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Antonín Dvorák (1841-1904) may be considered one of the greatest of Czech composers, although he is as famous for capturing the sound of America as for writing music inspired by his nation. But many of his works were “international” in style, employing a manner of orchestral writing which does not immediately identify him as Czech.
The present work is a perfect example of that “international” style – albeit stamped with a rhythmic verve and harmonic palette which reminds us at all times of Dvorák's fingerprint. The work is filled with all the pomp (and circumstance) of celebratory marches by Walton, Elgar, Tchaikovsky, or Johann Strauss (Sr. and Jr.). And celebrate it does: it was written in 1879 to commemorate the silver wedding of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
Dave Kopplin is the Editor of Hollywood Bowl Magazine.