Relayed from the National Museum of Wales
National Orchestra of Wales
When this Symphony appeared, it immediately became the centre of a rather bitter controversy. Dvorak had recently returned from a short stay in New York, hating it and its noise and bustle, and longing for the peace of his own quiet retreat in Bohemia. He had confessed in America to a keen interest in the songs of the American negroes, suggesting that there was in them material which might well become the foundation of national American music. This work accordingly, the string quartet in F, popularly known as 'The Nigger', and the quintet, were claimed by Americans as so far their own as embodying something of their native music. Dvorak's countrymen, however, would have none of this. To them, the work was as thoroughly Czech as all of Dvorak's, perhaps even specially so because it expressed something of his home-sickness. It matters very little, fortunately, whether the tunes are like negro melodies or Bohemian folk songs. The whole world is agreed that they are fine tunes and that they are set forth in this symphony in a way which no familiarity-and the work is by now very familiar - can rob of its charm.
Winifred Ware (Violin) and Marjorie Jones (Pianoforte)
This Sonata of Beethoven's, for violin and pianoforte, takes its name from the violinist, Rudolph Kreutzer, to whom Beethoven dedicated it, calling him in the dedication 'his friend'. Nothing is known of relations between Beethoven and Kreutzer, and the dedication has always been something of a mystery, although Kreutzer was of course one of the outstanding figures, if not the foremost, in the violin world of Beethoven's day. It was with the English mulatto, Bridgewater, that Beethoven first played the work, and Bridgewater claimed that it was originally dedicated to him. No one knows whether this is so. It is in three Movements, the first and last quick movements, each with two main tunes according to convention, and the middle movement, an air-a long, fine melody, with variations.
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