Semyon Bychkov, Music Director and Chief Conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, Cello
Symphony No. 7
Slavonic Dance in E Minor, Op. 72, No. 2
Slavonic Dance in C Major, Op. 46, No. 1
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately 100 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission.
Pre-Concert TalkPre-concert talk at 7 PM with Paul Berry, Adjunct Associate Professor of Music History, Yale University.
At a Glance
This concert presents two sides of Dvořák’s sensibility in two of his greatest works. The opening work is a concerto from his American period; one of his most exuberant creations, it is the last work he produced before leaving New York and going back to Prague after his two-year stint in the New World. With its soulful lyricism, exquisite balancing of cello and orchestra, and open-air grandeur, it is often regarded as the greatest cello concerto in the repertoire. The delicate slow movement is a memorial to Dvořák’s secret love for his sister-in-law, who was dying when he wrote it; the first and last movements have an epic quality that recalls the “New World” Symphony.
Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony—regarded by many critics as his greatest—aspires to be a tragic German work that transcends Bohemian nationalism. Though it presents a new seriousness and ambition, Dvořák’s irrepressible Slavonic sensibility bursts forth repeatedly, especially in folkloric dances and pastoral melodies. As with the Cello Concerto, the symphony, though in a minor key, ends with a blazing major-key coda.