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Thread: Favorite Dvorak Symphony (other than 9 of course)?

  1. #16
    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T McGraw View Post
    Based on what I have read, your tiers are very close to the "accepted wisdom" with possible disagreement from some regarding 3 and 4. That is some would flip the positions of 3 and 4.
    Well, there should be one composer where my taste is reasonably in line with the majority - usually it is not.
    Allüberall und ewig blauen licht die Fernen! Ewig ... ewig ...

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  3. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Knox View Post
    Startling, that the very qualities I like about No. 7 are point of criticism for others. I must check out Bělohlávek's recording.
    Are you a particular fan of Brahms? I have mixed feelings about Brahms. I am 66, and all of my life I have accepted the conventional wisdom that Brahms was a member in the very small fraternity of the greatest of the great. But lately, I have begun to entertain doubts. To me, the Dvorak 7th is a superior version of Brahms. It is as if Dvorak was saying, I can do Brahms, but with better melodies. I am somewhat kidding, but not entirely. I started having doubts when I realized it had been many years since I listened to a Brahms symphony. Usually I pick Dvorak or Tchaikovsky, or Bruckner or Mahller.

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  5. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    Roger, I should reiterate that this is not a criticism I myself voice or feel. But I have read comments that make the connection between the Brahmsian overtones and the status of the work. "It's like Brahms, so must be his best work" suggests Dvořák is an interior composer, a very very debatable valuation, while the opposite suggests the normally sunny, happy Czech composer was out of his comfort zone being deep and dark and serious. Neither argument holds much weight, but I think they are sentiments that do still persist?
    No, I don't think you agree with those criticisms of No. 7. If the sentiments you've mentioned do persist I oppose them. Partly because such shallow valuations, when applied to composers of surpassing greatness such as Brahms and Dvorak, miss the mark with me.

    I think it's a matter of a taste, of what belongs in a symphony, in this symphony by this composer -- and No. 7 I like and respect in equal measure. No. 8 is excellent too, but a little less to my taste, and in time I will listen to the earlier symphonies based on the recommendations in this thread.
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Jul-09-2019 at 16:42.

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  7. #19
    Senior Member Haydn67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    The 8th. Such a sunny, energetic, beautiful work...with some darker moments in the 2nd movement. I've loved this for so long - some 50 years by now. First recording was the Bruno Walter/Columbia Symphony recording which is still a top recommendation. I just had the extreme pleasure of conducting it a few months ago - so much fun I felt guilty (almost) about taking a pay check for doing it. An ingenious composition all based on a simple G major triad
    I agree entirely with your choice of the Eighth, which I have loved for over 50 years as well. Kertesz/London Symphony, Kubelik/Berlin Philharmonic and Dorti/London Symphony have long been my favorite interpretations of this glorious work.

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  9. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T McGraw View Post
    Are you a particular fan of Brahms? I have mixed feelings about Brahms. I am 66, and all of my life I have accepted the conventional wisdom that Brahms was a member in the very small fraternity of the greatest of the great. But lately, I have begun to entertain doubts. To me, the Dvorak 7th is a superior version of Brahms. It is as if Dvorak was saying, I can do Brahms, but with better melodies. I am somewhat kidding, but not entirely. I started having doubts when I realized it had been many years since I listened to a Brahms symphony. Usually I pick Dvorak or Tchaikovsky, or Bruckner or Mahller.
    Yes I'm a particular fan of Brahms, ever since my mother sang the Lullaby to me in the crib and played the Ab Major Waltz on the piano! I became a pianist too. Brahms was a great melodist (e.g. songs, piano pieces), but his symphonies with their short motifs are less likely to present complete melodies. I think that today it's okay to look for alternatives to the conventional wisdom, and Dvorak is deserving of re-evaluation. For me Dvorak's still his own man in the Brahms-influenced No. 7, and incidentally a list of significant composers influenced by Brahms would be very long indeed ...

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  11. #21
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    Quite fond of the 7th. Easy to listen to with beautiful melodies

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  13. #22
    Senior Member jim prideaux's Avatar
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    5th-Jansons and the Oslo P.O.

    3rd-Jarvi and the SNO (As Merl has already mentioned)
    Last edited by jim prideaux; Jul-10-2019 at 12:03.
    'so where are the strong, who are the trusted and where is the harmony, sweet harmony?'
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  15. #23
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    I've always thought that if you match levels and orchestras, you could splice together phrases from the finales of Dvorak's Sixth and Brahms' Second in any number of places and get a wonderful pastiche. :-)

  16. #24
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    I think 8 is the "second best" (after the extraordinary New World) but 3 through to 7 are all fine and distinctive symphonies in their different ways and I am not sure how to choose between them. Rowicki and Neumann are generally very good and Kertesz (not a lot of mention of him in this thread whereas he used to be the acknowledged "best") is often excellent. Suitner's set is also pretty good. From 6 onwards we have the must have option of Ancerl and quite a large variety of other very good accounts, including some great historical recordings. I would need to listen afresh to them all to work out who I might prefer in each work but I know that I find Kubelik hard to beat in 8.

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  18. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    ..... Kertesz (not a lot of mention of him in this thread whereas he used to be the acknowledged "best") is often excellent.

    Kertesz is great with Dvorak, his LSO/Decca complete set is really great...all of them are excellent, with #6, #8, #4 being top-notch....superbly recorded, #6 and 8 are esp outstanding.

    my faves, of later symphonies:

    #6 - Kertesz/LSO
    #7 - Monteux/LSO
    #8 - Kertesz/LSO
    #9 - Toscanini/NBC, Reiner/CSO
    Last edited by Heck148; Jul-12-2019 at 20:26.

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  20. #26
    Senior Member Olias's Avatar
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    The 8th. I never get bored with it. One of my favorite parts is in the third movement trio section where it sounds like two different meters going on at the same time.

    This is probably the best live recording of the 8th and 9th. I absolutely love it.

    http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/...lbum_id=118764

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  22. #27
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olias View Post
    The 8th. I never get bored with it. One of my favorite parts is in the third movement trio section where it sounds like two different meters going on at the same time.

    This is probably the best live recording of the 8th and 9th. I absolutely love it.

    http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/...lbum_id=118764
    Did Mackerras ever conduct any less than excellent Dvorak? I have the Prague 8&9 and these two beauties and all are superb. Mackerras had a great feel for Dvorak.

    884385405953.jpg

    Dvorak7-9_cfp.jpg
    Last edited by Merl; Jul-14-2019 at 09:20.

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  24. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olias View Post
    The 8th. I never get bored with it. One of my favorite parts is in the third movement trio section where it sounds like two different meters going on at the same time.
    That is an accurate assessment...Dvorak has the melody [violins, then oboe/bassoon] in 6/8, [time signature is 3/8] while the accompanying rhythmic figure fits nicely into 3/4 - pattern repeats each 2 bars...

    Dvorak does a similar thing in the scherzo [III] mvt of #7 - melody is in 6/4 - rhythm fits into 3/2 - you can easily feel the compound time [melody] - ooo ooo/ o ; or the simple time - oo oo oo/ o...

    Sibelius loved 6/4 time - he made some great use of it in his symphonies - 1, 3, 5 also, IIRC...in any case, it's playing the compound against the duple...

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