Sunday, October 02, 2011

Sunday Classics: Moving backward, we arrive at Dvořák's Symphony No. 7


Vienna Philharmonic, Rafael Kubelik, cond. Decca, recorded October 1956

by Ken

My first thought after we did Dvořák's Eighth Symphony week before last ("From bucolic depths to blazing glory: Dvořák's Symphony No. 8," with a "refresher" Friday night), once I realized that all we'd heard from his next and last symphony, From the New World, was the Largo, was to forge right on ahead. Then I thought, why not instead go backward to the Seventh, the start of what has become a common grouping of "Dvořák's last three symphonies." Then I thought, well, why not go back to the beautiful Sixth Symphony, or even the Fifth? But I figured we can always come back to those, so this week's subject is the Dvořák Seventh Symphony.

I think everyone is familiar with the phenomenon of a special moment in a piece of music, a moment that suddenly makes you sit up, maybe even lifts you out of your chair,- and that has if anything a stronger effect the more times you listen to the piece.

We're about to encounter what for me is one of them, following hard upon the fairly straightforward yet haunting eight bars we've just heard. Of course if you listen more closely to those eight bars -- basically a haunting little chorale for oboe, two clarinets, and two bassoons, with plucked accompaniment from second violins, violas, and cellos -- you'll notice that in their casual way they're concealing a series of pretty unexpected harmonic juxtapositions. (You'll find the score page that includes bars 6-8 in the click-through, along with bars 9-10.)

None of which prepares us, for what comes next, as the previously plucking strings, now led by the first violins, take up their bows and are promptly joined by the bassoons, horns, and double basses, with the other woodwinds (including the previously unheard flutes, who promptly assume a leadership position) and the timpani chiming in -- for an upwardly sweeping little tune that seems to me pure magic. We'll hear it right after the click-through.


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At 10:40 AM, Anonymous me said...

This clip doesn't play. #8 wouldn't play either.

At 12:18 PM, Blogger J said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

me, it's playing fine here at DWT Central

At 1:25 PM, Anonymous 10101001 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4:57 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

J --

I've deleted your comment because again you seem determined to make some kind of point about "our" LDS sockpuppet, which (1) makes no sense and (b) has nothing to do with this post.

This part of your comment is at least on-topic:

"and..schmaltz as said previously

"maybe somethin' fresh....stan kenton...mingus....zappa, oreven the best of debussy


You're entitled to your opinion of what's "fresh," and of Dvořák (though how many times you have to express it might be questioned). However, it occurs to me to wonder whether it ever occurred to you that "Sunday Classics" might have a history going back farther than this week, and to wonder whether you have any idea what music might have been covered these last several years. And, finally, I wonder if it occurred to you that, with all respect to Stan Kenton, Charles Mingus, and Frank Zappa, the feature is called "Sunday Classics."

As for the other "comment" I deleted, from a different commenter (I didn't keep track of his handle), which was nothing more than sleazy ethnic vitriol, what would make that commenter think that such crap would be OK?


At 5:00 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

About the clips, me, I'm sorry to hear you couldn't play this one (and I presume all the others in the post?), but again, like Howie, I've had absolutely no trouble with this week's batch. As I said, I go nuts over this, and I've never had a batch of clips give me LESS trouble. I'm wondering, have other readers had problems? (Not that I would know what to tell you either!)


At 5:41 PM, Blogger J said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5:42 PM, Blogger J said...

trust me, "me's" a rightist-WASP-mormon sockpuppet (not to say philistine). About6-3 270 lbs.' roids boy..Far more racist ,and even anti-semitic than I. (per Iggy Pop I aint got time to make no apologies...but I oppose zionist rackets. don't bless..Der Fuhrer)

zappa composed classical music.arguably so did Kenton (some might say Mingus did too)

At 6:09 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

(1) to me:

More on the clips: Here's the link (yes, it's for the Tennstedt performance of the first movement of the Dvořák Eighth Symphony (and for the last movement, which I also included), and here's the link for the Kubelik-Vienna clips of the opening of the Poco adagio of the Seventh Symphony -- bars 1-8, bars 9ff.

(2) to J:

We love for readers to add to the DWT discussion. But you don't even seem to be trying. Whatever the Mormon sockpuppet comment means to you, it still has no relevance to this post, and it's hard to believe you have any idea what either Howie or I may have written about the individual you seem to be referencing.

Getting back to "Sunday Classics," again I don't have a problem with you expressing your opinion of Dvořák, though again, I have a harder time imagining why you felt it necessary to express it a second time. With regard to Stan Kenton's and Frank Zappa's classical music, I'm happy to cede you the field for your classical-music blog.


At 6:26 PM, Blogger J said...


it's a perp as well.

keep that in mind (tho it probably has already spewed some lies)

At 5:20 AM, Anonymous me said...

LDS sockpuppet

WTF is he on about?? Does he think I'm a mormon or something?

For the record, fuck mormons and mormonism.

Fuck scientologists too, and all other kooks.

I don't remember any poster anywhere making less sense. Get help, dude.

At 5:24 AM, Anonymous me said...

PS. Thanks for the links.


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