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Dvořák’s was a strong voice in the re-establishment of Czech musical identity, and the noble themes, open landscapes and dancing Scherzo of the Symphony No. 6 bear the stamp of a genius at his height. The work can also be heard as a tribute to Brahms, who had helped him earlier in his career. Janáček’s charming Idyll reflects his preoccupation with Moravian folk-songs and rhythms as well as the influence of his friend Dvořák, identified by Jaroslav Vogel as the work’s “spiritual godfather”.
Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 6 in D major, Op. 60, B. 112
I. Allegro non tanto
III. Scherzo: Presto
IV. Finale: Allegro con spirito
Leos Janacek: Idylla (Idyll), JW VI/3
II. Allegro - Moderato - Tempo I
III. Moderato - Con moto - Tempo I
V. Adagio - Presto - Tempo I
VI. Scherzo and Trio
“This is a very clever coupling of works...Dvorak's Symphony has a pervasive lightness of spirit...Schwarz captures these aspects of the work superbly in the first two movements, but the Scherzo lacks adequate rhythmic kick...The Seattle orchestra's performance of Janacek's Idyll is in another league...The Seattle Symphony strings distinguish themselves and Schwarz has a clear sympathy with this attractive music.”
“Schwarz usefully separates his violin desks, which pays generous dividends in the finale...[the Janacek Idyll is] an effective showcase for the Seattle strings, who distinguish themselves with a degree of lustre and expressive sweetness that matches the best rival American orchestras.”
12th July 2013
“The first things one notices about this recording are the warm strings and mellow brass. Without a doubt this is the best I have yet to hear from the Seattle Symphony. Gerard Schwarz also seems a natural interpreter of Dvořák.”
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