31 Mar 2022

DVORAK: Carnival Overture Op 92

From Music Alive, 8:01 pm on 31 March 2022

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NZSO Sessions 2022: Rhapsody Israeli-born conductor and pianist Asher Fisch leads the NZSO in a vibrant programme including Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' and 'American in Paris', Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition', and Dvořák's 'Carnival Overture'. Recorded in the Michael Fowler Centre, in March 2022.

Antonin Dvorak

Antonin Dvorak in 1882 Photo: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

In 1891, when Dvořák was 50 years old, he composed a triptych of overtures with the overall title Nature, Life and Love. He later reconsidered the idea of publishing them as a set and instead gave them separate titles: In Nature’s Realm, Carnival and Othello.

The Carnival Overture is the best-known of the three. It exudes high spirits right from the beginning, with its vigorous opening theme. Later, the bustle of the carnival is suddenly cut short by unsettling diminished chords in the harp, and the opening energy gives way to a peaceful interlude. But the tranquillity soon ends on the same diminished harmony that introduced it, and the carnival continues in full swing through to its rowdy climax.

David Houston, producer
Darryl Stack, engineer