Digital program - Mehta-Abaeva

Symphony no. 7 in D minor, op. 70 ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Although Symphony no. 9 ("From the New World") is Dvořák's most famous symphony, many musicians consider the D minor symphony, op. 70, to be his greatest. For a long time, this work was thought to be his Second Symphony, simply because it was the second to be published, but it is actually the seventh of the Bohemian composer's nine symphonies. In this symphony, Dvořák sought to surpass all his previous achievements in the symphonic field, for several reasons: one of them was his nomination, in June 1884, as honorary member of the London Philharmonic Society, that also invited him to compose a new symphony. This request emphasised Dvořák's newlywon international stature, and he wished to increase it with his new work. Another factor which sparked his ambition was the deep impression that Brahms' Symphony no. 3 made on him at its premiere in December 1883. Dvořák believed that Brahms's Third was the greatest symphony of its time and desired to compose a work of similar stature. He wished to show the world that a Brahms, and not merely a national composer, could come out of Bohemia, but at the same time he wished to remain loyal to his Bohemian heritage. Finally, as a Czech composer deeply involved in the revival of Czech culture, Dvořák also wished to enrich the Czech symphonic repertoire with a work of international as well as national appeal. As a result of all that, the Seventh symphony is imbued with a dramatic, sometimes even tragic and very emotional air. Dvořák himself confessed that he desired to amaze the world with this opus. In a letter to a friend he wrote: "Everywhere I go, I think of nothing else than my work, which must be such as to shake the world, and with God's help it will be so." Dvořák composed the symphony between 13 January and 17 March 1885. Its premiere took place in London on 22 April that year, with the composer conducting the London Philharmonic Society. Two years later, the Symphony was performed for the first time in Europe, with Hans Richter conducting the Vienna Philharmonic. ca. 40 mins. Allegro maestoso Poco adagio Scherzo: Vivace Finale: Allegro