In the copious oeuvre of the Czech composer Antonín Dvorák no small place belongs to his overtures – pieces for orchestra comparable in length and form to the first movement of a symphony, intended to precede a performance of an opera or spoken play, or in some cases only simulating such a function, whereby the listener can imagine a theatrical work which does not in fact follow. Dvorák composed no less than thirteen overtures. Eight were written to precede performances of his operas: of his eleven works in that genre only three do not have and never had orchestral introductions substantial enough to be considered overtures. And then there are the works on this recording: five overtures, each a masterpiece in its own way, showing an interesting progression toward full independence whereby the overture directly expresses some scene or story rather than merely anticipating it. My Home from 1882, written and originally performed as the overture to a spoken play, which play however fell out of the repertoire whereas the overture has lived on, the Hussite Overture from 1883 intended to precede a spoken play which was never completed, and the overtures In Nature’s Realm, Carnival, and Othello from 1891-92 intended from the outset as concert works, with the ‘story’ specified in the first two instances only by the title but in the last (inspired by Shakespeare) also via verbal indications Dvo?ák wrote into his manuscript score referring to some particular episodes in the play. The logical continuation in his output came with his five symphonic poems from 1896-97: orchestral pieces that serve not as an anticipation
Total time: 01:02:57
|Original Recording Format|
Erdo Groot, Roger de Schot
Forum Karlín in Prague, Czech Republic
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
|Release Date||December 12, 2015|
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