Symphony No. 9 (Dvořák)

The Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op 95 Dvořák named From the New World, as it was inspired by Dvorak's three-year stay in America. It was known during his lifetime as 5th Symphony of the artist.


As Antonín Dvořák entered 1892 American soil in order to make the appointment as director of the National Conservatory of Music of America consequence, he was already a world-renowned composer. His fame he founded with his compositions " The Heirs of the White Mountain" (1872 ), earlier symphonies, the " Moravian Duets " and the Slavonic Dances. It was therefore not surprising that Jeannette Thurber, the widow of a wealthy businessman and co-founder of the New York Institute, offered him this lucrative and prestigious post.

With the 9th symphony, which was written during his three-year stay in America, Dvořák wrote his perhaps most popular symphonic work. Although Dvořák had taken over the role as conductor and teacher to train a young generation of musicians who should develop a national- American music style, his Symphony No. 9 is not American music. He expressed this as follows: "But the nonsense that I would have used Indian or American motives, let out, because that's a lie. I have only written in the spirit of this American folk songs. " This can be demonstrated in different harmonic and rhythmic peculiarities. Thus, the English horn melody of the second movement is based on the five-note scale halbtonlosen the pentatonic, which was common in the music of the Indians. ( More important is the large role that Longfellow's poem on " Hiawatha " - that is the chief who founded the Iroquois League of Indians -. Plays in the symphony, see below) Rhythmically fall also typical of Negro Spirituals syncope on ( 1st and 3rd main theme of the 1st movement ). In addition, shows unmistakably the Bohemian musician with his rooted in the native folk music musical language, such as the warm-hearted Landler the Scherzo - Trio.

The themes of the outer movements are short and concise and subordinate to the above-mentioned basic design cycle: the first main theme of the first movement appears in all following sentences. In the final, also major themes in the 2nd and 3rd set are suggestively processed.

About the Music


2 flutes (2nd flute and piccolo ), 2 oboes (2nd also English horn ), 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, triangle, cymbals, stringed instruments

1st movement: Adagio - Allegro molto

The first movement begins with a wistful slow introduction. The unison by the strings and hard drum beats gradually developing Allegro is full of rousing swing. The main theme rises in the horns and is immediately taken up by the whole orchestra. A second theme first appears in the woodwinds before it is increased and changed rhythmically. Same character occurs thereafter on a side thought in the flute, which seeks to combine the two subjects. Both topics will be processed in detail. The coda is falling with elemental force and finished the sentence in a thunderous E minor.

2nd movement: Largo

The second set was called " Legend " by the composer. This moving dirge has been excited by Dvořák's own words by a scene from the already mentioned Longfellows poem " Hiawatha ", and set to music, as it mourned Hiawatha, whose faithful companion Minnehaha has passed away. This American poetry had met through the translation of his compatriot Josef Vaclav Sladek Dvořák. In painful melancholy the English horn sings the main melody with which this set in sublime tranquility in and fade out.

A new thought emerges and is accompanied by effective string tremolos. This somewhat faster, also vocal theme is finally connected sent with the keening melody. A little later solves a serene, reminiscent of birdsong flute melody from a change in mood, which is immediately prevented from bursting forth main theme of the first movement. The English horn again bears against the main theme of the Largo, which fades away with the dirge.

3rd movement: Scherzo, Molto vivace

The Scherzo begins with a rhythmically distinctive subject prepared the hard dance of the Indians to the wedding of Hiawatha. Another scene from Longfellow's epic is relived musical. Nevertheless, the topic is bohemian and folksy. The Scherzo has a lyrical middle section and is therefore built more complicated than the other Scherzi Dvořák and was used in this design by Anton Bruckner. Between scherzo and trio sounds in the lower strings quiet and threatening to the main theme of the first movement. The trio section consists of a graceful waltz melody, which is typical czech in its erratic rhythm. This phrase brings the longing for home expressed; it temporarily suspends the image of joy dance of the Indians. Shortly before the end sets with all his strength again through the main theme of the first movement.

4th movement: Allegro con fuoco

The last sentence is filled with such dynamics, as it has not reached in any of his previous symphonies Dvořák. By the full orchestra, the march -like energetic main theme is carried forward, the pathos of the "New World " proclaims. The second theme in the clarinets pushes against Dvořák's longing for his homeland from.

It is hardly died away heat, the battle comes to a head and the first theme prevails on. Subsequently it is processed manifold; in this process appear again and again and motifs from the first three sets. An orchestral tutti then smashes the main theme out almost violently, a process that brings the musical events to a virtual standstill and continues through the second topic. Again, the main theme breaks its path and leads the pack into an all- rousing climax, which, after a final pause follows the triumphant coda. The set is completed with a few chords, the last of which is sustained by the woodwinds, which takes an abrupt end has a slow fading away result.


The world premiere of the symphony played on 16 December 1893, the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall in New York under the direction of Anton Seidl. Dvořák wrote about the concert: The newspapers say, never had a composer such a triumph. [ ... ] The people applauded so much that I made ​​the box like a king? alla Mascagni in Vienna had to say thank you. The first performance of the symphony " From the New World " on the European continent took place on July 20, 1894 in Karlovy Vary. The symphony was celebrated everywhere and quickly became the biggest success of the composer in his career.

The symphony is today the most famous work of Dvořák and is one of the most performed symphonies worldwide. It was created at the height of the championship of the composer and displays the last summit point in his symphonic dar. the symphonic composer Dvořák had denied his eight symphonies previously incurred the way to perfection and personal completion of the symphonic form, reaching the 9th symphony its greatest Championship. Dvořák wrote and planned for this climax Symphony no further more. He went back to Europe in 1895.

Audio Media

From the New World, 1st movement ( file? ) (Ca. 10 min. )

From the New World, 2nd Movement ( file? ) (Ca. 12 min. )

From the New World, 3rd movement ( file? ) ( 8 min. )

From the New World, 4th Movement ( file? ) (Ca. 12 min. )