Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Columbia SAX 2322 Columbia Does Dvorak, Take Two of Four

SAX 2322

Dvorak "New World" Symphony, "Carnaval" Overture

Wolfgang Sawallisch, conductor
Philharmonia Orchestra

Pressing: ED1

Condition: EX

YAX 87-10
YAX 88-11
Performance: 8/10

Sound: 7/10

Price range: $32-255, mean $65 on popsike

Comments:  As I mentioned in my previous blog on SAX 2275, EMI/Columbia released Dvorak's New World Symphony four times on the SAX series, and this was the second release.  Whereas on Karajan's recording, the symphony is paired with Smetana's Moldau, here we get a lively version of the Carnaval Overture.  Sawallisch and the Philharmonia give a strong performance of both the New World and the Carnaval Overture, playing with no less intensity than Karajan and the BPO, and in fact I felt that the Philharmonia played with just a little more fire at times.  One thing I really liked about Sawallisch's interpretation is his transparent textures, which allowed me to hear and better appreciate the melodic lines of the winds.  Whereas on some recordings, the opening measures of the third movement are slow and sloppy, here they are tight, quick, and disciplined.  The timpani rolls are clearer and more visceral on this recording than on the Karajan.  Sound overall is very good -- warm, dynamic, and clear.  Worth a try if you are a fan of this symphony, and I think you should be able to land a clean copy for less than $50 if you look hard enough.  If you're on the fence, check out the digital remaster, available both as an EMI budget line CD or more recently from Beulah (see below).  Or stay tuned for upcoming comments on the third of the four New World recordings, this time conducted by Giulini with the Philharmonia.



  1. I am showing $90 for NM recently. Classics for Pleasure CFP 104 might be a nice option and is the only other pressing available.

    Of course, I like the latter Silvestri 9 on this, but it was only put out on American Angel. Kertesz Blue Back is looking more and more interesting, but quite pricey.

    1. Aagh. Missed the Regal! SREG1054. A budget option for those who want a tube sound.

  2. You are becoming my go-to guy for information regarding reissues. Thank you very much for commenting and adding those details. Very helpful to potential buyers!

    The Silvestri 9 was released on French Columbia (SAXF) and is quite valuable. I've never heard it before but would love to find a copy. I'd be interested to know if it sounds even better than the CD. That performance was incredible. I bet Kertesz is also excellent. How about the Decca? Speaker's Corner also reissued the Kertesz.

  3. I've got my spreadsheets, so I just add in what I've got already. My ASD one is up to ASD 477, over half way done.

    I have a super analogue and a stereo treasury of the Kertesz VPO performance. I think I paid $72 for the Super Analogue. There is no London it looks like, just the Decca. Super Analogue goes for about $50. The speakers corner shows for $100! The STS isn't bad and I get a sense that I have kind of dead record (I've got three STS/SDD of Campoli Bruch Scottish Fantasy, one I love, the other two are not good.)

    That SAXF Silvestri maybe isn't that pricey as I see no evidence of it on Popsike. There is a Japan early W&G stereo that shows up and perhaps that is what you are remembering. Might be time to upgrade the digital or pray for HD digital of this piece.

    I did find one French pressings, "Constantin Silvestri with the RTF National Orchestra performing Dvorak New World Symphony on French La Voix De Son Maitre Stereo Recording Cat N° CVPM 130058". So maybe there is an SAXF. Perhaps this CVPM pressing might be good? I've not bothered to listen to the French and German EMI that I have as I don't like the sound. I think I've got SAXW of Schumann Rhenish symphony.

  4. My apologies. The Silvestri 9 is a French ASDF. ASDF 151, Le Voix de Son Maitre. Sold for $391 in 2007.

    1. Are the French ASDF sonically that good? I see quite a few titles getting some money. Silvestri Fantastique in there too.

    2. I have never heard a French EMI pressing, but either this record is just plain rare or it is rare and sounds good. I wish I knew someone who had a pressing!