Dvorak: Requiem / Lso, Kertesz

Album cover art for upc 028946848722
Label: DECCA
Catalog: 4684872
Format: CD

István Kertész's affinity for the music of Dvorák is reflected in an outstanding series of recordings made before his untimely death at 43. It takes a sympathetic hand at the helm to present the strongest case for the Requiem, since it's more subdued than more overtly theatrical Requiems, such as Verdi's. Kertész and his fine soloists and chorus reveal the score's many beauties, if not with quite the intensity Karel Ancerl and his Czech forces brought to the piece in an earlier recording. Kodály's Psalmus Hungaricus has all the color and fire some may find lacking in the Dvorák. Kertész's performance was the well-recorded standard recommendation on LP, and nothing's happened since to change that. Dvorák's Symphonic Variations, the only purely instrumental work on this set, is a lovely piece, melodically irresistible and full of wonderful instrumental touches. It gets an outstanding performance here, as do the other works. --Dan Davis