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Classics Explained: DVORAK - Symphony No. 9, 'From the New World'

An exploration of Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 narrated by Jeremy Siepmann

No digital booklet included

Contents: MP3320

Dvorak: An Introduction to … DVORAK Symphony No. 9, "From the New World"

2:28:15
$123.90
  • Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Jeremy Siepmann (reader)

A quiet beginning: sorrow, syncopation, and sequence

2:38
$1.05

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

0:57
$1.05

The opening tune again, with different instrumental colouring: now flutes and oboes

0:32
$1.05
Show 108 remaining tracks for Dvorak: An Introduction to … DVORAK Symphony No. 9, "From the...

The first big surprise: strings, shattering drumbeats, shrieks from flutes, oboes, and clarinets

0:37
$1.05

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

0:32
$1.05

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

0:31
$1.05

A tiny detail from the opening culminates in a wild drumming that heralds a major event

0:43
$1.05

Introduction complete

2:05
$1.05

A solo horn introduces the main theme, perkily answered by bassoons and horns.

0:39
$1.05

The theme moves to G major; answering phrase from flutes, oboes, bassoons.

0:33
$1.05

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

0:39
$1.05

Transition to the secondary theme through the use of sequence. Sonata form; satability and flux

1:36
$1.05

Three-bar groupings and again the use of sequence, spelling out a chord

0:34
$1.05

The sequence continues to rise, and the four-bar phrase returns as the standard unit.

0:18
$1.05

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

0:21
$1.05

The violins fall silent; the violas and cellos answer with a new figure

0:09
$1.05

So now we have a two-bar group, made up of statement and answer.

0:07
$1.05

The same thing again (though not quite the same)

0:05
$1.05

Transition complete. The secondary theme arrives, with French horns as 'bagpipes'.

1:00
$1.05

The 'bagpipe drone' is taken over by cellos, with their insistently repeated G and D.

0:19
$1.05

The tune is taken up by cellos and double-basses, 'shadowed' by the second violins.

0:57
$1.05

The violins continue a pattern of steady pairs, and the cellos and basses introduce a new idea.

0:33
$1.05

Unexpectedly, we find ourselves back with the secondary theme. A new idea emerges.

0:26
$1.05

Again we hear the shortened version of the secondary theme

0:33
$1.05

The suspense is heightened as everything slows down

0:25
$1.05

This beautiful flute tune is said to resemble 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot'.

0:47
$1.05

A big crescendo leads to a final statement of the closing theme

1:16
$1.05

The development section begins with a conversation between cellos, double-bases, and violins.

1:09
$1.05

The beginning of the closing theme is taken up in turn by the horn, piccolo, and trumpet.

0:18
$1.05

Sequential chirping from the oboes based on the 'answering' part of the main theme, now in the major

0:18
$1.05

Much of the development comes from a diminution of the closing theme from the exposition.

0:19
$1.05

A tiny detail becomes a major ingredient, giving an agitated quality to an originally sunny tune.

0:31
$1.05

Through a sequence of keys so quickly that it is hard to keep track of them

0:37
$1.05

The main theme from massed cellos and double-basses, topped by two trumpets over tremolo violas

1:46
$1.05

After that major climax, we arrive at the threshold of the recapitulation

1:04
$1.05

Dvorak flouts tradition by setting the secondary theme and the closing theme in unexpected keys.

1:10
$1.05

The tumultuous convulsion of the coda brings the first movement to its epic close.

3:09
$1.05

Humpty Dumpty: putting the bits back together again

0:20
$1.05

First movement (complete)

11:36
$3.15

The very opening chords unmistakably herald the arrival of something special.

1:06
$1.05

The role of instrumentation in setting the scene...

1:10
$1.05

...and in enhancing the quality of one of the most famous tunes in symphonic history.

1:29
$1.05

The cor anglais is joined by the clarinet, creating a fascinating change in the timbre.

1:08
$1.05

For the closing part of the tune, there is another new sonority: cor anglais plus bassoon.

