Tomas Vitek | USA | 01/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Benda's readings of his ancestor's Sinfonias is throughout charming, sprightly and lively. The Prague CO is true to the Czech string and wind playing tradition, delivering spirited readings under Benda's direction. Of particular notice are the extremely difficult horn parts in a few of the sinfonias, which - although hard pressed - the horn players of the Prague CO deliver quite well. These Sinfonias do not compare with the "masterpieces" of the era, like the symphonies of C.P.E bach and J.C. Bach. But if you know and have enjoyed Zinman's and Leppard's readings of J.C. Bach's complete symphonies on the Phillips label, you will find these symphonies and this particular rendering thoroughly enjoyable listening. The quality of the recording is good, with the right amount of ambience and resonance. If anything, the strings can tend to dominate a bit here and there, but this is not a serious defect."
Lively Little Works of the Early Classical Period
Tomas Vitek | 07/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've praised Christian Benda's recording of C. P. E. Bach's Hamburg Symphonies elsewhere on the Amazon Web site, and the same virtues hold true for the conductor's performances of works by his forebear, Jiri Antonin Benda. The latter-day Benda is a specialist in this music and has a most responsive and sympathetic group of players at his disposal.Benda's symphonies are compact works, in scope more like overtures than symphonies (and let's face it, the distinction was not that clearly made in the early Classical period). Listening to all six symphonies, you'll have a definite sense of déjà vu, but if you listen to a couple at a time, you'll be struck by the spontaneity and enthusiasm of these little pieces and enjoy the special coloration that Benda's writing for the horns gives them. So that's the way I suggest listening to this enjoyable music. But by all means, give Benda a listen!"