Sunday, September 6, 2015

Happy Birthday, Antonín Dvořák!

Tuesday marks the 174th anniversary of the birth of Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904). I guess that means I'm a year ahead of celebrating a nice round number (175th), but so what? - any excuse to listen to Dvořák's music seems a good one to me. And so here is his Cello Concerto, one of the works composed in America, and suffused with nostalgia and homesickness. Of course, almost every cellist of note has recorded it, and most of these recordings that I've heard fall short of the ideal interpretation. It requires a performance of total emotional commitment, while at the same time avoiding sentimentality, and that's a fine line indeed! I think this version by Piatigorsky, himself a lifelong exile, comes as close as any I've heard (naturally, it doesn't hurt to have the support of Ormandy and his great orchestra):

Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104
Gregor Piatigorsky, cello
Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy
Recorded January 17, 1946
Columbia Masterworks set MM-658, five 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 88.01 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 64.36 MB)

This cover design of this set affords another excuse to add to my ongoing Alex Steinweiss gallery:


7 comments:

  1. Alternate links:

    FLAC:
    http://www.mediafire.com/download/t2jn154ts4rjamj/Piatigorsky_-_Dvorak_Concerto_FLACs.zip

    MP3:
    http://www.mediafire.com/download/19x3d134t8mnnxq/Piatigorsky_-_Dvorak_Concerto_MP3s.zip

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  2. Thank you very much, I look forward to listening to this! Typical, I hadn't clocked that his birthday is coming... Best wishes, Nick

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  3. Thanks, Bryan - excellent performance and transfer.

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  4. Wonderful performance. I personally love Ormandy's mono recordings (please send more........if you have.........). Thanks for that musical post.

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  5. Wonderful performance. I personally love Ormandy's mono recordings (please send more........if you have.........). Thanks for that musical post.

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  6. Thank you very much Bryan! More amazing art too.

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