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La Philharmonic Plays Dvorak: "Symphony No. 6"

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LA Philharmonic Plays Dvorak: "Symphony No. 6"

For my third concert report I decided to discuss the music played at the LA Philharmonic that I recently went to. They played several pieces, but I decided to review Antonin Dvorak's "Symphony No. 6" because I'm a big fan of his work. The music in this specific symphony is meant to portray the influence of earlier composers on Dvorak's work, namely Johannes Brahams and Ludwig Van Beethoven. Each of the four movements is very different and unique, and each of them shows his strong presence as a Czech composer in the Romantic Period.

The first movement of the symphony is entitled "Allegro non tanto". It is a slightly fast-paced movement with a wide variety of typical orchestral instruments, but it emphasizes the use of flutes, French horns, violins and celli. It mainly uses homophonic texture, but in a few parts it can seem polyphonic. The melody is predominantly voiced by the violins in a major key and is very happy, fluid and grand. It is accompanied by a very important harmony in a major key that helps accentuate this feeling. The rhythm is very interesting as it uses lots of syncopation and complex pulls on the beat, but at the same time it uses very common and amiable rhythms as well. The piece overall maintains a somewhat loud dynamic (perhaps mezzo forte or forte), and the dynamics do not change drastically. There are a few exceptions in where it becomes quiet which portrays a sense of calmness or serenity, but it is usually overcome by the grand, dominant feeling that was played before.

The second movement of the symphony is entitled "Adagio". Unlike the first movement, the second movement is relatively slow, but it remains homophonic. It seems overall to be a complete movement of the serene, calm feeling that was slightly previewed in the first movement. There are much less instruments used in this movement; mostly only violins, violas, horns and flutes playing. There is no sense of dominance or attitude in the melody or harmony and trumpets, basses, trombones and tubas are almost never heard. It is a very quiet and calm sound, and there is never any change in the dynamics. Like the first movement, it is played in a major key most of the time, but it also uses minor undertones at various times. With a combination of less dominant voices and a mostly major key, the melody is very free and flowing, and it gives the listener a sense of calmness, serenity, and security. All of the rhythms in the piece are very in sync with the beat there isn't any unexpected or complex pushing or pulling on it. The harmony is much less important in this movement, and it serves as almost just a simple decoration to the melody rather than an essential support for the coherence of the movement.

The third movement of the symphony is entitled "Scherzo (Furiant)".

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