Donald Macleod focuses on Dvorak's productive final years. Including Eight Humoresques, The Noon Witch, O Silver Moon (Rusalka) and Carnival Overture.
Donald Macleod focuses on the final years in the life of the composer Antonin Dvorák.
Dvorák's last years were productive ones. After turning down an offer from Brahms to move to Vienna to teach at the Conservatoire, he composed a series of tone poems associated with myths and legends, and all taking their inspiration from ballads by the Czech poet Karel Jaromír Erben. These would be his final orchestral works.
Dvorák had served his musical apprenticeship in the orchestra of what was then Prague's opera house and at the end of his life he retained his passion, obsession even, about composing opera. Just two months before his death in May 1904, Dvorák told a journalist from an Austrian newspaper that, "in the last five years I have written nothing but operas. I wanted to devote all my powers, as long as God gives me the health, to the creation of opera. ... I consider opera the most suitable form for the nation. This music is listened to by the broad masses, whereas when I compose a symphony, I might have to wait years for it to be performed."
Stefan Vaselka (piano)
The Noon Witch
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra / Sir Charles Mackerras
O Silver Moon (Rusalka)
Renée Fleming (soprano)
LSO / Sir Georg Solti
Concertgebouw Orchestra / Riccardo Chailly.
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