Czech classical music is not only a part of the national culture and history, but also of its very soul. This year, we have prepared a series on renowned works of Czech classical music. Listeners will be familiar with many of them, as they are widely known and regularly performed in concert halls all over the world. The background to their creation and how they were recorded will all be covered by this series.
The Best of Czech classical music series was created on the basis of Lukáš Hurník's and Bohuslav Vítek's project "Millenium hits" which was broadcast on Czech Radio Vltava.
A New York Herald article published on December 17, 1893 wrote about the musical event of the year. It described a night at Carnegie Hall that ended in a thunderous storm of applause and cries of “Dvořák! Dvořák!” as New York hailed the composer. The article was reporting on the memorable premiere of Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony.
Military marches should convey an overwhelming belief in victory (although gladiators could not have been overly confident as they greeted Caesar going into the arena). Entrance of the Gladiators is possibly the most famous military march of all time.
The idea to write an original Czech opera had evidently already come to Bedřich Smetana during his stay in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, in the year 1861. The composer started work on it immediately after his return from Sweden. But he was only able to obtain a fitting libretto for the opera after a year, from the versatile writer Karel Sabina.
The rhythmic element of classical music leaves the biggest impression when it is creative, almost bewitching. A repetitive musical motive constantly resurfaces again and again, ingraining itself in the listener. Yet Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances are structured somewhat differently.
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