Notes from the New World
The BBC Philharmonic in music by Martinu and Stravinsky written in 1940s America. Andrei Ionita joins the orchestra for Dvorak's Cello Concerto, a work he began in America.
From the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.
Presented by Tom Redmond
Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B minor
Martinů: Symphony No 4
Andrei Ionită (cello)
John Storgards (conductor)
Having fled across the Atlantic to escape in Nazi Europe, Martinů marked the defeat of his persecutors in 1945 with his Fourth Symphony. In this joyous and powerful work we hear military sounds but also snatches of Czech folk song. The following year, in Los Angeles, Stravinsky finished his ballet 'Orpheus' which received its premiere in New York in 1948. Choreographed by Balanchine the music is translucent, lyrical and restrained; the dreadful moment when Orpheus turns back to see Eurydice is powerfully marked - by silence. Andrei Ionită joins the orchestra for another work which marks the loss of a loved-one. Fifty years before Stravinsky and Martinů made America their home a home-sick Dvorak was teaching in New York. His Cello Concerto is infused with a powerful longing for his homeland, and for his sister-in-law Josefina; she had a particular fondness for one of his songs which appears in the slow movement. When she died a few years later, he revised the piece in homage to her.