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Mark Novak
Fanfare, November 2018

Ančerl delivers the required amount of bombast in the opening movement, balanced by a sympathetic handling of the quieter music. The Andante is somber and reflective with a nice forward momentum. The inverted pedal point in the trumpets creates an eerie, other-worldly atmosphere. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review

John Quinn
MusicWeb International, November 2018

Asrael is one of the great Czech symphonies and it’s something of a mystery that Karel Ančerl was never invited to make a commercial recording of it. That makes this 1967 performance, recorded by a German radio station, all the more valuable. Ančerl conducts compellingly and the orchestra, who I bet were playing the work for the first time, respond with splendid and committed playing. The sound is impressive for its age. This magnificent performance joins the pantheon of the outstanding versions of this great Czech symphony. © 2018 MusicWeb International

John Whitmore
MusicWeb International, September 2018

The Südwestfunk-Orchester is on supreme form and they play with the edge of seat commitment one associates with a live performance. The level of electricity is astonishing and the recording is clear, involving and well balanced. Good analogue sound from 1967 makes for an issue that is not merely “historic”. I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed with the recording. The performance itself is outstanding and needs to be heard. © 2018 MusicWeb International  Read complete review

Richard Whitehouse
Gramophone, June 2018

This live 1967 performance, released this year, finds Ančerl in electrifying form, galvanising a German orchestra doubtless unfamiliar with the work to playing of real conviction and commitment. It’s a significant and timely discovery. © 2018 Gramophone

John Quinn
MusicWeb International, May 2018

I don’t know how much rehearsal time Ančerl was given but two things are worth saying. Firstly, I doubt the orchestra was familiar with either score prior to this, Secondly, it appears that this was the conductor’s first engagement with them. To achieve such committed, marvellously played and eloquent performances of unfamiliar repertoire when conductor and orchestra had no prior relationship is a remarkable achievement. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Uwe Krusch
Pizzicato, April 2018

Josef Suk’s Azrael Symphony of is a major work of Czech music. Iša Krejčí’s Serenade shows a humoristic composer with fine skills. Ancerl’s historic Azrael recording with the Südwestfunk-Orchester Baden-Baden is a unique document since it is his only studio recording of this work. The successful remastering has made available a high quality interpretation. © 2018 Pizzicato

Gary Lemco
Audiophile Audition, March 2018

Karel Ancerl in 1957 delivers his passionate rendering of Suk’s autobiographical Second Symphony. © 2018 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Records International, February 2018

Although we offer this for the recording of Krejči’s 1948–50 Serenade (a 1957 Supraphon mono version came out in 2005 in the label’s “Ančerl Gold Edition”), its manically high-spirited outer movements enclosing a strings-only slow movements based on two Czech folskongs sounding superb in good stereo, we also draw your attention to the fact that this is the only commercially available recording this conductor made of Suk’s masterpiece. … © 2018 Records International

Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, January 2018

To say that the conductor gives his all would be an understatement. This is a performance of Toscanini-Rodziński-Carlos Kleiber-like intensity, never hard-driven but consistently moving nonetheless. …The orchestra has that uniquely Slavic sound with biting brass, edgy strings and acerbic winds that one heard consistently from the Czech Philharmonic during its glory years under both Talich and Ančerl.

And what music it is! Late Romantic, yes, but utterly bursting with ideas, constantly moving and shifting themes and sub-themes, using chromatic harmonic movement.

…the Südwestfunk Orchester Baden-Baden responds with crisp, dynamic, spot-on playing, reveling in the music’s wry wit and grotesqueries. Krečki uses quite a bit of swirling string passages and biting, punching brass accents, all of which come through with incredible clarity. All in all, a splendid disc. © 2018 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review

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