- Dvořák Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”
- Brahms Symphony No. 2
Brahms’s admiration of Beethoven was so great, that he toiled over his first symphony for 14 years before releasing it and daring to step out from under the shadow of success and popularity of his predecessor. Unburdened, Brahms went on to write his second in only one summer at his lakeside retreat in Portschach, Austria.
Light and airy, Brahms described his melodies as flowing “so freely that one must be careful not to trample them.” Once described as “all rippling streams, blue sky, sunshine, and cool green shadows” Brahms’s Pastoral Symphony delights audiences with a beautiful, musical emotional experience.
Dvořák's famous “New World” Symphony plays like a musical postcard from his 1893 sojourn in America. Inspired by the expansive, young nation, the symphony is dreamlike and spacious. Yearning melodies become layered with brooding melancholy, both overtaken at times by erupting waves of energy and exhilaration. In the exquisite English horn solo in the slow movement, one hears the influence which American folk music and spirituals must have had on the composer.