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Leader, Paul Beard
Conducted by Julius Harrison
Dvorak's Symphony in D, Op. 60, erroneously described by his publishers as his Symphony No. 1, was completed in the autumn of 1880. It is dedicated to Hans Richter in return for the several kindly services rendered to the composer by the distinguished German conductor. The symphony was given its first performance at a Slavonic Concert at Zofin in 1881, and soon afterwards it was heard in various musical centres in Germany and America. In 1884 it was given by the Royal Philharmonic Society for the first time in England at the St. James's Hall, with great success.
Sir Donald Tovey says that it 'shows him at the height of his power. It is by no means the work of a young man; its opus number is true to the facts, and shows that Dvorak, like Brahms, had waited long and experienced much before venturing upon the publication of a symphony.' Unlike the Second Symphony, in D minor, which is dark and serious in mood, the No. 1, in D, is full of exuberant spirits. It is characteristic of Dvorak's lighter works in sonata form that the Scherzo is in the form of a furiant, which is based on the very vigorous and robust rhythms of a dance peculiar to the Czechs.
The BBC Orchestra Section
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Feedback about The BBC Orchestra, Regional Programme London, 18.30, 25 June 1939
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