- Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 "From the New World," analysis by Gerard Schwarz (part 1)
- Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 "From the New World," analysis by Gerard Schwarz (part 2)
- Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 "From the New World," analysis by Gerard Schwarz (part 3)
- Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 "From the New World," analysis by Gerard Schwarz (part 4)
- Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 "From the New World", a commentary by Joseph Horowitz
Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 "From the New World", a commentary by Joseph Horowitz
Created by All Star Orchestra.
Want to join the conversation?
- Who is he author of the book that they mention that inspired this composition by Dvorak?(7 votes)
- where can I watch the full symphony?(4 votes)
- Go to one of the analyses of this symphony. Underneath the video, there is a link that says "view full performance here at 'whatever time.'" I hope this helps you.(6 votes)
- Was Dvorak married, have a family? Where did he live and how long did he live?
Did he write other large bodies of musical work?(2 votes)
- Yes, Dvorak was both married and had a family. He married the younger sister of one of his early piano pupils, and together they had nine children (three of which died in infancy). Dvorak lived most of his life in or around Prague, but also spent time traveling through Europe and the United States. His most notable body of works is the set of nine symphonies that he composed, but he is also well represented in the symphonic and concerto literature, as well as in chamber music and songs.(5 votes)
- Did Dvorak visit Native American communities to see for himself their plight?(2 votes)
- While he was living in America in the 1890s Dvorak encountered Native Americans in New York and in Iowa. More details are here: http://svu2000.org/conferences/2003_Iowa/41.pdf(2 votes)
- When was Dvořák born and when did he die?(2 votes)
- Antonín Dvořák was born on September 8th, 1841 and died on May 1, 1904.(1 vote)
- It's a minor symphony. The description of the book that Mr Horowitz read inspired me, and I can understand more about the symphony. Dvorak has homesick but I just wanna know how to explain it in the 3rd mvt? Like the 3rd mvt is really bright and major based, but 1st and 4th mvts showed sadness of Dvorak...and even being described as funeral...how can I explain?(3 votes)
- Is this guy related to Vladimir Horowitz?(1 vote)
- I do believe that he is either closely or distantly related(1 vote)
- What exactly is a dirge and apotheosis in musical terms?(1 vote)
- you can look this up in an online dictionary. a dirge relates to something sad, but un-music related, a dirge is a grave.(1 vote)
- i don't really understand how did Antonín Dvořák become inspired enough to write his music?(0 votes)
- How does any artist become inspired? They start out with simple things and learn their area of artistry, which teaches them new techniques and exposes them to the ideas of other artists. A painter studies drawing and painting and composition; oh, and art history. A musician creates with musical notes. They start learning an instrument and they learn to read music. They go to hear concerts and recitals. Maybe as homework, they have to create little tunes. I did. After you know how to play, if you want to express something that you haven't found in the music of others, you try out your own ideas. Sometimes you can become obsessed with "saying" what you need to say in music or art or writing. It is like a painter going through a creative surge--for a while the painter is so driven to express the ideas and work through the emotions, that they produce painting after painting and can hardly concentrate on anything else.
By the time Dvorak moved to the United States, he was quite famous in Europe. He was asked to head America's National Conservatory of Music and paid to put together put together a body of American Concert music. So, part of his inspiration was the very challenging and important job that he was asked to do. He immersed himself in native folk music in the U.S., which was primarily the music of African Americans and Native Americans. He was then inspired by the sadness of the extinction and destitution of many American tribes, and by the despair of bondage and discrimination among African Americans, who were then "free", but not at all free to benefit from opportunity in the U.S. He was inspired by their varied kinds of music--maybe that is part of the reason there are so many melodies captured in this symphony. He was also homesick, and historians believe that helped power the creative surge he needed to write this music.(1 vote)
- A useful way to look at the New World Symphony to figure out what's going on is to look at the way it ends. Because no other symphony ends the way the New World Symphony ends. It ends with a dirge. Do you remember how the ending is? ("Symphony No. 9" by Dvorak) And then the final chord, which is E major, (piano chord playing) is marked with a diminuendo, fading into silence. So to make sense out of this ending, you obviously have to refer to something more than music. You cannot, in purely musical terms, account for the ending of the New World Symphony. To account for the ending of the New World Symphony, you have to look at this little book, The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a poem beloved by Dvorak. He first read it in Czech, then he read it in English. And he told us, he told reporters this is a major source of inspiration for the New World Symphony. And you read the ending of The Song of Hiawatha, and you'll read a description of the ending of the New World Symphony. And I'll read it to you. On the shore stood Hiawatha, turned and waved his hand at parting. On the clear and luminous water launched his birch canoe for sailing. From the pebbles of the margins shoved it forth into the water, whispered to it, "Westward, westward," and with speed it darted forward. And the evening sun descending set the clouds on fire with redness, burned the broad sky like a prairie, left upon the level water one long track and trail of splendor, down whose stream as down a river westward, westward Hiawatha sailed into the fiery sunset, sailed into the purple vapors, sailed into the dusk of evening. So this dusk of evening and these purple vapors and the sadness of this departure are written into the end of the New World Symphony. Remember also how the symphony begins. It begins with song of sorrow and the low strings. What's going on here is that you have a man who comes to the United States in 1892, and is handed a mandate by Jeannette Thurber, the founder of the National Conservatory of Music, to help American composers create an American school of music, American concert music that Americans will recognize as their own. He's a cultural nationalist. He says okay, show me your folk music. He chiefly finds it in two places. Native Americans, African-Americans. Dvorak is a butcher's son. Dvorak is a compassionate man. He's an instinctive Democrat. He says, "I look to the poor for musical greatness." So his compassionate response is to the black American who was enslaved, the red American who is now at risk of extinction. And this sadness permeates the New World Symphony. And there are other sources of sadness in this symphony. The American West, Dvorak had never seen such a vast, uninhabited terrain. He said that it seemed to him, "Desolate, sad to despair." And finally, Dvorak was homesick for Bohemia. All of these sources of sadness contribute to the elegiac complexion, which is also majestic for the New World Symphony. I once had occasion in a book, A History of Classical Music in America, to try to describe all of this in just a few sentences, and I'll read it to you. With its Indian threnody, the coda, a dead march, a cry of pain, a loud last chord fading to silence, sealed one of the symphony's meanings. It is all of it an elegy for a vanishing race. Embracing the myth of the noble savage, the New World is far the best of the many musical evocations of Hiawatha. Embracing the myth of the virgin West, it is the most eloquent musical equivalent of the canvases of George Catlin, Frederic Remington, and Albert Bierstadt. And obviously crucially, Dvorak's sadness of the prairie and sadness of the Indian resonate as well with homeward longings, and with who knows what other personal sadnesses. More than a Bohemian symphony with an American accent, From the New World is a reading of America drawn taut emotionally by the pull of the Czech fatherland.