Magazine article Czech Music

Antonin Dvorak: Serenade in E Major for String Orchestra, Op. 22, Serenade for Wind Instruments, Op. 44 Josef Suk Meditation on the St. Wenceslas Chorale, Op. 35a

Magazine article Czech Music

Antonin Dvorak: Serenade in E Major for String Orchestra, Op. 22, Serenade for Wind Instruments, Op. 44 Josef Suk Meditation on the St. Wenceslas Chorale, Op. 35a

Article excerpt

Antonin Dvorak Serenade in E major for String Orchestra, op. 22, Serenacle for Wind Instruments, op. 44 Josef Suk Meditation on the St. Wenceslas Chorale, op. 35a

Prague Chamber Philharmonic, Jakub Hrusa.

Production: Petr Vit. Text: Cz, Eng., Ger., Fr. Recorded: 3.-5.7. 2007. Released: 2007. TT: 60:56. DDD. 1 CD Supraphon 3932-2.

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I think it is no mistake to feel that this third Jakub Hrusa recording with Supraphon has turned out to be the best. The first, of Dvorak's Waltzes, is debatable in terms of selection of music, while the second struggles in places with the necessity to get a bigger sound than is natural for the Prague Chamber Philharmonc. It is only with this third title that everything seems exactly as it should. Dvorak's String Serenade is an exceptionally appealing work in itself and many recordings of the 1990s rely simply on its popularity. The recording by the Suk Chamber Orchestra, for example, is a textbook example of a poor interpretation lacking any kind of concept, and so the mere fact that on this new recording the conductor has a clear idea of all the sound layers and tempos and the overall structure is a cause for rejoicing. The conventional Czech myth says that thinking the piece out in this way takes away from spontaneity and that Czech musicians often do not believe that one can play precisely and with immediacy at the same time. Jakub Hrusa, however, offers a conception that links up the classicist and the romantic in Dvorak's serenade. It is classicist above all in the overall transparency of sound and the precise tracing of every part. It is Romantic in its expression and in the treatment of tempo, and in both the listener comes into his own. One of the most interesting features of the new recording is the natural, logical and yet imaginative treatment of tempo. …

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