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Track Listing:

1
Dvorak Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 in C major (Furiant)
 
2
Dvorak Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 in E minor (Dumka)
 
3
Dvorak Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 in A-flat major (Polka)
 
4
Dvorak Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 in F major (Sousedsk?
 
5
Dvorak Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 in A major (Skočn?
 
6
Dvorak Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 in D major (Sousedsk?
 
7
Dvorak Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 in C minor (Skočn?
 
8
Dvorak Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 in G minor (Furiant)
 
9
Dvorak Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 in B major (Odzemek)
 
10
Dvorak Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 in E minor (Starod?vn?
 
11
Dvorak Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 in F major (Skočn?
 
12
Dvorak Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 in D-flat major (Dumka)
 
13
Dvorak Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 in B-flat minor (?pac?rka)
 
14
Dvorak Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 in B-flat major (Starod?vn? (
 
15
Dvorak Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 in C major (Kolo)
 
16
Dvorak Slavonic Dances Opp. 46 & 72 in A-flat major
 

Jiri Belohlavek | Czech Philharmonic Orchestra :

Dvořak - Slavonic Dances


Maestro Jiří Bělohlávek and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra return to Decca with the unforgettable Slavonic Dances from one of the most melodious, harmonious and evocative late 19th Century composers – Dvořák. Performed and recorded by musicians who have an innate understanding and deep-rooted love for this music of their home land, this is a first-rate recording, bringing great passion and lyricism to Dvorak's spellbinding Slavonic Dances.

In two sets, the Op.46 Slavonic Dances were such a success on release (in the late 1800's) that Dvorak's publisher immediately commissioned a further set (to become the Op.72) – which inspired an equally enthusiastic reception. Unlike Brahms in the Hungarian Dances, Dvořák did not draw on real folk dances but instead made use of characteristic styles and rhythms as stimulus to his own imagination. The first group, Op.46, draws almost entirely on four Bohemian dances, though it should be said that Czech ethnomusicologists have enthusiastically traced elements of a wide variety of characteristic dances in each of them. However, Dvořák is not transcribing folk music but making imaginative forays into many similar and contrasting folk-dance styles.

With Op.72, however, Dvořák brings into play dance styles from all over the Slav world. No.1 is an odzemek, danced in a lively 2/4 by the brigands of the mountains of Slovakia and Eastern Moravia. Traditionally this began slowly and grew faster and faster, but Dvořák chooses to alternate a Molto vivace section with a slower Meno mosso (in which he draws on two themes from his fourth Eclogue for piano). Nos.2 and 4 turn again to his beloved dumka: this is by origin a Ukrainian dance, slow-moving and pensive (the etymology is from "to ponder"), often lamenting. However, the waltz-like lilt of No.3 suggests the style of thesousedská. The dance is a mixture, bringing together suggestions of various different rhythms and melodies (which have therefore been differently identified and attributed by various scholars) into a highly personal response. No.4 is a špacírka, whose name derives from the German word spazieren, "to walk." Dvořák came to know this sung round-dance when he saw it performed by the young people of his home village of Vysoká, and he reflected its gradual increase in speed from slow to fast duple time in his own piece.

There is no more authentic team today to play these works: the leading Czech orchestra with the leading Czech conductor, recording in the fine acoustic of the famous Rudolfinum in Prague. "[Belohlavek's] return to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra as music director has brought him back to his emotional and musical heartland. In works by Dvořák and Smetana, unbounded lyricism and Czech melancholy emerged with the authenticity that only this orchestra can bring." The Guardian