Symphonic Poems (1896) after K. J. Erben's ballads: The Water Goblin (Op. 107)*, The Noon Witch (Op. 108)*, The Golden Spinning Wheel (Op. 109), The Wild Dove (Op. 110)
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Sir Charles Mackerras
* Live recording
Dvořák composed his Symphonic Poems shortly after the American triumph of his "New World Symphony" and after completing his beautiful final string quartets (Opp. 105 and 106). The first three poems were first performed in 1896 in London, while The Wild Dove was premiered in March 1898 in Brno by Leoš Janáček. The recordings on this CD are interpreted by the Czech Philharmonic, conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, a paramount musician and connoisseur and champion of Czech music. The poems round off his legacy in Dvořák's symphonic oeuvre, from which he has recorded for Supraphon, for example, Symphonies Nos. 6, 8 and 9, Slavonic Dances and Symphonic Variations. Sir Charles's performance of Dvořák's works interweaves the splendid Talich tradition and profound knowledge of the composer's work. The live recording of The Noon Witch and The Water Goblin reflects the warmly poignant atmosphere of the conductor's parting with the Pragueaudience. The triumphant recording of Martinů's Three Fragments from the opera Juliette (Gramophone Award 2009) was made at the same valedictory concert. The studio recording of The Wild Doveis the final culmination of the long-term collaboration between Sir Charles and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
Gramophone Magazine July 2010
Sir Charles...marks the Mendelssohnian drift of the big string theme in The Golden Spinning Wheel, a performance full of warmth and vitality, very realistically recorded and surely the highlight of the disc...dance rhythms are underlined but never overstated
Penguin Guide 2011 edition
Mackerras gives marvellously atmospheric performances, and there is plenty of contrasting melodrama...The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra is on top form throughout, and there is plenty of warm, tender playing, especially from the strings.
Sunday Times 21st March 2010
Mackerras is a past master of this music, and in the Czech Philharmonic he has musicians whose experience of Dvorak is second to none. His way with the music is...lyrical and transparent...Mackerras underplays the more lurid and grotesque aspects of the tales...A sumptuous disc.
The Times 24th April 2010
Half-Czech by nature and experience, Mackerras brings vital qualities to these Czech Philharmonic performances...Here is surging energy, authentic Czech colouring and a strong dramatic sense.
The Independent on Sunday 14th March 2010
Mackerras's textures are tender, while the orchestral sound has an inimitable gleam.
“From the start of The Water Goblin it is evident that Mackerras’s engagement is complete: not only does he capture its febrile energy, he allows the main theme to emerge with breathtaking subtlety from the texture. While there are plenty of beautifully observed nuances, Mackerras clearly revels in the sheer opulence of Dvorák’s orchestral palette, notably in the intoxicating dance sequence at the heart of The Wood Dove.”
BBC Music Magazine, November 2018
“En las antípodas de la versión anterior, Mackerras abunda en el romanticismo de estos poemas sinfónicos. Su concepto vuelve la mirada al siglo XIX. Son versiones de gran belleza, literales y muy disfrutables. Si Kubelik nos mostraba la puerta abierta hacia una nueva época, Mackerras parece mostrar el final de la precedente. Interesante fresco donde la poesía quizás venza a la música.”
Ritmo, October 2018