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The Creation, Hob.XXI:2 (Oberture), J. Haydn
Variations on a theme by Haydn in B flat major, Op.56, J. Brahms
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Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op.88, A. Dvořák

1.00 h (w/out intermission)

Program notes Jose Antonio Canton

The Overture of Franz Joseph Haydn’s oratory The Creation is an introductory representation of just over fifty beats of the chaos that existed prior to the creation of the universe, very significant aestheticallly in the context of the music of the composer’s time and of his own work. Pulses of life appear in the changing harmonies, suggesting what is to come. The Overture reflects the musical visions of an imagined primitive landscape which leads to a desolate final silence before the Creator’s action is revealed.
It was through Karl Ferdinand Pohl, the librarian of Vienna’s Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, that Brahms discovered the short piece Haydn had composed for a band, which is the direct source of his Variations on a Theme by Haydn. In fact, the theme’s origins were older: it was taken from a pilgrim’s hymn in honour of Saint Anthony, used by Haydn when he worked in Bohemia as a musician for Count Morzin.
In contrast with his two earlier symphonies, for which the reference was Viennese classicism, Antonin Dvorak’s Eighth, Op.88 is more modern and experimental. It was composed between August 26th and November 8th, 1889 in G major, a key that was very common in the numerous folk songs from which it draws its inspiration. It contains a marked  Bohemian lyricism, expressed as if were chamber music, its simplicity highlighted by the alternations of keys.

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