Dvořák: Legends, Czech Suite
Cristian Măcelaru / WDR Symphony Cologne (Linn)
(scroll down for English review)
Măcelaru and his other orchestra, the WDR Symphony, have two new CDs in the market. This one features two fringe works by Dvořák. The 10-movement Legends (tracks 1-10) were written within a month but added up to length slightly longer than a Dvořák symphony. Taken as a whole, I’d say the Legends are like Slavonic Dances without the dance element. They’re charming but not really memorable. We have to thank this conductor for his dedication, amplifying the speed and dynamic contrasts, as if to make each Legend a miniature symphony. Still, such approach is quite tiring after listening to a few but the work itself doesn’t have enough diversity, very much like the Slavonic Dances.
Czech Suite (tracks 11-15) have more folk flavous than Legends. But only after listening to Czech Suite I came to miss the Schubertian charm of Legends. Quite possibly I wouldn’t have realized this characteristic without Măcelaru’s heavy-handed approach. So, a Schubert cycle by this conductor and orchestra would be most welcome.