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Dvorák: Symphony No. 6; American Suite Op. 98b / James Gaffigan, Luzerne SO

Notes & Reviews:

American Record Guide, November/December 2014
It may help you to know which recordings of this symphony I have liked. Belohlavek is gorgeous and majestic - the real thing. Neumann is very nice. Kubelik is the most exciting. Another older recording that is very good is Kertesz (rich sound). Macal is excellent. Serebrier is also excellent. There is nothing that turns me off in this reading. Tempos are all reasonable, and the conductor lets it flow nicely. It sounds like it's in a modern hall, where clarity is more important.

While Dvorák's Symphony No.6 is clearly inspired by the Symphony No.2 of his friend and champion Johannes Brahms, its middle movements are more in the Slavonic tradition. The Suite Op.98b, written when Dvorák was director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York, is an exotic patchwork of Amerindian and Afro-American music - with a pronounced Bohemian accent. In these superb performances by the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester led by James Gaffigan, both the charm and folkloric character of these works are clearly in evidence.

BBC Music Magazine, October 2014
Gaffigan's tempo in the first movement of the Symphony is on the fast side, but this imparts a strong sense of direction...Gaffigan's performance of the American Suite is as delightful as the music; melody is well to the fore with no sense of this unpretentious music being patronised.

The Observer, 5th October 2014
Switzerland's oldest orchestra and conductor James Gaffigan make a beguiling, expert team.

International Record Review, October 2014
This is a thoroughly enjoyable new recording of Dvorak's Sixth Symphony which has the advantage of an unusual and attractive coupling ... James Gaffigan paces the music expertly ... Gaffigan's disk gives a sensitively shaped, straightforward and effective reading of the work, very engagingly played. He has a fine ear for detail, and the Lucerne players bring out plenty of the inner working of Dvorak's orchestration.

Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2014
Lightness, transparency, geniality, warmth and a keen sense of symphonic inexorability - these and other admirable qualities keep the first movement...consistently engaging. His pacing is near ideal...This is a wonderful CD, my first encounter with Gaffigan and his players. I can't wait to hear more.


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