Owing to his great talent for melody and the delightfully fresh Czech character of his music, Antonín Dvořák achieved worldwide recognition. His technical abilities and rich melodic inspiration enabled him to create an oeuvre that includes masterpieces in many, if not all musical genres.
In total, Dvořák wrote nine symphonies, the last five of which are called his “Mature Symphonies”. Included in this SACD album are Dvořák’s symphonies nos. 7 and 8, each of which, though different in character, represent Dvořák at his best. Symphony No. 7 exudes rebelliousness. The treatment Dvořák’s homeland had received at the hands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire which ruled it, rankled the composer. The sunshine of Symphony No. 8, written in his farmhouse in the Czech countryside, clears the air after the storms of Symphony No. 7. Dvořák’s rural surroundings may have influenced the music’s freshness and cheer.
The Houston Symphony led by its Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, recorded these symphonies at the Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts in Houston, in April 2014 (Symphony No. 7) and March 2015 (Symphony No. 8).