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Thread: SS 22.06.18 - Dvorak #4

  1. #16
    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    If I remember correctly there is a folk melody somewhere in this symphony which reappeared in one of the Slavonic Dances sets. No.4 still has an Wagnerian-ish influence running through it as others have mentioned, but Dvořák stamps much more of his own recognisable personality onto this symphony than on the previous three, which I tend to regard as 'apprentice' works.

    I'll actually be listening to this tomorrow, as I'm preoccupied with opera today.

    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

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  3. #17
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    Kertesz today.

    dvorak - kertesz.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by D Smith View Post
    I'll listen to Kertesz here.

    Same here...fine recording. Dvorak #4 should be a repertoire staple...

  5. #19
    Senior Member D Smith's Avatar
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    After relistening to this I have to agree with some of the other posters. While it is a good work, it just doesn't sound much like Dvorak, except in places. Afterwards, I put on his Symphony No. 5 and you could tell from the first few bars it was written by Dvorak.

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  7. #20
    Senior Member Robert Pickett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elgars ghost View Post
    If I remember correctly there is a folk melody somewhere in this symphony which reappeared in one of the Slavonic Dances sets. No.4 still has an Wagnerian-ish influence running through it as others have mentioned, but Dvořák stamps much more of his own recognisable personality onto this symphony than on the previous three, which I tend to regard as 'apprentice' works.

    I'll actually be listening to this tomorrow, as I'm preoccupied with opera today.

    Your mentioning that got me annoyed, because I couldn't for the life of me think which Slavonic Dance it comes up again in.

    It's the Scherzo, But it's not a Slavonic Dance, but the last piece from the Piano Duo piece Ze Šumavy Op.68. Yes, I did look it up!!!

    Probably why you thought it was a Slavonic Dance, the four-handed piano connection?

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  9. #21
    Senior Member AClockworkOrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by realdealblues View Post
    Another weekend is upon us and another Symphony is up for your listening enjoyment. This weekend Czech composer Antonin Dvorak makes his return with his Fourth Symphony. I always love hearing Dvorak's symphonies so I'm happy to give this one a spin this weekend. I hope everyone else can join in too!

    I'll be listening too:
    Attachment 104930
    Vaclav Neumann/Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    Ditto this recording for me too, Vaclav Neumann is a fantastic Dvorak-ian and my introduction to Dvorak’s Symphonies 1-8. I haven’t listened to Dvorak’s Symphonies for a while so this will be really interesting.
    "It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few deceit."
    - Noël Coward.

    "To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less."
    - Oscar Wilde

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  11. #22
    Senior Member Haydn67's Avatar
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    Dvorak's colorful and charming melodies abound especially in this symphony's first and second movements. I don't find as involving the composer's last two movements. Nonetheless, I feel Kertesz does an excellent job with what he is given. Symphonies 8,7,9 and 5--in that order--pretty much remain my favorites.

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  13. #23
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    I’d never heard this symphony. It’s the usual 4 movements in standard form, lasting 41 minutes (Neumann’s recording),

    The first movement opens with an (over?) dramatic 1st minor-key theme, followed by a flowing diatonic 2nd theme in the major. The closing theme is martial, trumpet-and-drum sort of stuff. Beyond that, it was hard for me to follow the form, but much is made of that 2nd theme, possibly over-milking it Schubert-style.

    The second is the slow movement, with the main theme in the horns. Sounds like Brahms with some Wagner harmonies. It all seems a bit amorphous. There’s a more emphatic passage about midway with some obvious counterpoint. Nice listening but nothing I could hang my hat on.

    The third is the scherzo, in bouncy triple time with welcome energy and nice tunes. The central part is an interesting and somewhat outsized trio. The scherzo repeats as usual.

    The fourth movement, the finale, opens with a propulsive minor-key main theme. It’s in two short halves, first up and then down, like Brahms. It’s followed by a soft flowing major-key 2nd theme (just like the first movement). In the working out both themes are developed but without much interaction. In the reprise, the 2nd theme gets the grand treatment. Then brass choirs peal out the 1st theme loudly, probably more grandiosely than it deserves. This closes the work.

    While this symphony is by no means bad, I’d say that it falls short of his later efforts in several areas: thematic interest, thematic development, dramatic arc, structural clarity, and overall coherence.

    BTW I see that Dvorak offered this symphony, and his 3rd as well, to a committee of critics in his quest for a academic scholarship that would enable him to devote himself full-time to composing. The committee wrote, “…an unquestionable talent…still seeking its way in a formless and unbridled manner.” Sounds about right. He did get the scholarship, though.
    Last edited by KenOC; Jun-24-2018 at 00:50.


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  15. #24
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    His 3rd is much better than the 4th.

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  17. #25
    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Pickett View Post
    Your mentioning that got me annoyed, because I couldn't for the life of me think which Slavonic Dance it comes up again in.

    It's the Scherzo, But it's not a Slavonic Dance, but the last piece from the Piano Duo piece Ze Šumavy Op.68. Yes, I did look it up!!!

    Probably why you thought it was a Slavonic Dance, the four-handed piano connection?
    Yes, it has to be either that or just my shocking memory. Good work, Robert.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

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  19. #26
    Senior Member Weird Heather's Avatar
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    I have been busy, so I didn't get to it until today. I listened to this symphony and then to No. 7, both performed by Berlin Philharmonic/Kubelik. The comparison of Dvorak's two D Minor symphonies is interesting. No. 4 is very good and is enjoyable from beginning to end, but it doesn't have that extra intangible "spark" that would make it a masterpiece. Hints of Dvorak's mature style are certainly present, but the unique voice of his later works isn't yet fully formed. Listening to No. 7 immediately afterwards made No. 4 recede into the background. Perhaps if No. 7 is Dvorak's "Great" D Minor symphony, then No. 4 is the "Little" D Minor symphony - a tantalizing prelude to the greatness that was to come.

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