0:24
$1.05

The closing bar is repeated by clarinets and bassoons, the horn adding a new touch

0:28
$1.05

Back to the start to hear the whole of the story so far, this time without commentary

2:24
$1.05

A change of scoring: the slow opening chords return, this time played by the winds alone.

1:14
$1.05

The changes in scoring are just beginning.

2:35
$1.05

The flutes and oboes introduce a new tune, over hushed tremolo strings.

1:05
$1.05

A memorable combination of continuous, asymmetrical melody with steady, march-like counterpoint.

1:28
$1.05

Back in that woodland glade, the light and shadows have changed, revealing new shapes and patterns.

1:33
$1.05

The next section is new and forward-looking, yet also a kind of dream-recollection of a past scene.

1:30
$1.05

An abrupt change of mood, much discussion and embellishment, and a hushed note of expectancy

2:01
$1.05

Subjectivity and expertise; Sourek and Tovey disagree; onwards, into the final section

5:14
$1.05

Cue to whole movement

0:10
$1.05

Second movement (complete)

12:00
$3.15

Dvorak, Beethoven, and the Scherzo. Dvorak purposely confuses the listener's expectations.

1:54
$1.05

Using a little fanfare, Dvorak further builds up expectation before revealing the main theme.

0:21
$1.05

When the theme is revealed, we find that it is not exactly a tune.

0:36
$1.05

Two little bursts of rhythm provide the seeds from which much of the movement grows.

0:24
$1.05

It is the second half of the theme that dominates.

0:22
$1.05

Back to the beginning to hear the whole of this opening section

0:48
$1.05

Without ever being remotely 'academic' or 'intellectual', there is much counterpoint going on here.

0:20
$1.05

Dvorak's very Czech love of combining conflicting rhythms, sometimes metres

2:31
$1.05

A clearly transitional passage, obsessed with the rhythmic tag that both opens and closes the theme

0:30
$1.05

Sooner than we may have expected, we seem to have arrived at the Trio section.

1:07
$1.05

A new kind of tone quality sheds a subtly different light on the theme.

0:35
$1.05

The flutes and oboes now chime in with an answering variant of the opening...

0:21
$1.05

...and the cellos and bassoons take up the original version of the theme.

0:43
$1.05

A false alarm: it was not the traditional Trio section at all, but rather part 2 of Scherzo proper

0:52
$1.05

Soon, after a very rapid build, the Scherzo proper does reach its final phase.

1:13
$1.05

The orchestral texture thins dramatically, and we approach what this time really is the Trio section.

1:28
$1.05

The Trio section is reminiscent more of the 'Old World' than the 'New'.

0:50
$1.05

In the second half of the Trio, a new tune emerges, a kind of Slavonic waltz.

1:00
$1.05

The main theme of the Trio returns against a much fuller orchestral background.

0:36
$1.05

Then it is all a matter of repeats, until we reach the coda, which ends with an explosive bang.

1:15
$1.05

Third movement (complete)

8:07
$2.10

Like the first movement, the fourth begins not with its main theme but with an introduction.

0:47
$1.05

The main theme: an imposing march, introduced by trumpets and trombones, with timpani

0:48
$1.05

The main theme, part two. A codetta-like passage closes off the march

1:01
$1.05

The 'transitional' theme, while outwardly contrasting, is actually a hidden variant of the march.

0:53
$1.05

A point of future obsession

0:16
$1.05

The second half of this 'transitional' theme is given to the winds the strings have finished.

0:16
$1.05

The 'obsession' takes root, with a ten-fold repetition, before the arrival of the second subject.

0:57
$1.05

The hidden traps in sonata-form terminology: 'second main theme' vx. 'second subject'

2:31
$1.05

The unexpected entry and subsequent ubiquity of 'Three Blind Mice'

1:23
$1.05

We meet the mice again, now in the cellos and double-basses, where they persistently refuse to run.

0:36
$1.05

More 'Three Blind Mice' material

0:30
$1.05

The mice return to the basement, where the bassoons have joined the cellos and double-basses.

