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In 1896, Antonín Dvořák conducted his music before an ecstatic Prague audience. That night, an orchestra was born. 120 years later, the Czech Philharmonic is going strong—and Dvořák’s music is second nature. Experience the Czech master as never before in a program that includes Dvořák’s stormy Seventh Symphony, and the Cello Concerto played by the “superb” (BBC Music Magazine) Alisa Weilerstein.
Symphony No. 7
All sound clips are from San Francisco Symphony performances and are used with permission of the SFS Players Committee.
Dvořák's Symphony No. 7
At A Glance
Concerto in B minor for Cello and Orchestra, Opus 104 1896 | 40 mins
Dvořák’s fame at home began with the performance in 1873 of a patriotic cantata called Heirs of the White Mountain. In 1878, at the urging of Brahms, the Berlin firm of Simrock added Dvořák to its list. Simrock began by issuing the Moravian Duets (for soprano and mezzo‑soprano) that had so impressed Brahms in the first place, following this with the first set of Slavonic Dances for piano four‑hands. The success of the latter work was enough to make an international reputation for Dvořák. The first performance of the Stabat Mater in Prague in 1880 made an immense impression; meanwhile, the Joachim Quartet took on his chamber music, and his work was also coming to be known in America, especially in New York as well as in Cincinnati and Saint Louis, with their big settlements of music‑loving Germans. So it was that in the 1890s, this humble man, who had picked up the rudiments of music in his father's combination butcher-shop and pub, who had played the fiddle at village weddings and had sat for years among the violas in the pit of the Prague Opera House, would conquer America as well, even serving for three years as Director of the National Conservatory in New York. More |
Symphony No.7 in D minor, Opus 70 1885 | 38 mins
The success of Dvořák’s Stabat Mater was nothing less than sensational when Joseph Barnby introduced it in London in 1883, and in that English world of choir festivals Dvořák became beloved and revered like no composer since Mendelssohn. The Royal Philharmonic Society invited him to conduct concerts in London in 1884. It was in response to the success of the Symphony No. 6 that he was invited immediately to write a new symphony for performance the following year. That was the present work. More |