It turns out that my collection of Antonin Dvorak’s music is like a micro representation of all my Project LT issues.
- something which I did not know I had, but which having listened to it, I quite like (the Carnival Overture)
- something which I did not know I had, but which having listened to it, I’m not at all bothered about and will be deleting (Symphonic Variations)
- a work which I expected to have, and which I always think I’m not going to like until I listen to it, then I am blown away by it (Symphony No 9 “From the New World”) – in fact I have two versions of this – go figure
- an absence of the two works which are my favourites by this composer:
- his Violin Concerto in A Minor; and
- his Cello Concertor in B Minor. Go figure again. These two will have to go on my Wish List.
I have also been pondering why it is that I cannot remember ever having listened to Symphonies 1-8. It is certainly the case that No 9 is one of the best known works of his entire repertoire. But it feels remiss of me never to have taken the trouble to fill this gap in my listening education – another set for the Wish List then.
And to come back to my favourties – why so?
Well, you might detect a certain bias on my part for the violin concerto, being a former violinist myself. I never played more than excerpts from this work with my teacher, but I have heard it many times at concerts over the years. It is a glorious example of its genre.
And as for the cello concerto. Well, Dvorak is said to be one of the most important composers of the Romantic era (ie late 19th Century). Just take a listen to his B Minor Cello Concerto if you need any proof of this statement – it will sweep you off your feet within the first few bars and you will never look back.