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Classics Explained: Dvorak - Symphony No. 9, "From the New World"

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Label
Catalogue number8558065-66
Release date2002-07-01
Discs2

 
 
 
Disc 1
 
  Composer: Siepmann, Jeremy, Dvořák, Antonín
  An Introduction to … DVORAK Symphony No. 9, "From the New World" 148:37
01 A quiet beginning: sorrow, syncopation, and sequence 02:38 $ 0.47 USD
02 Instrumental colour as a prime element: clarinets and
bassoons, an outburst by the French horn
00:57 $ 0.17 USD
03 The opening tune again, with different instrumental
colouring: now flutes and oboes
00:32 $ 0.10 USD
04 The first big surprise: strings, shattering drumbeats,
shrieks from flutes, oboes, and clarinets
00:37 $ 0.11 USD
05 Cellos and basses take us into a new key while flutes and
oboes dance in syncopation.
00:32 $ 0.10 USD
06 Horns, violas, and cellos introduce a new idea, soon to
evolve into the main theme.
00:31 $ 0.09 USD
07 A tiny detail from the opening culminates in a wild drumming
that heralds a major event
00:43 $ 0.13 USD
08 Introduction complete 02:05 $ 0.38 USD
09 A solo horn introduces the main theme, perkily answered by
bassoons and horns.
00:39 $ 0.12 USD
10 The theme moves to G major; answering phrase from flutes,
oboes, bassoons.
00:33 $ 0.10 USD
11 Long crescendo, tremolo strings, back to tonic and biggest
statement yet of the main theme.
00:39 $ 0.12 USD
12 Transition to the secondary theme through the use of
sequence. Sonata form; satability and flux
01:36 $ 0.29 USD
13 Three-bar groupings and again the use of sequence, spelling
out a chord
00:34 $ 0.10 USD
14 The sequence continues to rise, and the four-bar phrase
returns as the standard unit.
00:18 $ 0.05 USD
15 The first violins start off the next phrase, but the melodic
shape is more compact.
00:21 $ 0.06 USD
16 The violins fall silent; the violas and cellos answer with a
new figure
00:09 $ 0.03 USD
17 So now we have a two-bar group, made up of statement and
answer.
00:07 $ 0.02 USD
18 The same thing again (though not quite the same) 00:05 $ 0.02 USD
19 Transition complete. The secondary theme arrives, with
French horns as 'bagpipes'.
01:00 $ 0.18 USD
20 The 'bagpipe drone' is taken over by cellos, with their
insistently repeated G and D.
00:19 $ 0.06 USD
21 The tune is taken up by cellos and double-basses, 'shadowed'
by the second violins.
00:57 $ 0.17 USD
22 The violins continue a pattern of steady pairs, and the
cellos and basses introduce a new idea.
00:33 $ 0.10 USD
23 Unexpectedly, we find ourselves back with the secondary
theme. A new idea emerges.
00:26 $ 0.08 USD
24 Again we hear the shortened version of the secondary theme 00:33 $ 0.10 USD
25 The suspense is heightened as everything slows down 00:25 $ 0.08 USD
26 This beautiful flute tune is said to resemble 'Swing Low,
Sweet Chariot'.
00:47 $ 0.14 USD
