David Bernard & Park Avenue Chamber Symphony – Dvor’ak: The Late Symphonies (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/48kHz | Time – 02:38:01 minutes | 1,5 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Recursive Classics
Dvorak, a most personal symphonist: David Patrick Stearns assesses how Dvor’ak’s greatness was bound up with the way he saw the world.
The history of the great romantic symphonies can arguably be written as a chronicle of personal tragedies. Brahms’ thwarted love for Clara Schumann, Tchaikovsky’s confrontation with his homosexuality and the death of Dvor’ak’s first three children in quick succession we’re all creative turning points. That’s not to revive the old cliche that tragedy breeds great art. But the kind of inner emotional expansion that happens amid personal crises can’t help but find a means of expression in the large canvasses and endless sound possibilities of the romantic-era 19th-century symphony. Dvor’ak’s grief was no doubt voiced directly into his Stabat Mater, composed amid the deaths of his children. But all subsequent works also had to have been indirect reflections, at the very least, of the different person that any grieving parent is likely to become.
Dvor’ak went on to have healthy children and a stable home life. But his 1880 Symphony No. 6, written shortly after the Stabat Mater, was the decisive beginning of the Dvor’ak the world has come to know through his most popular symphonies. All of them were written within a decade, culminating in the hugely successful premiere of the Symphony No. 9 (“New World”) in 1893.
Along the way, the four symphonies show how he progressively took on different compositional problems. At every opportunity, the 1880 Symphony No. 6 in D major delivers emotion-infused fugal writing – a badge of accomplishment from any emerging composer. Symphony No. 7 in D minor, finished in 1885, marries Dvor’ak’s innate lyricism with Wagnerian expanse, and with an economy of means that leaves no wasted notes. The 1889 Symphony No. 8 in G Major is the heroic symphony, blazing with nationalistic fervor with brass fanfares and, once again, amazing economy of means.
Disc 1 (01:20:26)
1. Symphony No. 6 in D Major Op. 60, B. 112: I. Allegro non tanto (11:21)
2. Symphony No. 6 in D Major Op. 60, B. 112: II. Adagio (12:07)
3. Symphony No. 6 in D Major Op. 60, B. 112: III. Scherzo. Furiant (07:44)
4. Symphony No. 6 in D Major Op. 60, B. 112: IV. Finale. Allegro con spirito (10:41)
5. Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, Op. 70, B. 141: I. Allegro maestoso (11:25)
6. Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, Op. 70, B. 141: II. Poco adagio (10:00)
7. Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, Op. 70, B. 141: III. Scherzo. Vivace (07:53)
8. Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, Op. 70, B. 141: IV. Finale. Allegro (09:15)
Disc 2 (01:17:35)
1. Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88, B. 163: I. Allegro con brio (10:39)
2. Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88, B. 163: II. Adagio (11:00)
3. Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88, B. 163: III. Allegretto grazioso – Molto vivace (06:12)
4. Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88, B. 163: IV. Allegro ma non troppo (09:48)
5. Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, B. 178 “From the New World”: I. Adagio – Allegro molto (09:03)
6. Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, B. 178 “From the New World”: II. Largo (11:43)
7. Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, B. 178 “From the New World”: III. Scherzo. Molto vivace (07:47)
8. Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, B. 178 “From the New World”: IV. Allegro con fuoco (11:23)