On the face of it, the premiere recording of significant works by important composers would seem to have instant appeal. The only problem is that these are arrangements and not the significant works themselves. Mendelssohn and Dvorák, like most composers of the nineteenth century, made piano arrangements of their orchestral works for home performance intended to introduce the work to a wider public, but not to serve as a substitute for the work itself. In these transcriptions of their Scottish and From the New World symphonies, Mendelssohn and Dvorák reduced their works' dimensions and, for a modern audience accustomed to recorded performances, limited their appeal. In these performances by the husband and wife duo piano team of Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow, Mendelssohn and Dvorák's symphonies sound smaller and more intimate, but just as musical and, for a modern audience perhaps grown too accustomed to too many recorded performances of the orchestral originals, perhaps even more interesting. Goldstone and Clemmow find counter-melodies and rhythmic subtleties often obscured in orchestral textures and their enthusiastic performances make the music come to life. While not for listeners seeking the orchestral versions of these scores, listeners looking for a new way to hear familiar works will enjoy this disc. The Divine Art's sound is clear and crisp, but a bit shallow.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Symphony No. 9 in E minor ("From the New World"), B. 178 (Op. 95) (first published as No. 5)|
|Symphony No. 3 in A minor ("Scottish"), Op. 56|