Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70 was written in late 1884 and early 1885. By this time its author was a world renowned composer who received this new commission from the Philharmonic Society in London. The performance of the work was no less celebrated – the premiere was held on 22 April 1885 in London’s St James’s Hall and the Society’s orchestra was conducted by the composer himself. Although the response to this first performance was exceedingly favourable, after his return to Bohemia, Dvořák subjected the work to a thorough critical revision, during which, apart from minor adjustments, he also shortened the second movement by a full 40 bars. With this new version accomplished, he was able to state with satisfaction that now there is not a single superfluous note in the work and he sent it off to the publishers. Beginning with the second performance, again in Prague with Dvořák conducting, the symphony has only ever been presented in this revised version.
I've just listened to the Dvorak-CD's and I am deeply impressed by the transparancy of the sound of the orchestra and the fact that the score by Dvorak is so clear now!
Paul Janse, Hilversum, Holland
To say that I was pleasantly surprised by this issue would be an understatement. Not so long before I had heard another recent issue described as on original instruments, by a French group playing the New World Symphony. In that case any difference in timbre or style from what we are used to could not make up for a flat and uninspired performance. I cannot comment on the musicological questions involved, but I can say that these Musica Florea performances, beautifully recorded, gave me unmixed pleasure – some of the best new recordings and performances of these frequently recorded works that I have heard for many years.
Mark Todd, Dvorak Society Newsletter No 90 January 2010
'Dvorak on period instruments?' This was the incredulous reaction of just about all of my musician friends when I told them I was reviewing these CDs.
James Ross, Early Music Forum of Scotland News
Further recording by Marek Štryncl and the Musica Florea orchestra:
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