Work of the week - Dvořák 9 „From the New World“

By Konzerthaus Berlin April 1, 2024


"Antonín Dvořák's Ninth Symphony was intended to sound folkloristic. After all, the composer had been appointed director of the New York National Conservatory of Music with the aim of creating a typically 'American' national music, writes our program booklet author Harald Hodeige. "Dvořák explored the musical roots of the new continent - African-American and indigenous folklore as well as the traditional songs of immigrant Irish and Scots."

Dvořák wrote the first three movements in January 1893 and explained: "The second movement is a kind of Adagio, but it differs from the classical form of this structure. It is really a study or a sketch for a longer composition, either a cantata or an opera, which I would like to write after Longfellow's 'Hiawatha'... The scherzo of my symphony was inspired by the scene of the Indian feast in Hiawatha, in which the Native Americans sing and dance. I wanted to express 'Indian' national character with musical means." He completed the finale, which promises a roaring American spring and summer, in April.

The composer entrusted the most famous melody in the second mouvement of his symphony to the  melancholic sounding cor anglais. With great calmness and serenity, it encourages the listener to imagine the expanse of the untouched American prairie. However, the pentatonicism used here is not only a characteristic of American, but also of Slavic folk music. In any case, the musical combination of Old and New World has since touched countless people on both sides of the Atlantic - and whereever else the work has been played and loved since its premiere in 1893.


For this event, you will not receive tickets through our webshop. You will therefore be redirected to an external page of the organizer. If you have any not completed bookings on, they will be dissolved after 20 minutes.