27 A big crescendo leads to a final statement of the closing
theme
01:16 $ 0.23 USD
28 The development section begins with a conversation between
cellos, double-bases, and violins.
01:09 $ 0.21 USD
29 The beginning of the closing theme is taken up in turn by
the horn, piccolo, and trumpet.
00:18 $ 0.05 USD
30 Sequential chirping from the oboes based on the 'answering'
part of the main theme, now in the major
00:18 $ 0.05 USD
31 Much of the development comes from a diminution of the
closing theme from the exposition.
00:19 $ 0.06 USD
32 A tiny detail becomes a major ingredient, giving an agitated
quality to an originally sunny tune.
00:31 $ 0.09 USD
33 Through a sequence of keys so quickly that it is hard to
keep track of them
00:37 $ 0.11 USD
34 The main theme from massed cellos and double-basses, topped
by two trumpets over tremolo violas
01:46 $ 0.32 USD
35 After that major climax, we arrive at the threshold of the
recapitulation
01:04 $ 0.19 USD
36 Dvorak flouts tradition by setting the secondary theme and
the closing theme in unexpected keys.
01:10 $ 0.21 USD
37 The tumultuous convulsion of the coda brings the first
movement to its epic close.
03:09 $ 0.57 USD
38 Humpty Dumpty: putting the bits back together again 00:20 $ 0.06 USD
39 First movement (complete) 11:36 $ 2.09 USD
40 The very opening chords unmistakably herald the arrival of
something special.
01:06 $ 0.20 USD
41 The role of instrumentation in setting the scene... 01:10 $ 0.21 USD
42 ...and in enhancing the quality of one of the most famous
tunes in symphonic history.
01:29 $ 0.27 USD
43 The cor anglais is joined by the clarinet, creating a
fascinating change in the timbre.
01:08 $ 0.20 USD
44 For the closing part of the tune, there is another new
sonority: cor anglais plus bassoon.
00:24 $ 0.07 USD
45 The closing bar is repeated by clarinets and bassoons, the
horn adding a new touch
00:28 $ 0.08 USD
46 Back to the start to hear the whole of the story so far,
this time without commentary
02:24 $ 0.43 USD
47 A change of scoring: the slow opening chords return, this
time played by the winds alone.
01:14 $ 0.22 USD
48 The changes in scoring are just beginning. 02:35 $ 0.47 USD
49 The flutes and oboes introduce a new tune, over hushed
tremolo strings.
01:05 $ 0.20 USD
50 A memorable combination of continuous, asymmetrical melody
with steady, march-like counterpoint.
01:28 $ 0.26 USD
51 Back in that woodland glade, the light and shadows have
changed, revealing new shapes and patterns.
01:33 $ 0.28 USD
52 The next section is new and forward-looking, yet also a kind
of dream-recollection of a past scene.
01:30 $ 0.27 USD
53 An abrupt change of mood, much discussion and embellishment,
and a hushed note of expectancy
02:01 $ 0.36 USD
54 Subjectivity and expertise; Sourek and Tovey disagree;
onwards, into the final section
05:14 $ 0.94 USD
55 Cue to whole movement 00:10 $ 0.03 USD
56 Second movement (complete) 12:00 $ 2.16 USD
 
