Everybody's Dvorák

Conrad van Alphen / Paavo Järvi / André Previn

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Everybody's Dvorák Review

by Mike D. Brownell

Telarc's Everybody's Classics line continues to produce satisfying, reliable recordings of some of the standards of the orchestral repertoire. Steering away from the annoying practice of providing a movement of this and a movement of that, Telarc instead opts to offer two discs of complete compositions. In the case of Everybody's Dvovák, listeners are treated to top-notch performances for the Eighth Symphony (with André Previn and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra), the Ninth Symphony (with Paavo Järvi and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra), and the under-performed Serenade for Strings (with Conrad van Alphen and the Rotterdam Chamber Orchestra). None of these performances are earth shattering in their originality or insightfulness into the scores, but that likely was not Telarc's aim. Rather, this two-disc set is ideally suited for listeners seeking their first exposure to these perennial favorites. Sound quality throughout is nicely balanced, allowing each section of the orchestra to be clearly audible. Technical execution is what would be expected from these world-class orchestras and their conductors; intonation, articulation, and ensemble are all immaculate, ensuring that listeners' first exposure to these works is a positive one. There are no liner notes to provide any additional information or background about Dvorák or his works, and it should be remembered that this program is not the be-all, end-all of Dvorák's output, but merely a pleasant springboard to further listening.

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