Dvořák's Evergreen Classic

Dvořák's 'New World' symphony sounds as fresh as ever in the capable hands of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Composer: Dvořák

Repertoire: Symphony No.9, Czech Suite, Two Slavonic Dances
Artists: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/José Serebrier
Rating: 3/5

Genre: Orchestral

Label: Challenge Classics CC72530

The Music: Dvořák’s much-loved, endlessly performed and recorded ‘New World’ Symphony has its evergreen status with good reason: in any but the rottenest performances, the music really does remain as fresh and poignant as if it was written yesterday. 

The Performance: However often the Bournemouth Symphony, like every other orchestra, must have played the ‘New World’, there’s no sense of routine in their response here: in the slow movement especially, their classy woodwind section delivers some beautifully poised moments. Serebrier’s conducting, however, while free from point-making for point-making’s sake, is on the earthbound side (the finale surely needs more pace and momentum than this). And while music of the Czech Suite, above all its fourth-movement Romanza, has real charm, it too could do with a springier approach. 

The Verdict: Entirely decent, unexaggerated performances in every case. Trouble is, the competition regarding the ‘New World’ Symphony is fearsome. 

Want More? Try Charles Mackerras’ electrifying live recording of the Eighth Symphony with the LPO (LPO 0055).