0:19
$1.05

Next, they are back with the clarinets who pass them back to the cellos

0:18
$1.05

Now they return to the high winds, delicately trilling.

0:15
$1.05

Relief, at last: the mice back off, making way for a remainder of the main theme from the trumpets.

0:34
$1.05

The mice yield to woodpeckers; the main theme is now doubled in speed

1:07
$1.05

The triplets of the 'transitional' theme are now handed down through strings

0:23
$1.05

Reminders of past movements begin to fly by, thick and fast, sometimes very fast.

0:28
$1.05

In fact there are three bits of quotation going on here simultaneously.

0:23
$1.05

The violas react every time the 'Goin' Home' theme is quoted by the winds.

0:13
$1.05

The rhythm of the opening of the 'Goin' Home' theme dominates, transformed by trumpets

0:35
$1.05

The march theme reappears as a Mendelssohnian fairy; the main theme from the 1st mov. now returns.

1:55
$1.05

We reach an interesting point: have we heard the beginning of the recapitulation, or not?

1:05
$1.05

Perhaps this is it? Back for a reminder of the theme proper, as we first heard it

1:41
$1.05

Tovey places the start of the recapitulation here.

1:27
$1.05

The main theme recast in pathetic rather than heroic terms - and with magical scoring

1:51
$1.05

This unexpected crisis in confidence plays a major role in the overall dramatic impact of the mov.

1:49
$1.05

The main theme returns - not complete, but chopped up into shorter and shorter fragments.

1:30
$1.05

A glorious thematic stew; high drama, a powerful build-up... but then?

0:56
$1.05

The dramatic highpoint of the mov., an astonishing transformation, but first, back to the original

1:26
$1.05

The same chords again, this time blasted out by the entire wind and brass sections

1:09
$1.05

Now we are into the finishing stretch, but the surprises continue to the very end of the very end.

1:42
$1.05

Summary, context, and cue into the whole movement

1:05
$1.05

Fourth movement (complete)

11:05
$3.15
Hide 108 tracks for Dvorak: An Introduction to … DVORAK Symphony No. 9, "From the...

Contents: FLAC44100

Dvorak: An Introduction to … DVORAK Symphony No. 9, "From the New World"

2:28:15
$147.65
  • Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Jeremy Siepmann (reader)

A quiet beginning: sorrow, syncopation, and sequence

2:38
$1.25

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

0:57
$1.25

The opening tune again, with different instrumental colouring: now flutes and oboes

0:32
$1.25
Show 108 remaining tracks for Dvorak: An Introduction to … DVORAK Symphony No. 9, "From the...

The first big surprise: strings, shattering drumbeats, shrieks from flutes, oboes, and clarinets

0:37
$1.25

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

0:32
$1.25

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

0:31
$1.25

A tiny detail from the opening culminates in a wild drumming that heralds a major event

0:43
$1.25

Introduction complete

2:05
$1.25

A solo horn introduces the main theme, perkily answered by bassoons and horns.

0:39
$1.25

The theme moves to G major; answering phrase from flutes, oboes, bassoons.

0:33
$1.25

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

0:39
$1.25

Transition to the secondary theme through the use of sequence. Sonata form; satability and flux

1:36
$1.25

Three-bar groupings and again the use of sequence, spelling out a chord

0:34
$1.25

The sequence continues to rise, and the four-bar phrase returns as the standard unit.

0:18
$1.25

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

0:21
$1.25

The violins fall silent; the violas and cellos answer with a new figure

0:09
$1.25

So now we have a two-bar group, made up of statement and answer.

0:07
$1.25

The same thing again (though not quite the same)

0:05
$1.25

Transition complete. The secondary theme arrives, with French horns as 'bagpipes'.

1:00
$1.25

The 'bagpipe drone' is taken over by cellos, with their insistently repeated G and D.

0:19
$1.25

The tune is taken up by cellos and double-basses, 'shadowed' by the second violins.

0:57
$1.25

The violins continue a pattern of steady pairs, and the cellos and basses introduce a new idea.

