Familiar and lesser known Dvořák

dvorak In a new installment of the SWR Classic (SWR) series dedicated to Antonin Dvořák’s symphonic works, the German Radio Philharmonic Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern led by the fast rising young Finn Pietari Inkinen, shines with a crystal clear, unmannered approach to the Czech Master’s Sixth Symphony in D Major.

Often referred to as Dvořák’s “first” because of its date of publication, the work shows complete command of the form on the part of its composer along with the quintessentially Czech flavor of so many of Dvořák’s mature compositions.

The classically-structured four-movement symphony has a running time of approximately 45 minutes. Beginning with an optimistic Allegro – all sunshine and open fields – the symphony segues to a moody Adagio abundant with unpredictable changes of tone that alternates restless passages in minor tonalities with restful returns to the D major key of the entire work.

Never lacking in inventiveness, the third and shortest of the movements – marked Scherzo – is vintage Dvořák – a lively Furiant with an alternating 2/4 to 3/4 rhythmic pattern that momentarily lets the woodwinds provide a respite before the entire ensemble heads for a big finish. The final Allegro – grand and noble of gesture – allows the orchestra to go full-throttle into a furious climactic ending.

The impeccably-produced and engineered album also contains three intriguing lesser known works: the Hussite Overture and the overtures to Selma Sedlák (The Cunning Peasant) and Vanda.

Rafael de Acha http://www.RafaelMusicNotes.com