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Sony Masterworks

Dvorak/ Firkusny/ Szell - George Szell Conducts

Dvorak/ Firkusny/ Szell - George Szell Conducts

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Sony Classical proudly announces an uncommonly attractive new batch of reissues from the CBS/Sony and RCA Victor/BMG back catalogues. This latest installment of the popular series showcases the reissue of a path-breaking composer edition as well as recordings by some of the labels' greatest artists of the last half century. Throughout his long tenure with The Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell and his peerless ensemble set standards with their recordings of Czech music. The new release now offers them all, many for the first time on modern recording technology, including earlier mono versions of Dvorák's "New World" Symphony (1952) and Slavonic Dances (1947-56) as well as his Piano Concerto (1954) with it's finest soloist, Rudolf Firkušny. The main attraction for most listeners, however, will likely still be Szell's stereo recordings. When the symphonies, set down in 1958-60, were most recently reissued along with some of the mono Smetana performances, ClassicsToday declared, "you won't find a more authoritative, urgently exciting, well-played collection of Dvorák's last three symphonies at any price. The remastering has been managed with great care and is wholly successful. This is particularly gratifying with respect to the mono items, which include the Bartered Bride Overture and Szell's own surprisingly colorful and uninhibited orchestration of Smetana's First Quartet. Indispensable!" And, of course, Szell's "miraculously detailed and immaculately phrased" 1962-63 set of the complete Slavonic Dances, never out of the catalogue, is still the benchmark for these joyous masterpieces, especially in this superb SACD remastering.

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