A very good performance of Dvorak's eighth symphony
Issei Takechi | Saitama, Japan | 03/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Otmar Suitner is one conductor that is consistently underrated in English-speaking countries. However, he is a very well-known commodity in Japan as he served as an honorable guest conductor of NHK symphony orchestra for many years. Steeped in the austro-German performing tradition as deciple of Clemens Krauss, his conducting style is one of unfussy stylishness and incandescence somewhat reminiscent of Carl Schuricht.
The Mozart symphony cycle that he recorded back in the 60s is a memorable example of his excellence as performing artist. This performance of Dovrak's eighth symphony is another. Suitner's tempos are on a brisk side throughout but not at the expense of flow and sinew. He brings the work to a rousing conclusion in the manner of Kubelic. The only downside is that the strings sound somewhat scrawny while the total playing time is a bit niggardly."
Jeffrey Lee | Asheville area, NC USA | 11/26/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I'm afraid I don't find myself in much agreement with Amazon reviewer David Hurwitz on this one. I searched a bit to find the words to describe what I believed to be missing from Suitner's performance--grandeur, vivacity, and poetic reflection. There is an almost pervasive tone of grayishness, attributable to the absence of contrasts between light and shadow and reposefulness and elan. In the first movement, things move along much too fast for me in some passages. Also, at the end of that movement, Suitner engages in some questionable theatrics. In the second movement, where the solo violin enters with one of Dvorak's most poignant melodies, the sound is somewhat thin, despite the otherwise fuller recorded tone exhibited throughout most of the disc. The third movement waltz in Suitner's hands is without much character or intensity, and the fourth movement doesn't fare much better. It's too close to plodding. Where on earth is the radiance, the bouyancy and the soulfulness Dvorak imbued this music with ? There's also a serious shortage of folksy charm. For all those qualities missing here, go to Kubelik, Kertesz, Barbirolli, Talich or Walter. The only winner in Suitner's rendition is superficiality."