Two glorious Czech masterpieces are presented on this 2014 release from Alpha, performed on period instruments by the exceptional Anima Eterna Brugge, directed by Jos van Immerseel. Considering that Antonín Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 in E minor, "From the New World" was completed in 1893, and Leos Janácek's Sinfonietta dates from 1926, and the period instruments movement mostly has been concerned with Baroque and Classical era works, original instrumentation might strike some listeners as odd. Yet performances in the late 19th and early 20th centuries called for instruments that differ substantially in construction and tone quality from modern models, and the variety of timbres was much greater with handmade instruments than the homogenized sounds of today's mass-produced woodwinds and brass.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra shines in this recording under the direction of Sir Georg Solti. From the delicate second movement to the robust finale, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra shows its musical dexterity, performing every note with the greatest musical sensibility. Simply the best interpretation of Dvorak's 9th symphony in recent years, this performance is a must have for serious music lovers.