CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Performance Sunday, May 11, 2014 | 3 PM

The MET Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Czech composer Antonín Dvořák has written many pieces that are mainstays of the orchestral repertoire, infused with exuberant dance rhythms and folk-music influences from his native Bohemia. The MET Orchestra and Music Director James Levine chart a course through the composer's indelible music, including his Seventh Symphony and Carnival Overture. The intrepid ensemble also performs his Cello Concerto in B Minor, a display of dramatic solo and orchestral writing on the largest scale which deftly showcases the timbre of the cello with selected soloists from the orchestra.

Performers

  • The MET Orchestra
    James Levine, Music Director and Conductor
  • Lynn Harrell, Cello

Program

ALL-DVOŘÁK PROGRAM
  • Carnival Overture
  • Symphony No. 7
  • Cello Concerto in B Minor

Audio

Dvořák's Cello Concerto in B Minor
London Symphony Orchestra | James Levine, Conductor | Lynn Harrell, Cello
RCA Red Seal

At a Glance

Raised in a small Bohemian village outside Prague, Antonín Dvořák came from neither a wealthy family nor a particularly musical one. His eventual rise to international stardom as a composer is one of music history's more unlikely success stories. The turning point came in 1877, when he came to the attention of Johannes Brahms, who was so taken with Dvořák's music that he arranged for it to be published in Berlin. Soon, after the spectacular success of the Slavonic Dances—which caused "a positive assault on the sheet-music shops"—Dvořák was a star, with more commissions and performance opportunities coming his way than he could possibly handle.

The three works on this afternoon's program—the lively, colorful Carnival Overture, the solemn and sharply chiseled Seventh Symphony, and the yearningly beautiful, folk music-inspired Cello Concerto—date from the decade between 1885 and 1895, the height of Dvořák's international popularity and artistic achievement. By the beginning of that span, the composer was famous throughout the Habsburg Empire, had achieved massive success in England, and was endorsed by the musical elite, yet, on account of the unaffected and folk-inflected nature of his music, was still revered in his homeland as an authentic Bohemian voice. By the end of it, he was also a celebrity in the United States, having spent the years 1892-1895 in New York, where he composed—and premiered at Carnegie Hall—some of his most famous music.
This performance is part of The MET Orchestra.

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