 
Disc 2
01 Dvorak, Beethoven, and the Scherzo. Dvorak purposely
confuses the listener's expectations.
01:54 $ 0.34 USD
02 Using a little fanfare, Dvorak further builds up expectation
before revealing the main theme.
00:21 $ 0.06 USD
03 When the theme is revealed, we find that it is not exactly a
tune.
00:36 $ 0.11 USD
04 Two little bursts of rhythm provide the seeds from which
much of the movement grows.
00:24 $ 0.07 USD
05 It is the second half of the theme that dominates. 00:22 $ 0.07 USD
06 Back to the beginning to hear the whole of this opening
section
00:48 $ 0.14 USD
07 Without ever being remotely 'academic' or 'intellectual',
there is much counterpoint going on here.
00:20 $ 0.06 USD
08 Dvorak's very Czech love of combining conflicting rhythms,
sometimes metres
02:31 $ 0.45 USD
09 A clearly transitional passage, obsessed with the rhythmic
tag that both opens and closes the theme
00:30 $ 0.09 USD
10 Sooner than we may have expected, we seem to have arrived at
the Trio section.
01:07 $ 0.20 USD
11 A new kind of tone quality sheds a subtly different light on
the theme.
00:35 $ 0.11 USD
12 The flutes and oboes now chime in with an answering variant
of the opening...
00:21 $ 0.06 USD
13 ...and the cellos and bassoons take up the original version
of the theme.
00:43 $ 0.13 USD
14 A false alarm: it was not the traditional Trio section at
all, but rather part 2 of Scherzo proper
00:52 $ 0.16 USD
15 Soon, after a very rapid build, the Scherzo proper does
reach its final phase.
01:13 $ 0.22 USD
16 The orchestral texture thins dramatically, and we approach
what this time really is the Trio section.
01:28 $ 0.26 USD
17 The Trio section is reminiscent more of the 'Old World' than
the 'New'.
00:50 $ 0.15 USD
18 In the second half of the Trio, a new tune emerges, a kind
of Slavonic waltz.
01:00 $ 0.18 USD
19 The main theme of the Trio returns against a much fuller
orchestral background.
00:36 $ 0.11 USD
20 Then it is all a matter of repeats, until we reach the coda,
which ends with an explosive bang.
01:15 $ 0.23 USD
21 Third movement (complete) 08:07 $ 1.46 USD
22 Like the first movement, the fourth begins not with its main
theme but with an introduction.
00:47 $ 0.14 USD
23 The main theme: an imposing march, introduced by trumpets
and trombones, with timpani
00:48 $ 0.14 USD
24 The main theme, part two. A codetta-like passage closes off
the march
01:01 $ 0.18 USD
25 The 'transitional' theme, while outwardly contrasting, is
actually a hidden variant of the march.
00:53 $ 0.16 USD
26 A point of future obsession 00:16 $ 0.05 USD
27 The second half of this 'transitional' theme is given to the
winds the strings have finished.
00:16 $ 0.05 USD
28 The 'obsession' takes root, with a ten-fold repetition,
before the arrival of the second subject.
00:57 $ 0.17 USD
29 The hidden traps in sonata-form terminology: 'second main
theme' vx. 'second subject'
02:31 $ 0.45 USD
30 The unexpected entry and subsequent ubiquity of 'Three Blind
Mice'
01:23 $ 0.25 USD
31 We meet the mice again, now in the cellos and double-basses,
where they persistently refuse to run.
00:36 $ 0.11 USD
32 More 'Three Blind Mice' material 00:30 $ 0.09 USD
33 The mice return to the basement, where the bassoons have
joined the cellos and double-basses.
00:19 $ 0.06 USD
34 Next, they are back with the clarinets who pass them back to
the cellos
00:18 $ 0.05 USD
35 Now they return to the high winds, delicately trilling. 00:15 $ 0.05 USD
36 Relief, at last: the mice back off, making way for a
remainder of the main theme from the trumpets.
00:34 $ 0.10 USD
37 The mice yield to woodpeckers; the main theme is now doubled
in speed
01:07 $ 0.20 USD
38 The triplets of the 'transitional' theme are now handed down
through strings
00:23 $ 0.07 USD
39 Reminders of past movements begin to fly by, thick and fast,
sometimes very fast.
00:28 $ 0.08 USD
40 In fact there are three bits of quotation going on here
simultaneously.
00:23 $ 0.07 USD
41 The violas react every time the 'Goin' Home' theme is quoted
by the winds.
00:35 $ 0.11 USD
42 The rhythm of the opening of the 'Goin' Home' theme
dominates, transformed by trumpets
00:35 $ 0.11 USD
43 The march theme reappears as a Mendelssohnian fairy; the
main theme from the 1st mov. now returns.
01:55 $ 0.35 USD
44 We reach an interesting point: have we heard the beginning
of the recapitulation, or not?
01:05 $ 0.20 USD
45 Perhaps this is it? Back for a reminder of the theme proper,
as we first heard it
01:41 $ 0.30 USD
46 Tovey places the start of the recapitulation here. 01:27 $ 0.26 USD
47 The main theme recast in pathetic rather than heroic terms -
and with magical scoring
01:51 $ 0.33 USD
48 This unexpected crisis in confidence plays a major role in
the overall dramatic impact of the mov.
01:49 $ 0.33 USD
49 The main theme returns - not complete, but chopped up into
shorter and shorter fragments.
01:30 $ 0.27 USD
50 A glorious thematic stew; high drama, a powerful build-up...
but then?
00:56 $ 0.17 USD
51 The dramatic highpoint of the mov., an astonishing
transformation, but first, back to the original
01:26 $ 0.26 USD
52 The same chords again, this time blasted out by the entire
wind and brass sections
01:09 $ 0.21 USD
53 Now we are into the finishing stretch, but the surprises
continue to the very end of the very end.
01:42 $ 0.31 USD
54 Summary, context, and cue into the whole movement 01:05 $ 0.20 USD
55 Fourth movement (complete) 11:05 $ 2.00 USD
 
  Album total 148:37
ComposerDvořák, Antonín
Siepmann, Jeremy
ReaderSiepmann, Jeremy
OrchestraSlovak Philharmonic Orchestra

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