Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 From the New World. The Water
Goblin, Op. 107
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/ Nicholas Harnoncourt, cond.
TELDEC 25254 TT: 64:11
These commanding Dvorak performances were recorded in October 1999, the New World in concert, Goblin in "studio" sessions. No question that in this multi-channel format sound is superior to the regular stereo CD issue; in the Symphony there is a more natural hall presence, and for Water Goblin sound opens out even more. Bass is rather overpowering, but in a rather pleasing way. I enjoyed this DVDA much more than its regular CD counterpart.
Symphony No. 4 in B Flat, Op. 60. Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67.
Berlin Staatskapelle; Daniel Barenboim, cond.
TELDEC 82891 TT: 72:27
Barenboim recorded all of the Beethoven symphonies in Berlin May-July 1999; while these surely are efficient performances they do not challenge the finest available. Teldec's surround sound is broad and resonant, with some obvious overmiking (the double basses in the third movement of Symphony 5). During the performance one sees only a photo of Barenboim and identification of the two works on the DVD - but the same screen stays throughout the performances and novices will have no idea which symphony is playing, or which movement of each. There is an audio/video feature of Barenboim discussing Beethoven and these recordings - but you would not know it from the DVDA disk or the notes; it is listed in the menu. During a feature, an engineer talks briefly about recording in 6 channel but there are only 5 on the disks.