quite a bit like Serebrier's recording of the Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 ("From the New World"), but in this case you get a selection of shorter works that make up an attractive all-Dvorák program. Serebrier's reading of the Seventh Symphony might be called revisionist, but not in a shocking way. The big themes are dispatched straightforwardly, and it's full of small details: careful transitions, solo instrumental parts pulled out of the background, unusual phrasing. The Bournemouth Symphony rises to Serebrier's demands, and overall there's a sense of freshness that makes the reading appealing, although it certainly runs counter to type. The shorter works add to the favorable impression. The album is framed by two uncomplicated orchestral showpieces, a Slavonic Dance serving as a kind of overture and the Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66, as a finale. After the symphony comes the tone-poem-like In Nature's Realm, Op. 91, which fares very well in Serebrier's hands. The sound is workmanlike and clear. Recommended for Serebrier fans and for anyone who knows the Dvorák symphonies well; the latter group will find something new here.

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