OUT of America, but from the heart of Bohemia, Dvorak’s Symphony No9 ‘From the New World’ has the Slavic idiom brushed with the palette of new colours.
Benjamin Wallfisch directed the BSO in a warmly appreciative account, driving home the first movement coda. It is the lot of a cor anglais player in this work to intone one of the loveliest and most memorable tunes in all music. Here Rebecca Kozam had that enviable task and, as always, played winningly. The serenity of this movement is disturbed only by a gust of wind with hesitant breaks for wistful thought. The Scherzo’s powerful dance-like themes and fine wind choir were effectively handled and Wallfisch produced a glorious finale.
Brief though it was, Jesper Svedberg’s singing tone in Dvorak’s Silent Woods lit up the stillness with their ancestral bounty; a 1699 Grancino cello.
Smetana’s Bartered Bride Overture set the stage with an excitable buzz and brought the haunting tune that inhabits the tone poem from Ma Vlast; From Bohemia’s Woods and Fields or as presenter Petroc Trelawny would have it-Meadows and Forests-wonderful music however the title translates.
Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave finds its way in by virtue of historical connection when Russia allied with Serbia combining nationalistic tunes including the Russian anthem, making a most colourful piece.