0:33
$1.25

Unexpectedly, we find ourselves back with the secondary theme. A new idea emerges.

0:26
$1.25

Again we hear the shortened version of the secondary theme

0:33
$1.25

The suspense is heightened as everything slows down

0:25
$1.25

This beautiful flute tune is said to resemble 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot'.

0:47
$1.25

A big crescendo leads to a final statement of the closing theme

1:16
$1.25

The development section begins with a conversation between cellos, double-bases, and violins.

1:09
$1.25

The beginning of the closing theme is taken up in turn by the horn, piccolo, and trumpet.

0:18
$1.25

Sequential chirping from the oboes based on the 'answering' part of the main theme, now in the major

0:18
$1.25

Much of the development comes from a diminution of the closing theme from the exposition.

0:19
$1.25

A tiny detail becomes a major ingredient, giving an agitated quality to an originally sunny tune.

0:31
$1.25

Through a sequence of keys so quickly that it is hard to keep track of them

0:37
$1.25

The main theme from massed cellos and double-basses, topped by two trumpets over tremolo violas

1:46
$1.25

After that major climax, we arrive at the threshold of the recapitulation

1:04
$1.25

Dvorak flouts tradition by setting the secondary theme and the closing theme in unexpected keys.

1:10
$1.25

The tumultuous convulsion of the coda brings the first movement to its epic close.

3:09
$1.25

Humpty Dumpty: putting the bits back together again

0:20
$1.25

First movement (complete)

11:36
$3.80

The very opening chords unmistakably herald the arrival of something special.

1:06
$1.25

The role of instrumentation in setting the scene...

1:10
$1.25

...and in enhancing the quality of one of the most famous tunes in symphonic history.

1:29
$1.25

The cor anglais is joined by the clarinet, creating a fascinating change in the timbre.

1:08
$1.25

For the closing part of the tune, there is another new sonority: cor anglais plus bassoon.

0:24
$1.25

The closing bar is repeated by clarinets and bassoons, the horn adding a new touch

0:28
$1.25

Back to the start to hear the whole of the story so far, this time without commentary

2:24
$1.25

A change of scoring: the slow opening chords return, this time played by the winds alone.

1:14
$1.25

The changes in scoring are just beginning.

2:35
$1.25

The flutes and oboes introduce a new tune, over hushed tremolo strings.

1:05
$1.25

A memorable combination of continuous, asymmetrical melody with steady, march-like counterpoint.

1:28
$1.25

Back in that woodland glade, the light and shadows have changed, revealing new shapes and patterns.

1:33
$1.25

The next section is new and forward-looking, yet also a kind of dream-recollection of a past scene.

1:30
$1.25

An abrupt change of mood, much discussion and embellishment, and a hushed note of expectancy

2:01
$1.25

Subjectivity and expertise; Sourek and Tovey disagree; onwards, into the final section

5:14
$1.25

Cue to whole movement

0:10
$1.25

Second movement (complete)

12:00
$3.80

Dvorak, Beethoven, and the Scherzo. Dvorak purposely confuses the listener's expectations.

1:54
$1.25

Using a little fanfare, Dvorak further builds up expectation before revealing the main theme.

0:21
$1.25

When the theme is revealed, we find that it is not exactly a tune.

0:36
$1.25

Two little bursts of rhythm provide the seeds from which much of the movement grows.

0:24
$1.25

It is the second half of the theme that dominates.

0:22
$1.25

Back to the beginning to hear the whole of this opening section

0:48
$1.25

Without ever being remotely 'academic' or 'intellectual', there is much counterpoint going on here.

0:20
$1.25

Dvorak's very Czech love of combining conflicting rhythms, sometimes metres

2:31
$1.25

A clearly transitional passage, obsessed with the rhythmic tag that both opens and closes the theme

0:30
$1.25

Sooner than we may have expected, we seem to have arrived at the Trio section.

1:07
$1.25

A new kind of tone quality sheds a subtly different light on the theme.

0:35
$1.25

The flutes and oboes now chime in with an answering variant of the opening...

