Tuesday, 21 April 2020

MUSIC REVIEW: Vilem Blodek: Symphony in D minor

Vilem Blodek was a Czech composer of the Romantic period (1834 - 1874) and was a contemporary of both Dvorak and Smetana.  In this YouTube recording of his Symphony in D minor, it was played by The Pilsen Radio Orchestra conducted by Bohumir Liska.

Written in the conventional 4 movements, this is a symphony that tugs at your heart strings. It is nostalgic yet courageous; full of love, and a seeminging simplistic belief that good will triumph over evil. It is a Romantic work in every sense of the word.

The symphony takes inspiration (as indeed did Dvorak) from the likes of Brahms, Wagner and Mendelssohn, and uses many of Bohemia's national folk melodies to interlace his score.

It starts with a grand and expansive opening, followed by a slower, more reflective second movement. Then comes a genius scherzo: a rollercoaster ride of traditional dance rhythms channelling waltz King, Johann Strauss. The sweeping, uber-Romantic final movement leads inexorably to, in my humble opinion, one of the best codas in the whole Romantic repertoire, a triumphal and pompous final few bars.

Reviewer - Matthew Dougall
on - 20/4/20

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