Re: Repeats in Dvorak Symphonies
Posted by Chris Howell on February 19, 2014, 6:45 am, in reply to "Re: Repeats in Dvorak Symphonies"
Dear Byzantion, This sounds all very reasonable as you now put it, but would your readers have grasped the fact that "ill-advisedly" represents your personal view rather than a larger musicological one? And I do feel that you might have pointed out that, however "ill-advisedly", the composer himself rejected the repeat at a later stage. |
On a larger musicological matter, I understand it has always been taught at Prague Conservatoire that Dvorak put these repeats out of respect for tradition but did not wish them to be played. It's never been clear to me if they base this on that note in the MS to Symphony 6 or whether he actually said (or better, wrote) this on a documented occasion.
I've always felt that his attitude might have been a bit more ambivalent. After all, as early as Symphony 3 he "broke" with tradition and not only had no 1st movt repeat but even wrote "no repeat" in the score at the point where one may have been expected. So, having made his stand, why have the repeat back in again in Symphs 4, 5 & 6? Then, having "broken" with tradition again in 7 & 8, why put the repeat in the "New World"?
Possibly he would have agreed with Brahms, who conducted his 2nd Symphony late in life without the repeat and, when questioned about it, replied that "Formerly when the piece was new to the audience, the repeat was necessary; today, the work is so well known that I can go on without it".