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NA 8065
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NA 8065
(this is a multiple CD album sold separately)

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

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2011


Artists:

Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra


Jeremy Siepmann

Soloist

Record Label
Naxos

Genre:




Total Time - 148:37
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JEREMY SIEPMANN

 

An Introduction to … DVORAK Symphony No. 9, 'From the New World'

 
1 A quiet beginning: sorrow, syncopation, and sequence 2:38
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

2 Instrumental colour as a prime element: clarinets and bassoons, an outburst by the French horn 0:57
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

3 The opening tune again, with different instrumental colouring: now flutes and oboes 0:32
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

4 The first big surprise: strings, shattering drumbeats, shrieks from flutes, oboes, and clarinets 0:37
     
5 Cellos and basses take us into a new key while flutes and oboes dance in syncopation. 0:32
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

6 Horns, violas, and cellos introduce a new idea, soon to evolve into the main theme. 0:31
     
7 A tiny detail from the opening culminates in a wild drumming that heralds a major event 0:43
     
8 Introduction complete 2:05
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

9 A solo horn introduces the main theme, perkily answered by bassoons and horns. 0:39
     
10 The theme moves to G major; answering phrase from flutes, oboes, bassoons. 0:33
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

11 Long crescendo, tremolo strings, back to tonic and biggest statement yet of the main theme. 0:39
     
12 Transition to the secondary theme through the use of sequence. Sonata form; satability and flux 1:36
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

13 Three-bar groupings and again the use of sequence, spelling out a chord 0:34
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

14 The sequence continues to rise, and the four-bar phrase returns as the standard unit. 0:18
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

15 The first violins start off the next phrase, but the melodic shape is more compact. 0:21
     
16 The violins fall silent; the violas and cellos answer with a new figure 0:09
     
17 So now we have a two-bar group, made up of statement and answer. 0:07
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

18 The same thing again (though not quite the same) 0:05
     
19 Transition complete. The secondary theme arrives, with French horns as 'bagpipes'. 1:00
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

20 The 'bagpipe drone' is taken over by cellos, with their insistently repeated G and D. 0:19
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

21 The tune is taken up by cellos and double-basses, 'shadowed' by the second violins. 0:57
     
22 The violins continue a pattern of steady pairs, and the cellos and basses introduce a new idea. 0:33
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

23 Unexpectedly, we find ourselves back with the secondary theme. A new idea emerges. 0:26
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

24 Again we hear the shortened version of the secondary theme 0:33
     
25 The suspense is heightened as everything slows down 0:25
     
26 This beautiful flute tune is said to resemble 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot'. 0:47
     
27 A big crescendo leads to a final statement of the closing theme 1:16
     
28 The development section begins with a conversation between cellos, double-bases, and violins. 1:09
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

29 The beginning of the closing theme is taken up in turn by the horn, piccolo, and trumpet. 0:18
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

30 Sequential chirping from the oboes based on the 'answering' part of the main theme, now in the major 0:18
     
31 Much of the development comes from a diminution of the closing theme from the exposition. 0:19
     
32 A tiny detail becomes a major ingredient, giving an agitated quality to an originally sunny tune. 0:31
     
33 Through a sequence of keys so quickly that it is hard to keep track of them 0:37
     
34 The main theme from massed cellos and double-basses, topped by two trumpets over tremolo violas 1:46
     
35 After that major climax, we arrive at the threshold of the recapitulation 1:04
     
36 Dvorak flouts tradition by setting the secondary theme and the closing theme in unexpected keys. 1:10
     
37 The tumultuous convulsion of the coda brings the first movement to its epic close. 3:09
     
38 Humpty Dumpty: putting the bits back together again 0:20
     
39 First movement (complete) 11:36
     
40 The very opening chords unmistakably herald the arrival of something special. 1:06
     
41 The role of instrumentation in setting the scene... 1:10
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

42 ...and in enhancing the quality of one of the most famous tunes in symphonic history. 1:29
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

43 The cor anglais is joined by the clarinet, creating a fascinating change in the timbre. 1:08
     
44 For the closing part of the tune, there is another new sonority: cor anglais plus bassoon. 0:24
     
45 The closing bar is repeated by clarinets and bassoons, the horn adding a new touch 0:28
     
46 Back to the start to hear the whole of the story so far, this time without commentary 2:24
     
47 A change of scoring: the slow opening chords return, this time played by the winds alone. 1:14
     
48 The changes in scoring are just beginning. 2:35
     
49 The flutes and oboes introduce a new tune, over hushed tremolo strings. 1:05
     
50 A memorable combination of continuous, asymmetrical melody with steady, march-like counterpoint. 1:28
     
51 Back in that woodland glade, the light and shadows have changed, revealing new shapes and patterns. 1:33
     
52 The next section is new and forward-looking, yet also a kind of dream-recollection of a past scene. 1:30
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

53 An abrupt change of mood, much discussion and embellishment, and a hushed note of expectancy 2:01
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

54 Subjectivity and expertise; Sourek and Tovey disagree; onwards, into the final section 5:14
     
55 Cue to whole movement 0:10
     
56 Second movement (complete) 12:00
     
   


