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Best Version of Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 I Have Heard
I haven't heard every recording of Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, but this version and this transfer in particular into DSD128 is by far my favorite. Delicacy in abundance, raw strength in abundance, grace in abundance, sheer beauty in abundance. You can't go wrong here. Highly recommended.
In a word, fabulous.
A great transfer. of a great recording. Many thanks! The stars must have aligned for this one: Great but tragically under-recorded conductor – check. Virtuoso orchestra, post-Beecham, but still with all his hand-picked superstar soloists – check. Wilkie, at his peak, recording; say no more – check. Kingsway Hall? 1960, so still – I presume – all tube; plus minimal miking - check. I have pots of New World Recordings, and this joins the Szell/Cleveland and Kertesz/VPO and LSO right at the top of the tree. If I were a complete OTT perfectionist; I might say the SQ is a tad white and bass-light, but it is stunningly transparent and revealing. Sometimes I think we have been going backwards in recording quality since the early 60s. Seriously, you would be doing us all a great service by continuing to wave your magic wand over more of the great Reader’s Digest recordings from this period. There is a real treasure trove out there!
This was the first of two New Worlds the great Decca engineer Ken Wilkinson recorded for Readers Digest with the RPO in the Walthamstow Town Hall. The second with Rudolf Kempe was actually released first in the 12LP Treasury of Great Music box. In the first two movements Horenstein adopts sensible forward moving tempi, although, alas, as was very much the norm at the time, the first movement exposition repeat is missing. Unfortunately the unmarked slowing for the Trio in the Scherzo is unnecessary, as are the accelerandi and rits in the Allegro con fuoco finale and it is a pity Horenstein hadn't listened to Toscanini here, who remains definitive. The sound however is magnificent, with incredible definition, projection (the timpani are there in front of you) lustrous string tone and the hall acoustic is tangible. While the HDTT DSD128 transfer is by a long, long way, the best around.
Thrilling Horenstein - beautifully recorded
This is Horenstein at his often thrilling best. He pulls from the score a taut, energetic and exciting performance of the New World Symphony. Filled with lyrical beauty where he very appropriately slows to linger, this performance is a delightful experience. In the slow second movement, Horenstein delivers a sense of inevitability to the phrasing, as if the music it could never conceivably be played any other way. Throughout the symphony, the music moves and builds compellingly. The members of the Royal Philharmonic are spot on in the precision of their ensemble and their articulation of the musical lines. Every phrase is lovingly crafted and delivered. Horenstein must have rehearsed this performance rigorously. And, Just listen to the tympanist! So critical in creating a truly exceptional performance of this work. This recording has always been one of my favorites for this work. As noted, it is one of Kenneth Wilkinson's and Charles Gerhardt's collaborations for Readers Digest. So, the sound quality is fully what would expects from this team. Classic Decca sound quality without interference from the corporate higher-ups to muck things up. Chesky's reissue on CD circa 1990 was not bad, but this transfer simply leaves it in the dust. What we hear in this HDTT transfer is simply soooo much better, so much more resolving, so true to the lovely analog heritage of this recording. It's wonderful to have this recording once again in such exceptional sound quality from HDTT.
Title: Dvorak Symphony No. 9 In E Minor "From The New World"
Artist(s): Conductor - Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra - The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Recording Info: Recorded by RCA for Readers Digest on January 26-30, 1962
Engineer – K.E. Wilkinson
Producer – Charles Gerhardt
1 Adagio. Allegro Molto 9:21
2 Largo 12:11
3 Scherzo. Molto Vivance 7:27
4 Allegro Con Fuoco 11:42