0:21
$1.25

...and the cellos and bassoons take up the original version of the theme.

0:43
$1.25

A false alarm: it was not the traditional Trio section at all, but rather part 2 of Scherzo proper

0:52
$1.25

Soon, after a very rapid build, the Scherzo proper does reach its final phase.

1:13
$1.25

The orchestral texture thins dramatically, and we approach what this time really is the Trio section.

1:28
$1.25

The Trio section is reminiscent more of the 'Old World' than the 'New'.

0:50
$1.25

In the second half of the Trio, a new tune emerges, a kind of Slavonic waltz.

1:00
$1.25

The main theme of the Trio returns against a much fuller orchestral background.

0:36
$1.25

Then it is all a matter of repeats, until we reach the coda, which ends with an explosive bang.

1:15
$1.25

Third movement (complete)

8:07
$2.50

Like the first movement, the fourth begins not with its main theme but with an introduction.

0:47
$1.25

The main theme: an imposing march, introduced by trumpets and trombones, with timpani

0:48
$1.25

The main theme, part two. A codetta-like passage closes off the march

1:01
$1.25

The 'transitional' theme, while outwardly contrasting, is actually a hidden variant of the march.

0:53
$1.25

A point of future obsession

0:16
$1.25

The second half of this 'transitional' theme is given to the winds the strings have finished.

0:16
$1.25

The 'obsession' takes root, with a ten-fold repetition, before the arrival of the second subject.

0:57
$1.25

The hidden traps in sonata-form terminology: 'second main theme' vx. 'second subject'

2:31
$1.25

The unexpected entry and subsequent ubiquity of 'Three Blind Mice'

1:23
$1.25

We meet the mice again, now in the cellos and double-basses, where they persistently refuse to run.

0:36
$1.25

More 'Three Blind Mice' material

0:30
$1.25

The mice return to the basement, where the bassoons have joined the cellos and double-basses.

0:19
$1.25

Next, they are back with the clarinets who pass them back to the cellos

0:18
$1.25

Now they return to the high winds, delicately trilling.

0:15
$1.25

Relief, at last: the mice back off, making way for a remainder of the main theme from the trumpets.

0:34
$1.25

The mice yield to woodpeckers; the main theme is now doubled in speed

1:07
$1.25

The triplets of the 'transitional' theme are now handed down through strings

0:23
$1.25

Reminders of past movements begin to fly by, thick and fast, sometimes very fast.

0:28
$1.25

In fact there are three bits of quotation going on here simultaneously.

0:23
$1.25

The violas react every time the 'Goin' Home' theme is quoted by the winds.

0:13
$1.25

The rhythm of the opening of the 'Goin' Home' theme dominates, transformed by trumpets

0:35
$1.25

The march theme reappears as a Mendelssohnian fairy; the main theme from the 1st mov. now returns.

1:55
$1.25

We reach an interesting point: have we heard the beginning of the recapitulation, or not?

1:05
$1.25

Perhaps this is it? Back for a reminder of the theme proper, as we first heard it

1:41
$1.25

Tovey places the start of the recapitulation here.

1:27
$1.25

The main theme recast in pathetic rather than heroic terms - and with magical scoring

1:51
$1.25

This unexpected crisis in confidence plays a major role in the overall dramatic impact of the mov.

1:49
$1.25

The main theme returns - not complete, but chopped up into shorter and shorter fragments.

1:30
$1.25

A glorious thematic stew; high drama, a powerful build-up... but then?

0:56
$1.25

The dramatic highpoint of the mov., an astonishing transformation, but first, back to the original

1:26
$1.25

The same chords again, this time blasted out by the entire wind and brass sections

1:09
$1.25

Now we are into the finishing stretch, but the surprises continue to the very end of the very end.

1:42
$1.25

Summary, context, and cue into the whole movement

1:05
$1.25

Fourth movement (complete)

11:05
$3.80
Hide 108 tracks for Dvorak: An Introduction to … DVORAK Symphony No. 9, "From the...