Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 From the New World | Elias Grandy & the Bundesjugendorchester
It is one of the most popular symphonies ever and was even played on cassette recorder on board Apollo 11 on its way to the first moon landing: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 From the New World, by Antonín Dvořák. Here, the hit symphony is performed by the Bundesjugendorchester under the direction of Elias Grandy at the Konzerthaus Berlin during the Young Euro Classic 2021 festival.
(00:00) I. Adagio. Allegro molto
(10:12) II. Largo
(21:50) III. Scherzo: Molto vivace
(29:32) IV. Finale: Allegro con fuoco
Antonín Dvořák (1841 – 1904) had left his homeland in Bohemia in 1892 for New York, where he was director of the National Conservatory of Music until 1895. Dvořák named the symphony he wrote in New York in 1893, which first published as Symphony No. 5, From the New World. According to the composer, the symphony was intended to reflect his idea of the spirit of American music. Dvořák had had melodies of North American natives and African-American holy people played to him to capture their musical spirit – he did not want to adopt the music directly under any circumstances. In the second and third movements of the Symphony From the New World, Dvořák also refers to the epic poem Hiawatha by the U.S. author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882), in which the story of the fictitious chief Hiawatha is told.
But beyond the explicit agenda of writing a symphony ‘From the New World’, Dvořák also incorporates Bohemian folk music in his Ninth and draws from this mix a wealth of catchy melodies. It is the fusion of supposedly North-American and Bohemian folk music that gives Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 its special appeal.
The premiere on December 16, 1893, with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Anton Seidl was a resounding success, as were the first performances in Europe. To this day, Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony is very popular with audiences. And astronaut Neil Armstrong even took it with him on the Apollo 11 mission that led to the first moon landing in 1969.
The Young Euro Classic Festival is the world’s most important platform of young international orchestras for the European classical music tradition and its development. Every summer, youth orchestras from all over the world play for two and a half weeks in Berlin’s Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt.
© EuroArts Music International
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