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Romantic Music here we come!

Few works for the concert hall have won such immediate and continuing popularity as Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World’. Dramatic, lyrical, and spacious, it presents a rich panorama of ravishing and exciting orchestral colours, reflecting the experiences and emotions of the great Czech composer during his years in America towards the end of the nineteenth century. Its abiding magic might seem beyond analysis, but in this detailed and fascinating tour Jeremy Siepmann explores the inner-workings of a masterpiece, his enthusiasm not only intact but enhanced.

Dvořák’s ‘New World’ Symphony is undoubtedly a much-played, much-loved masterpiece – but why? What are the ‘New World’ connections, and how does it link with the 19th-century symphonic tradition that was so much the composer’s musical heritage? This informal but fascinating and detailed account enriches our appreciation of one of the most popular symphonies without the need for any theoretical knowledge of music.

Disc 1

Dvorak, Antonin

  An Introduction to… DVORAK Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World’
1. A quiet beginning: sorrow, syncopation, and sequence 00:02:38

2. Instrumental colour as a prime element: clarinets and bassoons, an outburst by the French horn 00:00:57

3. The opening tune again, with different instrumental colouring: now flutes and oboes 00:00:32

4. The first big surprise: strings, shattering drumbeats, shrieks from flutes, oboes, and clarinets 00:00:37

5. Cellos and basses take us into a new key while flutes and oboes dance in syncopation. 00:00:32

6. Horns, violas, and cellos introduce a new idea, soon to evolve into the main theme. 00:00:31

7. A tiny detail from the opening culminates in a wild drumming that heralds a major event 00:00:43

8. Introduction complete 00:02:05

9. A solo horn introduces the main theme, perkily answered by bassoons and horns. 00:00:39

10. The theme moves to G major; answering phrase from flutes, oboes, bassoons. 00:00:33

11. Long crescendo, tremolo strings, back to tonic and biggest statement yet of the main theme. 00:00:39

12. Transition to the secondary theme through the use of sequence. Sonata form; satability and flux 00:01:36

13. Three – bar groupings and again the use of sequence, spelling out a chord 00:00:34

14. The sequence continues to rise, and the four – bar phrase returns as the standard unit. 00:00:18

15. The first violins start off the next phrase, but the melodic shape is more compact. 00:00:21

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