Notes and Editorial Reviews
Anton Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 is one of classical music's all-time greatest hits. It was composed and premiered in New York in 1893, which is why - but not only why - it is known as the "New World Symphony." On this recording, which also includes the first cycle on the equally popular Slavonic Dances, the Piano Duo Trenkner / Speidel once again demonstrates the great advantages and fascinating rhythmic verve offered by reductions for piano four hands. Trimmed of the comfortable and sumptuous sound of the large orchestra, Dvorak's genial treatment of motives of Bohemian folk character shines in even greater glory. However, not a single one of these motives is genuine folk music. Both in the United States and in his native Bohemia,
Dvorak occupied himself very thoroughly with traditional music, including African American spirituals and Native American songs. He then invented his own melodies of the same character and was very successful - as the famous main theme of the second movement demonstrates; its melancholy feeling goes straight to the heart!
Dvorak also thought out the Slavonic Dances completely on his own and so very precisely hit just the right tone that research has repeatedly been conducted to determine the precise origins of this music. The constant shifts of tempo and rhythmic modifications represent a genuine challenge for a piano duo but are no problem at all for Evelinde Trenkner and Sontraud Speidel, who draw on many years of joint performance experience. While Dvorak only later prepared the version of the Slavonic Dances for piano four hands, he produced the keyboard version of his ninth symphony at about the same time as its premiere. Since he repeatedly ranges quite far from the orchestral version, it does not involve a piano reduction in the usual sense. The result, a genuine piece of music for piano duo.
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