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Thread: SS 13.10.18 - Dvorak #3

  1. #16
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    I'll take this one:
    dvorak.jpg

    And it is one of my favorite Dvorak symphonies. Too bad it never seems to get a live performance.
    Last edited by mbhaub; Oct-13-2018 at 21:29.

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  3. #17
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Listened to Von Neumann and the Czech Philharmonic.

    First movement: Very nice soaring opening melody, handled roughly during its working out by some too-Teutonic and too-vigorous passages. The second part of the movement is dominated by a theme that starts with four descending notes; it’s worked out with occasional echoes of the opening theme. That theme returns quietly, after a climax, at the 70% point. It is further worked out, but more quietly than the first time around. Well, until the big peroration at the end anyway. I can’t hear this movement as sonata form; not sure what to call it.

    Second movement: Slow, but not too slow, always moving along nicely. A pleasant sound and a lot of detail, though the melodies don’t seem very distinctive to me. The variety and transparency of orchestration help a lot. One important theme echoes, again, the opening theme of the first movement. At about the one-third point the movement becomes tempo di marcia and the melody matches that mood. Dvorak indulges in some quasi-Wagner modulations here. The march mood gradually blends back into the opening material. The march theme is heard again, softly, in the closing pages.

    Third movement: Rhythmically intense themes, seemingly several in succession. The first theme is especially distinctive, at least in the context of this symphony. I think this may be a rondo in form, given that the first theme keeps reappearing before galloping off each time in some new direction. Most of the movement is busy but not too interesting.

    My earlier opinion of this symphony is unchanged. It lacks a clear dramatic or musical focus, so it has difficulty fully engaging the attention. There are only a few distinctive themes, and nowhere does form add to the force of the music. That’s probably being a bit harsh, but I can only compare this with what Dvorak accomplished in his later works, where the deficiencies I find here were remedied – in spades!

    BTW the symphony was written in 1873 but revised much later, in 1887-89. The original version has been lost.


  4. #18
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    From a contemporary review of the unrevised symphony, which matches my views pretty closely: “The impression given by the composer’s latest work is close to breathtaking; then again, it is such that the listener’s attention and perception start to grow weary. The composer has a wealth of ideas at his disposal, and he always offers them to us, his hands full, like some kind of Croesus. There is something remarkable about this; his creative fantasy presents itself here in the most wonderful splendour. Nevertheless, it is also apparent that the composer is as yet unable to control the high-spirited steed of his imagination; he still allows himself always to be carried by his enthusiasm alone, with the result that the structural proportions of the work become less organic, and lose their symmetry and clarity.” (Ludevit Prochazka, Narodni listy 23 April 1874)

    http://www.antonin-dvorak.cz/en/symphony3
    Last edited by KenOC; Yesterday at 01:56.


  5. #19
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    Personally, I love this work and regard it as the finest of Dvorak's first five symphonies. The first movement has a grand, sweeping momentum that is quite invigorating, the second is a solemn funeral march of great depth, and the third is catchy and ebullient.

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  7. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyjo View Post
    Personally, I love this work and regard it as the finest of Dvorak's first five symphonies. The first movement has a grand, sweeping momentum that is quite invigorating, the second is a solemn funeral march of great depth, and the third is catchy and ebullient.
    It's that symphony or the 5th for me.

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  9. #21
    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    Having returned from a couple of nights break with my better half I'm late into this weeks selection - must admit this is not a symphony I have in my collection but I will try it via spotify tomorrow, which performance yet to be decided.

    Any recommendations Jim?
    Last edited by Malx; Yesterday at 21:50.

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  11. #22
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    Enjoying this work a day late.
    Listening to Belohlávek/Czech Philharmonic

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  13. #23
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malx View Post
    Having returned from a couple of nights break with my better half I'm late into this weeks selection - must admit this is not a symphony I have in my collection but I will try it via spotify tomorrow, which performance yet to be decided.

    Any recommendations Jim?
    Ignore what Jim says, Malx. He's a Maccam! Neumann, Rowicki, Belohlavek & Kertesz are a good pick for this one.
    Last edited by Merl; Today at 09:54.

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  15. #24
    Senior Member jim prideaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Ignore what Jim says, Malx. He's a Maccam! Neumann, Rowicki, Belohlavek & Kertesz are a good pick for this one.

    even as a 'Maccam' I reserve the right to continue to recommend........Jarvi/SNO and Chung/VPO.


    (Whats the matter Merl????....still a little raw after Mahrez and his launching of Apollo 18 !!!!!!)
    'so where are the strong, who are the trusted and where is the harmony, sweet harmony?'
    (Nick Lowe)

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  17. #25
    Senior Member jim prideaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malx View Post
    Having returned from a couple of nights break with my better half I'm late into this weeks selection - must admit this is not a symphony I have in my collection but I will try it via spotify tomorrow, which performance yet to be decided.

    Any recommendations Jim?
    Malx.......seriously now.....have a listen to Chung and the VPO (and if you choose to ignore anything it might be politely suggested that it should be those who do not rate the 3rd!.....but as always it is after all a matter of individaul taste and opinion)
    'so where are the strong, who are the trusted and where is the harmony, sweet harmony?'
    (Nick Lowe)

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