Sunday Classics refresher: In which we take another listen to Dvoŕák's Symphony No. 8
Klaus Tennstedt (1926-1998)
DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 8 in G, Op. 88:
i. Allegro con brio
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Klaus Tennstedt, cond. BBC Legends, recorded live in the Royal Festival Hall, Apr. 2, 1991
When we heard Dvoŕák's Eighth Symphony week before last ("From bucolic depths to blazing glory: Dvořák's Symphony No. 8"), you may recall that the "A" group of recordings I initially plucked off the shelves for consideration mysteriously vanished. They reappeared, of course; it turns out they were cunningly camouflaged by having the Tennstedt-EMI CD of Beethoven overtures (which I used for the Egmont Overture post) sitting on top. Now a number of those discs/sets also included the Dvoŕák symphony we're going to hear on Sunday, and so those distinguished conductors -- George Szell, Christoph von Dohnányi, Václav Neumann, Rafael Kubelik, and Mariss Jansons -- will be represented then along with some distinguished colleagues Carlo Maria Giulini, Leonard Bernstein, and Zdeněk Košler.
However, with regard to the other conductors in that "A" group, either they didn't record the Dvoŕák symphony we'll be adding to our "repertory" Sunday or I don't have their recording, at least on CD. So I thought tonight we would refresh our memory of the Dvoŕák Eighth with their able assistance.
For the lovely first movement we've just heard that glorious live performance -- grandly scaled, brimming with delight -- by Klaus Tennstedt. (To be honest, this wasn't really in the missing "A" group. At the time I had forgotten about it, since it's contained in a BBC Legends four-CD "Portrait of a Legend" set.) In the click-through we'll have our old friend Bruno Walter conducting the haunting Adagio and the great Czech conductor Václav Talich conducting a decidedly "grazioso" performance of the Scherzo. Finally, we finally get to hear Herbert von Karajan raise the roof in the Finale in his great 1961 Decca recording.
TO CONTINUE WITH OUR DVOŘÁK EIGHTH REFRESHER, CLICK HERE