Brahms and Dvorak / Serenades / Kertesz – Reviewed in 2011

This London Whiteback LP (CS 6594) has Super Hot Stamper sound on side two, which is where the Dvorak Serenade for 10 wind instruments, cello and bass can be found. It has lovely space and depth, with dead on tonality and lots of Tubey Magic.

If you love the sound of wind instruments (and who doesn’t? British Band Classics springs immediately to mind as one of the most enjoyable classical recordings I own), then this just may be the classical chamber recording for you.

Side Two

A++ Super Hot Stamper sound! The top end is very sweet, and the overall presentation is clearer and richer than side one.

Side One

A+, good, but not nearly as good as side two. Nice space when quiet and a bit congested when loud, which is a sure sign that it has a bit more compression than it should. Not as rich as side two either. Side two will show you how much better the music on this side could have sounded.


We tend to like the sound of Londons from about 6400 to 6500 or so (which are simply Decca recordings from the mid- to late ’60s), and this one at CS 6594 is one of the reasons why. You get some of the Tubey Magic and Golden Age sound from Decca’s earlier days, coupled with not only the clarity, but the freedom from compression and tube smear, of their later period.

In other words, this record strikes the correct sonic balance, retaining qualities from different periods that normally are at odds with each other. Here they complement each other beautifully.



The two Serenades, Op. 11 and 16, represented two of the earliest efforts by Johannes Brahms to write orchestral music. They both date from the 1850s when Brahms was residing in Detmold. The second serenade was written in 1859 and dedicated to Clara Schumann.[citation needed] It was revised in 1875. It is scored for a standard orchestra, but without violins. The five movements take approximately thirty minutes to perform.


Serenade for wind instruments, cello and double-bass in D minor, Op. 44 (B. 77), is a chamber composition by the Czech composer Antonín Dvorák.

It was created in 1878, shortly after the première of the opera The Cunning Peasant. The work was premiered on 17 November 1878 at a concert featuring exclusively Dvorák’s works, with the Prague orchestra of the Provisional Theatre. The composition was performed under the composer’s baton. The Serenade evokes the old-world atmosphere of the musical performances on the castles of the Rococo period, where the worlds of the aristocracy and the common folk merged. It is composed in a “Slavonic style” (shortly before the Slavonic Dances), and the middle part of the second movement contains rhythms reminiscent of the furiant dance form.