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ANTONIN DVORAK

1 Dvorak, Beethoven, and the Scherzo. Dvorak purposely confuses the listener's expectations. 1:54
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

2 Using a little fanfare, Dvorak further builds up expectation before revealing the main theme. 0:21
     
3 When the theme is revealed, we find that it is not exactly a tune. 0:36
     
4 Two little bursts of rhythm provide the seeds from which much of the movement grows. 0:24
     
5 It is the second half of the theme that dominates. 0:22
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

6 Back to the beginning to hear the whole of this opening section 0:48
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

7 Without ever being remotely 'academic' or 'intellectual', there is much counterpoint going on here. 0:20
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

8 Dvorak's very Czech love of combining conflicting rhythms, sometimes metres 2:31
     
9 A clearly transitional passage, obsessed with the rhythmic tag that both opens and closes the theme 0:30
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

10 Sooner than we may have expected, we seem to have arrived at the Trio section. 1:07
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

11 A new kind of tone quality sheds a subtly different light on the theme. 0:35
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

12 The flutes and oboes now chime in with an answering variant of the opening... 0:21
     
13 ...and the cellos and bassoons take up the original version of the theme. 0:43
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

14 A false alarm: it was not the traditional Trio section at all, but rather part 2 of Scherzo proper 0:52
     
15 Soon, after a very rapid build, the Scherzo proper does reach its final phase. 1:13
     
16 The orchestral texture thins dramatically, and we approach what this time really is the Trio section. 1:28
     
17 The Trio section is reminiscent more of the 'Old World' than the 'New'. 0:50
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

18 In the second half of the Trio, a new tune emerges, a kind of Slavonic waltz. 1:00
     
19 The main theme of the Trio returns against a much fuller orchestral background. 0:36
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

20 Then it is all a matter of repeats, until we reach the coda, which ends with an explosive bang. 1:15
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

21 Third movement (complete) 8:07
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

22 Like the first movement, the fourth begins not with its main theme but with an introduction. 0:47
     
23 The main theme: an imposing march, introduced by trumpets and trombones, with timpani 0:48
     
24 The main theme, part two. A codetta-like passage closes off the march 1:01
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

25 The 'transitional' theme, while outwardly contrasting, is actually a hidden variant of the march. 0:53
     
26 A point of future obsession 0:16
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

27 The second half of this 'transitional' theme is given to the winds the strings have finished. 0:16
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

28 The 'obsession' takes root, with a ten-fold repetition, before the arrival of the second subject. 0:57
     
29 The hidden traps in sonata-form terminology: 'second main theme' vx. 'second subject' 2:31
     
30 The unexpected entry and subsequent ubiquity of 'Three Blind Mice' 1:23
     
31 We meet the mice again, now in the cellos and double-basses, where they persistently refuse to run. 0:36
     
32 More 'Three Blind Mice' material 0:30
     
33 The mice return to the basement, where the bassoons have joined the cellos and double-basses. 0:19
     
34 Next, they are back with the clarinets who pass them back to the cellos 0:18
     
35 Now they return to the high winds, delicately trilling. 0:15
     
36 Relief, at last: the mice back off, making way for a remainder of the main theme from the trumpets. 0:34
     
37 The mice yield to woodpeckers; the main theme is now doubled in speed 1:07
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

38 The triplets of the 'transitional' theme are now handed down through strings 0:23
     
39 Reminders of past movements begin to fly by, thick and fast, sometimes very fast. 0:28
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

40 In fact there are three bits of quotation going on here simultaneously. 0:23
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

41 The violas react every time the 'Goin' Home' theme is quoted by the winds. 0:35
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

42 The rhythm of the opening of the 'Goin' Home' theme dominates, transformed by trumpets 0:35
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

43 The march theme reappears as a Mendelssohnian fairy; the main theme from the 1st mov. now returns. 1:55
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

44 We reach an interesting point: have we heard the beginning of the recapitulation, or not? 1:05
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

45 Perhaps this is it? Back for a reminder of the theme proper, as we first heard it 1:41
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

46 Tovey places the start of the recapitulation here. 1:27
     
47 The main theme recast in pathetic rather than heroic terms - and with magical scoring 1:51
     
48 This unexpected crisis in confidence plays a major role in the overall dramatic impact of the mov. 1:49
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

49 The main theme returns - not complete, but chopped up into shorter and shorter fragments. 1:30
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

50 A glorious thematic stew; high drama, a powerful build-up... but then? 0:56
     
51 The dramatic highpoint of the mov., an astonishing transformation, but first, back to the original 1:26
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

52 The same chords again, this time blasted out by the entire wind and brass sections 1:09
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

53 Now we are into the finishing stretch, but the surprises continue to the very end of the very end. 1:42
     
 

ANTONIN DVORAK

54 Summary, context, and cue into the whole movement 1:05
     
 

JEREMY SIEPMANN

55 Fourth movement (complete) 11:05
     
 Jeremy Siepmann Soloist
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