Dvorák’s long experience with classical forms finds its culmination in his final symphony, whose first performance took place in New York in 1893. The work still enjoys an unwaning popularity thanks to its finely contoured orchestration and its original themes, all of which are based on American folksongs and negro spirituals.
To capture Dvorák’s score in sound has always proved a challenge for both orchestra and recording team. This aim has been more than fulfilled in the present recording with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra led by István Kertész: the primeval power of the weighty brass, the glorious revelling of the strings, and the lyrical solo passages are all captured here. Musicianship of the highest degree combined with audio-technical perfection lend this recording, made in the early days of stereophony, the status of an historical sound document which, despite numerous other recordings, has no reason to fear competition.