DVORÁK: Symphony No. 8, Op. 88. Symphony No. 9, Op. 95 "From the New World"
Vienna Philharmonic Orch/Lorin Maazel, cond.
Deutsche Grammophon "Masters" 445 510 (M) (DDD) TT: 78:12

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.

R.E.B.