Dvorak on a Serbian stamp

Antonín Dvořák

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This week on Arizona Encore we explore the lush and culturally rich sounds created by the great Bohemian composer, Antonin Dvořák, moving us to discover what led him to create his works.

Antonin Dvořák loved his country and its people, always identifying himself with his native Bohemian people. He, and his music found ways to express the character of the nation, including incorporating folk melodies into his works. Our program kicks off with a performance of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 in G minor which is one of Dvořák’s most lush and beautiful works. The first and fourth movements open with expansive melodies while the middle two movements employ folk elements, allowing the listener to imagine dancing to the swirling scherzo which sounds more like a waltz. The symphony has “Bohemia” written all over it, and it’s fitting since Dvořák wrote the piece to celebrate his appointment to the faculty of the Bohemian Academy of Science, Literature, and Arts. Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 in G minor is performed by the symphony orchestra at one of Arizona’s premier schools, Arizona State University, conducted by Jeffery Meyer.

We then transition into the fourth movement of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 From the New World, which is not only one of  Dvořák’s most famous pieces but it is also one of the most famous pieces in ALL of classical music. Premiered by the New York Philharmonic in 1893, Dvořák was living in New York City as the Director of the National Conservatory of Music. He became interested in exploring and learning about America’s roots in music, especially the music of its indigenous peoples and African Americans. So in his Ninth Symphony, he incorporated the feeling and sense of the American experience by using original melodies inspired by the music of Native Americans and former slaves, and he gave the symphony the subtitle, From the New World. The fourth movement of Dvořák’s New World Symphony is played by the Arizona Musicfest Festival Orchestra, conducted by Robert Moody.

This program originally aired on January 18th, 2022.

Featuring performances by the ASU Symphony Orchestra under the direction Jeffery Meyer; and the Festival Orchestra under the direction of Robert Moody.

Dvorák - Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88, B. 163
I. Allegro con brio
II. Adagio
III. Allegretto grazioso
IV. Allegro
Dvorák - Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, "From the New World"
IV. Allegro con fuoco
Dvorák - Slavonic Dance, Op. 46, No. 8

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