It’s no surprise that Rafael Kubelik—a onetime conductor of the Czech Philharmonic—would have a feel for the lyricism of Dvořák’s music, but his interpretations of the composer’s final two symphonies still surpass any expectations with their utter rightness. His reading of the popular Symphony No. 9 is distinguished, but the real treat on this collection is a graceful performance of the lesser-known Symphony No. 8. Here, Kubelik and the Berliner Philharmoniker players sound invigorated by the pastoral qualities of the “Adagio”, as well as the many twists and turns of the work’s final movement.
Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88
I. Allegro con brio
III. Allegretto grazioso
IV. Allegro ma non troppo
Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 "From the New World"