Antonín Dvořák dedicated his Symphony No. 6 in D major to Hans Richter, who was the director of the Vienna Philharmonic and who had commissioned the symphony. When Dvořák finished composing it in October 1880, Richter seemed to be very enthusiastic about the work. However, the planned premiere in December 1880 was postponed several times and out of frustration Dvořák had the symphony premiered in Prague by a different orchestra in March 1881. It was eventually conducted by its dedicatee, Hans Richter in London in 1882, where it became a great favourite with the English public.
The symphony combines elements of the symphonic tradition of Brahms, whom Dvořák admired greatly, with influences of Czech folk music. The same Czech folk music, which earlier on inspired Dvořák to write the Slavonic Dances op. 46 and op. 72, drew peoples’ attention not only to Dvořák as a composer, but to the Czech music world in general.
On this album Dvořák’s Symphony No. 6 is paired with Slavonic Dance op. 72, No. 3 and Slavonic Dance op. 46, No. 8, recorded in September 2015 by the Houston Symphony under the direction of Colombian conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada, the orchestra’s music director since 2014.