DVORÁK: Symphony No. 8, Op. 88. Symphony No. 9, Op. 95 "From the New World"
Lorin Maazel's recordings of these two Dvorák symphonies, recorded in the Grosser Musikvereinssaal in 1981 and 1982, were not particularly well received when originally issued on separate full-priced CDs many years ago, partly because of the extravagant price. It was inexcusable for DG to issue them that way, with no fillers. Both would fit onto a single CD as they do here. In this format they are an appealing coupling, particularly as it seems DG has added some reverb to make the sound more attractive; the end result is outstanding in some ways. There obviously is quite a bit of spotlighting, but the overall effect is impressive; here the Vienna Philharmonic sounds like the orchestra heard in Solti's Ring -- lots of strings, glowing brass, a satisfying "big" sound. Maazel's interpretations, particularly in the New World are mannered to the extreme, but in a convincing way. Good value here.