Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Antonin Dvorak, Alexander Rahbari, John Farrer|
Dvorák: The Masterworks (40CD Box Set)
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
Musical jewels at a bargain-basement price
R. Lieblich | Arlington, VA USA | 09/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First, the good news: This isn't quite the complete works of Dvorak, but it's close enough to give you an in-depth look at one of the greatest of all composers. If you know no Dvorak, or only a little, be advised that he ranks just short of the likss of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. His music rarely plumbs emotional depths, but it's melodic, technically sound, beautifully orchestrated (in the pieces for orchestra, obviously), and in general a joy to listen to. If I were to start listing favorites, I'd probably wind up simply reproducing the table of contents. His earliest works, like the first four symphonies, lack the dramatic profile of the later ones, but they're enjoyable in their own right. His later ones can make you smile (like the Eighth Symphony) or scare you half to death (like the four late symphonic poems). You can play this set from one end to the other and not regret a single minute of it.
The bad news? Well, it really isn't that bad. But you can't expect to get this quantity of great music at such a low price and find yourself listening to the finest performances as well. Also, some of these recordings date back to the Fifties and Sixties. There's nothing wrong with the performers, and occasionally you do get close to the best of the bunch (no one ever surpassed Firkusny in the Piano Concerto, although he himself made a later recording than the one offered here, and it's better). These aren't bad performances, just less than ideal. And the sound on some of them is also less than ideal. Hey, what do you want for four dollars a CD?
If you're relatively new to classical music or to Dvorak, and if you're looking to CDs as a medium for listening, and if you can afford this set (40 CDs for the price of about a dozen), you owe it to yourself to get this. If I hadn't been collecting Dvorak since my first purchase of the New World Symphony on mono LP in 1953, I'd buy it myself."