Dvorak Symphonies In a Mess

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Craigbakalian
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Dvorak Symphonies In a Mess

Postby Craigbakalian » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 am

Hi All,

The Dvorak Symphonies are in a mess. If you click on the link for Symphony 7 you get Symphony 2 (the download). Could someone clean it up?

Craig Bakalian

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies In a Mess

Postby pml » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:35 am

Hi Craig,

if you've downloaded IMSLP #24074, it says “Symphony No. 2” at the top of the first page, but it is the D minor symphony (opus 70) which was later re-numbered as Symphony No. 7. (Either that, or Sir Colin Davis is playing a completely different symphony on my CD of Dvořák’s 7th, 8th, and 9th.) The normal Symphony No. 2 as defined nowadays is in B flat major.

Dvořák’s symphonies make the confusion about the numbering of Schubert’s Great Symphony look relatively straight-forward by comparison.

Cheers, Philip
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Re: Dvorak Symphonies In a Mess

Postby steltz » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:40 am

Just to make the history a bit clearer, some composers actually burn early works they're not happy with to make sure no one can ever listen to them if they get famous. Brahms was quite a notorious destroyer of things he didn't want his name attached to, even though at this point, people would love to see the development of the young composer. Clara Schumann was apparently quite upset when Brahms insisted that she burn letters he'd sent her.

If I remember this correctly, Dvorak wasn't quite as careful to obscure early works, so when they were found, they were pounced upon. But by then, the later symphonies had early numbers. Hence the re-numbering.
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Re: Dvorak Symphonies In a Mess

Postby pml » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:52 am

Here’s the run-down:

Later symphonies published earlier:

D major — first symphony to be published [effectively known as No. 1], under Op. 58, then quickly removed to Op. 60. Now known as No. 6, Op. 60
D minor — published as No. 2, Op. 70. Now known as No. 7, same opus number
F major — published as No. 3, Op. 24. Now known as No. 5, Op. 76
G major — published as No. 4, Op. 88. Now known as No. 8, same opus number
E minor — published as No. 5, Op. 95. Now known as No. 9, same opus number “From the New World”

Earlier symphonies published later:

E flat major — No. 3, Op. 10
D minor — No. 4, Op. 13
B flat major — No. 2, Op. 4
C minor — No. 1, no opus number “The Bells of Zlonice”

The only possible confusion between keys are the two works in D minor. The old numberings were quite pervasive — some of my father’s LP records from the late ‘50s still had the old numbers, such as Symphony No. 5 “From the New World”.

P.
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Re: Dvorak Symphonies In a Mess

Postby kalliwoda » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:59 am

To add to the confusion, for some time the first symphony (without opus, first performed in 1936), which was thought to be lost even by Dvorak himself, was not included in the renumbered series, resulting in the "New World" to be referred to as No.8....
Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton%C3%A ... %99%C3%A1k
Last edited by kalliwoda on Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies In a Mess

Postby pml » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:59 am

I forgot about that bit of silliness, thanks Kalliwoda. All we need now for maximum confusion is to find some Brucknerian-style works entitled “Symphony No.0” and even sillier, “No.00” before that...
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Re: Dvorak Symphonies In a Mess

Postby steltz » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:45 pm

I suppose the composers' attitudes are "why do musicologists have to keep FINDING things!!!" :lol:
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Re: Dvorak Symphonies In a Mess

Postby Craigbakalian » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:10 am

Hi plm,

Thank you for reminding me about this. It has been about 25 years since my undergraduate music history class. I forgot all about the confusion. Could someone put a clarifying statement - list (like plm did in his post) about the actual numeration somewhere on each symphony page?

Craig Bakalian

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies In a Mess

Postby pml » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:32 am

Hi Craig,

on each page for Symphonies (current numbers!) 5 to 9, there is a note to this effect at the foot of the page either in, or just below, the general information box.

There is however a lot of detail on these pages, and it is thus very easy to miss. I’ve had very little to do with the Dvořák pages, so I shouldn’t criticise, but this would be an ideal time to go through the symphonies and make the info a little bit clearer and obvious.

An obvious piece of missing information is that the early scan of Symphony No. 7 has the earlier number emblazoned on the first page — that should have been flagged on the Misc. Comments for that set of files.

Cheers, Philip M. Legge (aka pml: Ph is “Phirst”, M is in the Middle, L comes Last :-)
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Re: Dvorak Symphonies In a Mess

Postby geoff8795 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:44 pm

Just found this discussion some time after playing Dvorak 7 in my local orchestra.

I'm aware of the renumbering of the five later symphonies following publication of the four early ones - no. 1 in 1961, no. 2 in 1959 and nos. 3 and 4 in 1912. I believe the current numbers were adopted in the 1950s. What I don't understand is why the old numbers still persist on orchestral parts more than fifty years later. The parts for no. 7 which we played were all printed "no. 2" but I'm sure weren't 50 or more years old. Some had been altered to 7 in ink. This led our secretary, who writes the programme notes, to comment that the numbering of Dvorak's symphonies is "bewildering" - surely an exaggeration. Do publishers just reprint parts without checking these details or can they not cope with renumbering?

Haydn's symphonies need renumbering but I don't think anyone would risk doing it!

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Re: Dvorak Symphonies In a Mess

Postby Eric » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:44 am

I can understand why some difficulty might have persisted before the (late) first recordings of the early symphonies but not after...


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