Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, B. 163

“No matter how small a nation, it will not die if it has its own art. An artist must love his homeland.” These words of Antonín Dvořák, the father of the Czech national symphony, became a guide to his life and work. The composer’s temperamental Slavic Dances, chamber music, symphonies, etc. are saturated with elements of Czech folklore. In the eighth symphony out of nine, the composer remained true to his words – the score includes uplifting melodies and rhythms of Czech folk music, there are many subtle nuances of orchestration. Under the composer’s baton, Symphony No. 8 in G major was premiered in February, 1890. The opus is of tradition structure – in four movements. The first movement (Allegro con brio) is akin to a powerful and expressive exposition of the entire symphony. The second movement (Adagio) presents a contrast – the gentle lyrical gestures are developed to a rich climax, after which a conversation of clarinets and flute brings serenity. In the third movement (Allegretto grazioso) the intonations of nostalgic waltz and Czech folk dance intertwine. Vigorous sounds of the trumpet announce the finale of the symphony (Allegro ma non troppo). The fanfare is followed by a singing melody developed by the whole orchestra. Joyous and energetic coda crowns the symphony.

The symphonic score of the Czech Patriarch of Music is performed by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, led by Tung-Chieh Chuang, a Taiwanese conductor, the winner of the prestigious Nicolai Malko Competition for Young Conductors in Copenhagen.

PUBLISHED:  2018-05-05