# Composer: Antonin Dvořák
# Orchestra: New Philharmonia Orchestra
# Conductor: Antal Doráti
# Vinyl (2014)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# DR Analysis: DR 13
# Label: Phase 4 / Decca | PFS 4128
# Size: 24-bit/192kHz (1.78GB), 24-bit/96kHz (934MB) and 16-bit/44.1kHz (274MB)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Servers: File Factory
From the label:
In the 1960s Decca pioneered the use of a multi 10-channel console mixer which created recordings with an unprecedented sense of spatial realism and movement – Phase 4 Stereo. Following in the footsteps of Decca’s highly-successful label heritage sets (The Decca Sound, Mercury Living Presence), this generous selection of the very best of Phase 4 promises to amaze a new generation of fans.
What makes this account interesting, besides its excellent sonic patina, is the taking of the repeat in the first movement Adagio-Allegro molto and the beauty of woodwind playing in the luxuriantly spacious Largo movement. A literalist, Dorati rarely lingers over a phrase, but the string quartet at the end of the Largo does communicate a delicate intimacy of expression. The opening chords (with triangle) to the Scherzo enjoy a pungency likely meant to imitate the Scherzo from Beethoven’s Ninth.
The rolls of the tympani prove quite compelling, as do the riffs for the doublebasses. The trio conveys a naturally bucolic sentiment, rather glibly straightforward. The phraseology is all four-square, but the quality of intonation and orchestral poise keep the colors vibrant. The separation between the tympanic triplets and the bass and cello lines is extraordinarily present, the high winds and triangle stereoscopically incisive.
Trumpets rule the last movement, Allegro con fuoco. The NPO sound has more warmth than George Szell elicited from his Cleveland Orchestra, though Szell had an animal drive that Dorati eschews in favor of a voluptuous bass line. We get the sense of Dvorak’s debts to Wagner’s orchestration. Nice attention to the shifts in string timbre in the development section. The haunting cello line extends to the strings in trill and the woodwind serenade with bassoon punctuations.
Horn stretti and triplets are passionate, with no shatter in the sound, more driven than is often Dorati’s wont, a real tour de force that resolves into the tympanic statement of the rhythm. An apotheosis of light and fury at the conclusion, worthy of any of Dorati’s heralded ballet recordings. — Gary Lemco – audaud.com
01 – Adagio – Allegro molto
02 – Largo
03 – Scherzo (molto vivace)
04 – Allegro con Fuoco
Recording Location: Kingsway Hall, London, 8-9 December 1966
Recording Producer: Tony D’Amato
Balance Engineer: Arthur Lilley
First released in January 1968
Mastered at Abbey Road Studios
Pressed at Record Industries
Additional info can be found here.
All vinyl is cleaned on a VPI 16.5
Technics SL1200-MK5 (modified)
– Rega RB300 arm with RB700 wiring
– Michell Tecnoweight
– SoundSupports armboard
– Trans-Fi Audio ResoMat
Audio Technica AT33PTG/II
AVID Pellar preamp
RME Hammerfall 9632 ADC
Processing: Sound Forge 10, ClickRepair (manual mode only), iZotope RX3
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