Karajan/BPO: Dvorak "New World" Sym + Smetana Vlata - Italian Columbia 33QCX 10348
Italian pressing (blue/silver label - mono)
This wonderful stereo LP from Columbia (33QCX 10348, Italian pressing, blue/silver label, mono, glossy laminated flipback jacket) features Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic's thrilling and poetic account of Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 in E minor Op. 95 'From the New World', their earlier account, one much fresher and spontaneous than their 1979 re-make.
Filling out the disc is their equally captivating performance of Smetana's Vlata (Die Moldau) from Ma Vlast. Karajan retained a lifelong affinity and affection for these two works and there are performances of them spanning his entire recording career. These are arguably his finest versions, and in their best, most desirable pressing – outstanding!
Both works were recorded in the rich acoustics of the Grunewaldkirche, Berlin, on 28 November 1957 and sound absolutely splendid here.
There are superlative liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket by the great musicologist Deryck Cooke, provided in Italian only. The lovely cover photo was taken by Eric Fenton.