Don's Classical Picks

Antonin Dvorak

The well-known Czech composer.

Legends, Op 59
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by David Zinman
Nonesuch 9-79066-2, DDD

These are 10 small pieces that run a total of 41 minutes but this CD is highly worthwhile. Quoting Bernard Johnson who wrote the booklet these pieces "[evoke] with vividness and charm the legendary world of far away and long ago". These are nice peaceful pieces for late afternoon and evening.

Scherzo Capriccioso
Symphony No. 2
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Zdenek Macal
Koss Classics KC1025, DDD

Dvorak's symphonies 7, 8 and 9 are popular and they're recorded by everybody under the sun, sometimes number 6 gets a recording or two but its rare to get the first five. Since I knew number 6 was a gem I thought I'd get some of the earlier ones as well. Macal's style takes some getting used to but I can recommend 2, 3 and 4 (I have not tried 1 and 5 yet) but especially 2 because its the kind of music I particularly like, a celebration of life type of piece. As a reviewer at said, Macal's treatment is idiosyncratic (not standard) and that may be why it took me so long to get used to number 2. Scherzo Capriccioso is also idiosyncratic and that took getting used to as well.

If you have any questions or comments, write me.

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