Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Fricsay, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra|
Dvorák: Symphonie No. 9 "From the New World"; Smetana: Die Moldau; Liszt: Les Préludes [Australia]
Listen to Samples
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 03/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before the great conductor Ferenc Fricsay died (tragically young at the age of 48 in 1963), he made dozens of brilliant mono and stereo recordings for Deutsche Grammophon. Many of his most significant recordings have been released on CD, though some have already drifted out-of-print (Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, Mozart Syms 29, 39-41 and Beethoven Syms 3, 5 & 7 for example), while others are only available as expensive imports. This past year there has even been a limited edition box set of his music released (in the "Original Masters" series -- see my review). Well, let me just say that any and all of Fricsay's recordings for DG are worth getting, regardless of what you have to pay! I am delighted to discover that this DG Originals Import of Fricsay performing Dvorak's 9th Symphony, Smetana's Die Moldau and Liszt's Les Preludes is available through Amazon. Both the Smetana (1960) and the Liszt (1959) are first rate, but the 1959 stereo account Dvorak "New World" is among the finest I've ever heard. And don't think this title is in anyway inferior because it is only available as an import. The only reason this DG Originals title was not released in the States is because it directly competes with another title in their series by Rafael Kubelik. Certainly, if DG can find room for both the Fricsay and the Kubelik performances in its catalog, collectors can too on their CD shelves."
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 11/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is very difficult to maintain the serene objectivity and required tact when we are talking about Ferenc Fricsay. Specially when we have to mention one of the most reminded and well known Symphonic works that for so many years has engaged and captivated the great audiences all over the whole world.
I have listened this recording at least sixty times (one more before making this review). What Fricsay achieved with the hundred musicians of the Berlin was simply incredible. The performance is filled of undeniable vitality, sweeping energy, stylized phrasing and mercurial passion. Such evidence of fervor and emotive conviction to be true, I have never listened in any other recording recorded previously and pitifully recently. Such Dionysian rapture you will never find in any other performance, and believe me I have intended with Toscanini, Kertsez, Munch, Keilberth, Kubelik-Berlin( my Fifth choice), Kubelik-Chicago, Giulini-Chicago, Reiner, Bernstein, Ormandy, Fiedler, Stokowski, Horenstein, Muti, Mr. K, Klemperer , Dorati and Paray. Vaclav Smetacek (my second choice) , Vaclav Talich (Third choice) and Vaclav Neuman (Fourth choice) are exuberant and definitively inspired but are so far respect this one, that you may consider I am exaggerating.
Additionally we have two minor works in what artistic ambition concerns: Die Moldau is played with such charge of passion, interpretative fierceness and delicate lyricism as you never listened previously.
The Preludes have a serious rival: Fiedler-Boston Pops, but it is ambitious and notably expansive.
In synthesis, if you consider these three gems included in just one CD, well you are rewarded twice. The sound is superb.
Please, go for it. It will never let you down. An authentic musical treasure and a fabulous legacy for the new generations to come.
Top Dvorak now adorned with some other stuff
Larry VanDeSande | Mason, Michigan United States | 08/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ferenc Fricsay's old recording of the Dvorak "New World" Symphony is about as individual as you can get in this music. It is also about as good as you can get, in my opinion. Not everyone feels this way, of course.
Third Ear, a fine publication that suffers from having only one person review a composer or a large slice of his music, dissed this CD. Steven Ritter, one of American Record Guide's stable of reviewers, grouped this CD with recordings by Marriner, Eschenbach, Tennstedt, Klemperer and Slatkin that he said, "...may safely be dismissed on musical or sonic grounds."
This is to say, I suppose, that this critic can only accept the music a certain way, for everything musical and sonic about this recording -- especially in its newest reincarnation -- is satisfactory. The recording always sounded good and it is splendid in the new rendering. Since its release in 1962, the performance has been on many crtiics short list of the very best renderings of the New World Symphony. The add-ons in the current recording -- Smetana's "The Moldau" and Liszt's "Les Preludes" -- are exceptionally well done by Maestro Fricsay (apparently pronounced Free-shoy much as I'd like to say FREEK-sigh).
Fricsay's way with symphonic staples was similar to others in his day. I'll never forget his recording of the Beethoven Symphony 7, which took a deliberate pace throughout until the closing pages, where he picked up the pace and completely turned around the musical experience.
In romantic music he tended to add a lot of syrup to what was already pretty thick, and he did that with this music as well. Phrases often begin slowly and build dramatically, with a burst of ongoing romantic sensibility that can seem overwrought. I think this approach works fine in the music although I agree with those who say it varies from score markings. Indeed, it is what separates his recordings from all others.
I have a co-worker that loves the music who told me his current favorite recordings was by the New York Philharmonic and Kurt Masur. This is a recording that has received plentiful critical acclaim over the years. I burned a copy of the Friscay recording and gave it to him. His verdict: "I think this is the best performance of this symphony I've ever heard." If you buy this CD, you will say that too."