This release completes Jakub Hrůša’s Bamberg survey of Brahms’s Four Symphonies and the final four of Dvořák (Six to Nine), and coincidentally couples what would probably be my choice of one work each from the respective cycles. (Tough call though.) In the Brahms (D-major), Hrůša judges everything to a nicety, whether structure (including observing the first-movement exposition repeat), dynamics (saving something extra for climaxes and the uplifting conclusion, vivid timpani) and spot-on detailing and balances (with the enhancement of seating the violins antiphonally). Hrůša’s is a classical reading – poised and clear-sighted – but not lacking for expression and passion, the slow movement especially eloquent (poignantly yielding at just the right moments), the Finale exhilarating. Similar hallmarks illuminate the equally satisfying Dvořák (D-minor), soulful and fiery, and likewise played with commitment and character by the Bambergers, the music dug-into for its emotions, beauties, lilt and drama, all inherent in this magnificent Symphony. Recorded in the blooming acoustic of Joseph-Keilberth-Saal, co-produced with Bavarian Radio, these stellar performances are on Tudor 1742 [2 SACDs].

Royal Opera House appoints Jakub Hrůša as Music Director.