This Sunday, and we hope every Sunday, I shall be posting some of my favourite pieces of classical music. My knowledge of classical music is not what it should be (despite my grade 8 in piano) but it is my first choice over and above all other forms.
Since I now own a reasonably sized flat-screen TV that I can play the old YouTube on, it is a real pleasure not only to listen to this great music, but to see it being played in concert.
Our first clip is Dvorak’s Symphony No 9, the 4th movement, Allegro con fuoco. It is conducted by Gustavo ‘the Dude’ Dudamel with his usual electrifying energy.
I must say my kids really enjoy watching this one. Close observers will note that this was performed for the then Pope Benedict XVI.
Antonin Dvorak (1841 – 1904) was a Czech composer noted to be ‘prominently nationalistic’ and his influence upon the development of a national voice was lasting. This demonstrates how the individual national voices of the European continent make the whole classical genre so interesting and inspiring. We are not part of one big boring mono-culture as the Eurocrats want us to be. In this stultifying era of ‘equality and diversity’ it is worth remembering what true diversity looks like.
The Symphony No 9 is Dvorak’s best known, and was intended to celebrate another great achievement of Western civilisation, Columbus’s discovery of America, hence the title From the New World.
Classical music is one of our great cultural treasures. We should all take time to introduce our children to its excellence and beauty. Enjoy.