Symphony No. 8 (Dvorak)

The Symphony No. 8 in G major by Antonin Dvorak was written from August to November 1889 in Vysoka, Bohemia. It is performed somewhat frequently, but not nearly as often as the famous Ninth, instead enjoying similar status to the Seventh Symphony, despite the two works' differences. While the Seventh is a stormy and Romantic work, the Eighth is cheery, and draws its inspiration more from the Bohemian folk music that Dvorak loved so much.

A typical performance of the Eighth lasts about 36 minutes, making it one of Dvorak's shorter symphonies.

The Eighth is scored for 2 Flutes, a Piccolo, 2 Oboes, an English Horn, 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns, 2 Trumpets, 3 Trombones, a Tuba, Timpani, and Strings.

The work is in four movements:

1. Allegro con Brio in G major - The first movement is a powerful and glowing exposition characterized by liberal use of percussion.

2. Adagio in C minor - Despite being marked "Adagio," the second movement, in reality, moves along at quite a reasonable speed. It begins with a typically beautiful violin solo and ends quietly, but contentedly.

3. Allegretto Grazioso - Molto Vivace in G minor - Most of the third movement is a reserved dance in 3/4 time. Near the end, the meter changes to 4/4, and the music ends in a manner not unlike that of the second movement.

4. Allegro, ma non Troppo in G major - The finale (formally a set of variations) is the most turbulent movement. It begins with a fanfare, then progresses to a beautiful melody which is first played by the cellos. The tension is masterfully built and finally released at approximately two minutes into the piece, where a cascade of instruments playing the initial theme introduce a horn trill which sounds like a dying elephant. From there, the movement compellingly progresses through a tempestuous middle section, modulating from major to minor several times throughout, and including two more horn trills. The piece ends on a chromatic coda, in which brass and percussion are greatly prominent.es:Sinfona n 8 (Antonin Dvorak) ja:交響曲第8番 (ドヴォルザーク)

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