Dvorak: New World Symphony; Varèse: Amériques Seattle Symphony/ Ludovic Morlot | Review

Fri, Jul 3, 2015, 00:00


Dvorak Symphony No 9 New Works Va`èse Amériques

Seattle Symphony, Ludovic Morlot, Antoniin Dvorak, Edgard Varèse

Seattle Symphony Media


Ludovic Morlot here offers an unusual coupling which illustrates the impact of the aesthetic earthquake that redrew the boundaries of musical experience in the early decades of the 20th century.

The common factor is clear. Two Europeans who crossed the Atlantic documented their musical responses to the New World: 50-something Czech composer Antonín Dvorak in the 1890s and 40-ish Frenchman Edgard Varèse in the early 1920s.

The contrast is between 19th-century pastoralism and an embrace of a 20th-century urban soundscape of industry and machines, complete with sirens. The darkest passages in the Dvorak sound utterly benign beside the harsh juxtapositions of the Varèse.

A startling programme, persuasively performed.