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Victor Carr Jr, February 2018

Dvorák’s Symphony No. 8 is probably the happiest symphony ever composed, a notion supported by this engaging new recording by Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony. Jansons leads a warm and buoyant rendition marked by high spirits and lyrical beauty. While these same qualities can be found in many recordings of this work, Jansons reveals normally unheard rhythmic details in woodwinds and brass in moments too numerous to catalog here, which gives the music a feeling of freshness. Add to this the Bavarian musicians’ energized and impeccable playing that really revs-up the outer movements.

The Suk Serenade is an unusual and especially attractive coupling. Josef Suk, student and later son-in-law of Dvorák, became a formidable composer in his own right. Although his early Serenade was clearly influenced by his teacher’s, Suk’s distinct melodic style is already apparent, especially in the lovely and beguiling Adagio. Jansons and the Bavarian strings render this work with real charm and panache. © 2018 Read complete review

Huntley Dent
Fanfare, September 2016

Jansons gets splendid playing from his Munich orchestra; I received the most pleasure simply basking in their rich, smooth sonority.

…Mariss Jansons falls into the category of conductors who are capable of greatness without consistently rising to that status. This sweetly anodyne recording seems to support such a judgment. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Andrew Farach-Colton
Gramophone, July 2016

…Jansons is in a distinctly more gemütlich mood. Tempi are relaxed and phrases are lovingly caressed, dabbed with generous applications of rubato. Indeed, it’s in the score’s lyrical passages that this interpretation is most persuasive. …Another virtue is the sheer beauty of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra’s playing, not only in terms of tonal refinement but internal balance.

The conductor’s way with Suk’s Serenade for Strings…is wholly satisfying. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

John Quinn
MusicWeb International, June 2016

Jansons and his orchestra are in their element here. The playing is full of refinement, especially in the quiet passages, and I admire very much the way dynamic contrasts are used to maximise the music’s impact. Jansons find real grace in the third movement’s wistful waltz. …Jansons ensures that the trio lilts delightfully and the delicate way in which he manages the return to the waltz is quite magical. He leads an ebullient performance of the quasi-variations finale. Ebullient it may be but there’s room, too, for delicacy and finesse in the quieter passages…

This disc contains three very fine performances and I thoroughly enjoyed it all. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review, June 2016

…Jansons delivers a less-fussy, more-straightforward performance that thoroughly explores the work’s many beauties without overdoing their presentation. …This is very pleasant music with folk/nationalist feelings underlying it, and the performance, because it does not overdo tempo changes or other structural elements, is thoroughly satisfying. © 2016 Read complete review

Gary Lemco
Audiophile Audition, May 2016

Mariss Janson continues his survey of Dvorak with an energy and style reminiscent of Václav Talich. © 2016 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, May 2016

With such engaging playing of the charming melodies in the opening movement, Jansons’s Bavarian players supply a fresh outdoor feel to the writing. There is an exuberant feel to the Slavic march section and the movement ends with a huge draft of sound. Often celebratory in mood and sometimes pastoral in feel under Jansons, the Adagio movement feels like a miniature tone poem with a cascading stream of captivating melody. …Throughout the score, Jansons and his Bavarian players successful inject a strong Bohemian spirit into the score ensuring Romantic warmth and considerable expression. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Blair Sanderson, May 2016

The evident delight [Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra] found in playing Dvorák’s joyous Symphony No. 8 in G major and the exuberant Carnival Overture makes this live disc one of their most enjoyable albums, and the popularity of both works ensures that it will attract listeners. But the sleeper hit is Suk’s cheerful Serenade for strings in E flat major, …It provides a sweet and refreshing interlude between the brilliant Dvorák selections, and listeners discovering it for the first time will be charmed by its Bohemian-flavored melodies and elegant writing for strings. © 2016 Read complete review

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, April 2016

Though his Suk Serenade and the Carnival Overture are just fair average quality, Dvorak’s Eight Symphony has character and a lot of ravishing passages. The playing of the Bavarian Radio Symphony is gorgeous. © 2016 Pizzicato

Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), April 2016

Consistently praised for his interpretation of Slavic music, Mariss Jansons conducts the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in this live recording. © 2016 WFMT Chicago Read complete review

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