Dvorák: Symphonic Variations; Symphony No 8 – review

London Philharmonic Orchestra/ Mackerras

Until another conductor commands our affection in Czech repertoire as Sir Charles Mackerras did for nearly half a century – and at least we have the BBCSO's excellent Jiří Bělohlávek in our midst – we can delight in his final recordings, still being released following his death last year aged 84. The LPO's account of Dvořák's expansive, genial Symphonic Variations bursts with zest and sharp detail. The same is true of the Symphony No 8, alive with bohemian folk melodies and rhythms, from the rustic to the joyous to, particularly in Mackerras's hands, the tender. Recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall, this is a fine, vividly performed disc in its own right, as well as a touching memento.


Fiona Maddocks

The GuardianTramp

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