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<<<  <<  -- 5 --  Trevor W Barrett    ORIGINAL AND BRILLIANT


The process of Dvorák's creating his 9th was the essence of being American. He was a foreigner who arrived in America, and was exposed to the melting pot of cultures and races thereof. He was influenced by the spirit and songs of these cultures and was inspired to create based on them, yet he did not lose his own cultural and musical identity. He showed what was available to all of America when he created The New World Symphony. He was the first great American serious music composer, and he wasn't even American. He provided the foundation to teach the soon-to-be masters of American concert music, with his acceptance of folk melodies and inclusion of traditional European schools of musical invention. He was a genius and a revolutionary who turned the American ear inwards, to the songs of our own people, all people, to create the distinctive sound that we would otherwise not have heard. His acceptance of different racial folk music provided an example to be taught in American music, and made it possible for future ethnic music to be appreciated at a higher level.

The New World Symphony was the culmination of Dvorák's sojourn to The United States, and it represents all that America had to offer, and all that was to come in the future of serious music within the country because of it. Dvorák left The US in 1895, never to return. He departed after having created a symphony which was a musical representation of all that is America. It is the common man's folk song, while still being the sophisticated concert piece. Dvorák provided a path for a line of masters of American music; pushing the boundaries of form and function, all stemming from his work. Antonín Dvorák departed in 1895 having created the single most important symphonic work in American history.

Copyright © 15 December 2007 Trevor W Barrett, California, USA



1) Hurwitz, David: Dvorák, Romantic Music's Most Versatile Genius, Amadeus Press LLC, Prompton Plains NJ, 2005

2) Stefan, Paul: Anton Dvorák, Da Capo Press, New York NY 1971

3) Schonzeler, Hans-Hubert: Dvorák, Marion Boyars Inc, New York NY 1984

4) Evans, Edwin: 'The Symphonies' from Antonin Dvorák, His Achievement, Lindsay Drummond Publishing, London England 1942

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