Volume Two of José Serebrier’s very welcome survey of the nine symphonies of Antonín Dvořák brings us the great Seventh as well as the equally wonderful In Nature’s Realm and Scherzo capriccioso. The collection begins with an unforced and swinging account of the ultimate Slavonic Dance from the Opus 46 collection.
The Seventh Symphony receives an exhilarating and moving performance (tension maintained through the use of minimal pauses between movements), lovingly detailed, wonderfully expressive (this is music of glorious lyricism) and given with a purpose that sweeps the listener along, the music’s recesses fully explored and its emotional demonstration given a powerful outing by an orchestra and conductor that have forged a significant partnership.
In Nature’s Realm and Scherzo capriccioso are both inimitable masterpieces and here receive renditions of notable outgoingness as well as displaying many subtleties and thrills. The former piece is full of wonderment at the world’s beauties, the composer at his most rapturous. The Scherzo, beginning with an arresting motif heard from the horns, is a sort of large-scale Slavonic Dance, and essentially vital, but the trio (its repeat rightly observed by Serebrier) is appreciably tinged by the recent death of Dvořák’s mother, a deeply-felt melody of infinite sadness given to cor anglais.
Serebrier and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra have the memorable measure of this great music and the recording faithfully captures the lively acoustic. The next volume is keenly awaited.