Search - Antonin Dvorak, Jeremy Siepmann, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky :: The Life and Works of Antonín Dvorák, Narration with Musical Excerpts

The Life and Works of Antonín Dvorák, Narration with Musical Excerpts
Antonin Dvorak, Jeremy Siepmann, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
The Life and Works of Antonín Dvorák, Narration with Musical Excerpts
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #3
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #4


      
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CD Reviews

An Extraordinary User-Friendly Multimedia Dvorák Biography
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 04/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have followed with interest the series of CDs explaining popular operas by Jeremy Siepmann, an American musicologist long resident in Britain. Each of those is a single CD with a spoken text interspersed with longish excerpts from the opera in question. This 4-CD set, though, is something else again. It is a combination of music/audio CDs with superimposed CD-ROM material (on the same discs). One plays the audio portion on your regular stereo equipment. When put in your PC or Mac CD drive, the CD-ROM portion of the discs brings up an extensive set of hyperlinked text materials as well as links to the CDs from which the musical examples are taken (all from the Naxos music recordings library, of course). Also included in the CD-ROM material is the full text of Siepmann's detailed biography of Dvorák. There is also a thick booklet that includes cast lists (various actors playing various important people in Dvorák's life), an extensive essay about the sociopolitical and cultural conditions extant during Dvorák's life, an longish essay about his major works and their significance, a graded listening plan, an article outlining recommended reading, biographical snippets about each of the important people in Dvorák's life, a chronological calendar of Dvorák's life, and an extensive glossary of musical and other pertinent terms.Siepmann's four-and-a-half-hour exploration of Dvorák's life and works is in his wonted polished, often witty, prose. It is read gracefully by Siepmann himself. Dvorák is played by the suave-voiced British actor, Sean Barrett. The musical examples are extensive, often including complete movements, arias, etc., and are placed expertly within the flow of the text. Production values for this budget-priced set are quite high. I will admit that I had a particular interest in this production as I grew up in a rural Oklahoma town settled by Bohemians (Czechs) and came to love some of Dvorák's music before even that of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. I've already recommended this set to the public schools and town library in my hometown. I am not quite sure who the intended audience for this set is. Presumably there are those, like me, who are insatiable when it comes to increasing their knowledge of classical music, its composers and their sociocultural milieu. One also imagines that even in these days of decreasing support for music and music appreciation courses in our schools, there are teachers who could make wonderful use of this material for their students. Whoever the audience is, I cannot imagine a listener coming away from this set without a great deal more information and appreciation for the genius of Antonin Dvorák.Recommended.Scott Morrison"