Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 in G major

In the first part of our video series on Czech Music Greats, we introduce one of the best-known names in Czech classical music - Antonín Dvořák.

Antonín Dvořák | Photo: Ian Willoughby,  Radio Prague International

Antonín Dvořák is known worldwide for his New World Symphony, but without doubt, one of his much loved works is his Symphony No. 8 in G major.

Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 is cheery and lyrical and draws inspiration from the Bohemian folk music that the composer loved.

In it, the composer kept the typical format of a symphony in four movements, but structured them in an unusual way. All movements show a remarkable variety of themes and improvisation.

The symphony was performed for the first time in Prague’s Rudolfinum on February 2, 1890. Dvořák conducted the work himself, as he did its British premiere, which was performed in London on April 24 of that same year. The symphony was a resounding success, in the eyes of both the public and critics. Dvořák was portrayed in the British press as the only living composer who could rightfully be named as Beethoven’s successor.

Authors: Barbora Navrátilová , Lukáš Hurník


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