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CD Review

Viteslav Novák

Orchestral Works

  • Overture "Korsar"
  • Serenade in F Major, Op. 9 (1894)
  • Concert Overture "Marysa" Op. 18
Bergen Symphony Orchestra/Romely Pfund
Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG6011159-2 64m
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Dabringhaus & Grimm issued this timely disc full of rare works by the enigmatic Czech composer Viteslav Novák under the capable direction of Pfund and the exquisite Bergische Symphoniker.

The 'Korsar' Overture is a direct and unfussy work, full of some lovely melodies and very much underrated. Pfund conducts with admirable feeling for the music and it would be safe to recommend this overture as a starting point for Novák's music.

The Serenade is perhaps the most popular work on disc and the interpretation here is also very jolly and rambunctious. Each of the four movements is imbued with a sense of theatrical personality that reminds us of Novák's work in the operatic field. Although there have been other fine versions by Neumann and Ančerl, this is an excellent interpretation.

Finally there is the 'Marysa' Concert Overture, a work that occasionally does tend to overstay its welcome but is otherwise quite intriguing. As already mooted, Pfund and his orchestra are excellent interpreters of this music and the disc deserves a wholehearted thumb up for enterprise.

Copyright © 2003, Gerald Fenech