Saturday, August 12, 2017

Antonin Dvorak - The Great Czech, Mate

Repeat post from 3 years ago with additions

Antonin Dvorak [1841-1904]
One of my favorite composers is the great Czech Romantic composer, Antonin Dvorak [last name pronounced di-Vore-zshack].  While Bedrich Smetana is called the father of Czech music, Dvorak, born in 1841, is most widely recognized as the greatest Czech composer. Dvorak was a prolific composer of many genres in the classical music repertoire, including symphonies, Slavonic Dances, operas, string quartets, concertos, serenades, et al.

Antonin Dvorak is one of my favorite composers because so many of his melodic pieces are right up there in my favorites list. Just some examples: Dvorak's cello concerto is considered one of the greatest cello concertos ever written and is my favorite cello concerto; I love his violin concerto in A minor; One of my favorite symphonies of all is Dvorak's 9th symphony ["From The New World"];  Dvorak's wind and string serenades are also my favorites in those genres; The Dvorak String Quartet in F-Major ["The American"] and [via @PamelaGordon2] the Dvorak exquisite Piano Quintet #2 in A-Major are two wonderful chamber music pieces.

Dvorak's pieces are filled with beautiful melodies and a pleasing vibrant sound, as do so many of the compositions from the Romantic era composers. 

Please turn up the volume, play in full screen and enjoy some of the most beautiful music ever composed from this Czech, mate, and I think you will see why I consider Antonin Dvorak one of my favorite composers.

A. Dvorak: Serenade for Winds, Cello and Double-Bass in D-minor:

A. Dvorak: Serenade for Strings in E-Major, Movement 1, Moderato:

A. Dvorak: Symphony #9 in E-minor, "From the New World", movement 2, Largo:

A. Dvorak: Piano Quintet #2 in A-Major:

A. Dvorak: Violin Concerto in A-minor, Movement 3, Allegro giocoso ma non troppo:

A. Dvorak: Cello Concerto in B-minor:

Bravo, Dvorak!


Jim said...

I would hesitate going so far as to say his cello concerto is the greatest ever written . . . not when you've got one by Schumann that was composed in less than two weeks, two by Haydn, the unbelievable Prokofiev Sinfonia Concertante, Elgar's Concerto, and Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococco Theme to compete with. And this doesn't even cover the compositions for violoncello and other instruments, like Beethoven's Triple Concerto, Strauss' Don Quixote, and the Brahms Double. Just my $0.02 worth.

Big Mike said...

I'll defer to you big Jim as you are truly the expert being a great cellist in our Houston Symphony Orchestra. I should have added- in my humble opinion. But from your great comments, I should have of course remembered Beethoven's Triple Concerto- I would certainly say superior to the Dvorak- I should have clarified if you just limit it to strictly a single concerto for cello and orchestra "in my opinion" the Dvorak is the greatest.
Thanks big Jim it is truly an honor to have your comments which I appreciate greatly!!! Thanks again.

Jim said...

The Schumann has been my all-time favorite concerto since I was a boy and first heard it played on an LP I bought, with Pablo Casals on the cello and the record on my Realistic Turntable. I also had a three LP set of the Six Bach Suites for Unaccompanied Violoncello, again with Casals. By then I had rebuilt an AR turntable in electronics class in high school. Interestingly enough, I still have those LPs and hundreds of others that I play on a handmade, audiophile quality turntable. I still much prefer vinyl over CDs!

Big Mike said...

Wow, that is so cool big Jim. Thank you so much for that great information. I bet hearing the Schumann concerto as a young boy is part of what led you to want to be a professional cellist.
Thanks again!