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Date

June 17, 2022

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Dvořák and America

Donald Macleod explores Dvořák’s American years and uncovers what he achieved during his time there.

Antonín Dvořák became the first Czech composer to achieve global fame. His gift for transforming the folk styles of his native Bohemia into richly Romantic classical music won him admirers far beyond his homeland. Consequently, Dvořák was approached to leave Europe and serve as director of the newly established National Conservatory of Music in America. His sponsors hoped he would help foster a new and distinctive American musical style, less reliant upon Germanic traditions. During his time in America, from 1892 – 1895, Dvořák composed many of his most celebrated works, including his 9th symphony and his cello concerto. Before leaving, he’d started work on his Cello Concerto, inspired by his yearning for the Bohemian countryside. Back at home, Dvořák also completed his String Quartet No 13 which some have seen to be his final work to have musical associations with America.

Dvořák’s had set out to encourage American musicians to look to their own traditions rather than simply following behind Europe. He may not have been entirely successful but he did encourage others in that aim, such as Harry T. Burleigh. Burleigh said of Dvořák that he’d assisted in changing attitudes of African American’s towards their own folk tradition, and most importantly, that Dvořák “was a man of the people”.

Music Featured:

Symphony No 9 in E minor, Op 95 “From the New World” (excerpt)
Piano Trio No 4 in E minor, Op 90 “Dumky” (Lento maestoso)
Carnival Overture, Op 92
Requiem, Op 89 (Introitus)
Symphony No 4 in D minor, Op 13 (excerpt)
Silent Woods, Op 68 No 5
Symphony No 8 in G, Op 88 (excerpt)
Requiem, Op 89 (Confutatis Maledictis)
Symphony No 6 in D, Op 60 (Scherzo: Furiant)
Symphony No 8 in G, Op 88 (Allegretto grazioso – Molto vivace)
Te Deum, Op 102
Southland Sketches (excerpt) – Harry T. Burleigh
Symphony No 9 in E minor, Op 95 “From the New World” (excerpt)
Sonatina for violin and piano, Op 100 (Larghetto)
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot – Arr. Harry T. Burleigh
Go Down Moses – Arr. Harry T. Burleigh
Symphony No 9 in E minor, Op 95 “From the New World” (Largo)
String Quintet, Op 97 “American” (excerpt)
Symphony No 9 in E minor, Op 95 “From the New World” (Allegro con fuoco)
Humoresques, Op 101 No.7 (excerpt)
Suite in A, Op 98B (Allegro)
String Quartet No 12 in F, Op 96 “The American” (Vivace)
Humoresques, Op 101 (excerpt)
Biblical Songs, Op 99 (excerpt)
Among the Fuchsias, from Five Songs of Laurence Hope – Harry T. Burleigh
Worth While, from Five Songs of Laurence Hope – Harry T. Burleigh
Cello Concerto in B minor, Op 104 (excerpt)
Lullaby, B194 – Dvořák Arr. J. Suk
String Quartet No 14, Op 105 (Molto vivace)
Cello Concerto in B minor, Op 104 (Adagio ma non troppo)
String Quartet No 13 in G, Op 106 (excerpt)
Cello Concerto in B minor, Op 104 (Finale)

Presented by Donald Macleod

Produced by Luke Whitlock

For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Dvořák and America https://ift.tt/60hFRe5

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/WEc0hpq

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