Semyon Bychkov conducts Berio and Dvořák — With London Voices
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Rediscover a classic of Czech music alongside a lesser-heard masterwork by experimental composer Luciano Berio! The concert opens with the Italian's Sinfonia, interpreted with brio by the London Voices and a Czech Philharmonic in high form, under the baton of Maestro Semyon Bychkov. This fascinating choral symphony features eight amplified voices, singing and speaking texts extracted from Claude Lévi-Strauss, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett—with a second movement in homage to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—and also quotes musical works by Beethoven, Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, and many other composers in its highly allusive third movement.
The evening's second half is dedicated to the music of Dvořák, with his Symphony No. 7 in D Minor as the centerpiece. This passionate work, dedicated to the London Philharmonic Society who had commissioned it, was an unmitigated success at its premiere and has continued to enchant audiences through the centuries—including this one at the Rudolfinum in Prague, where Dvořák himself conducted the Czech Philharmonic's first ever concert in 1896. Two of the Bohemian composer's spirited Slavonic Dances serve as encores to round out the program, which also includes a nod to Frank Sinatra...