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CD Review

Antonín Dvořák

Hallé Orchestra/Hamilton Harty
* Hallé Orchestra/Leslie Heward
Academy Sound & Vision Hallé CDHLT8000 54m ADD
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This CD is precious for an extremely rare recording by the lamented Leslie Heward who conducts Dvořák's lovely Nocturne with his far-sighted manner that made him famous, especially in his legendary recording of Ernest Moeran's Symphony.

Hamilton Harty conducts a workmanlike reading of Dvořák's Ninth with a suitably quick First Movement that last just over seven minutes, repeats cut to the bone and very swift indeed. The Largo is also on a rapid river movement at just less than eleven minutes whilst the final two movements are despatched in less than a quarter of an hour.

The 'Carnival' Overture comes alive quite beautifully although again, it is rather fast at seven minutes; this is nowhere near Kubelík's lovely version for DG or István Kertész's astonishing relay for Decca in the classic 60's. Two Hungarian Dances by Brahms conclude a rather skimpily timed disc which is however well worth acquiring for a window on another age of orchestral playing and conducting.

Copyright © 2005, Gerald Fenech