Dvořák Symphony No. 7

Masterworks II

Friday & Saturday, November 4th and 5th at 8:00 PM

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Franz Schubert Rosamunde Overture, D. 644

Lowell Liebermann Concerto for Cello, op. 132 (ASO co-commission), Julian Schwarz, cello

Antonín Dvořák Symphony No. 7 in D minor, op. 70


Artistic Director and Conductor José-Luis Novo planned an incredible evening of music for the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra performance entitled Masterworks II: Dvořák Symphony No. 7.  “I chose the music for this concert because it feels like the autumnal season,” Novo says. “It is full of nostalgia and contemplation. We look back to the past, and think about what the future may bring.” 

Franz Schubert Rosamunde Overture, D. 644

Franz Schubert wrote Rosamunde Overture, D. 644 in 1819 for playwright and producer Helmina von Chézy. Helmina was known as the “terrible Frau von Chézy” for her lack of writing talent. She asked Schubert to compose incidental music for her play Rosamunde. In it, von Chézy tells the story of a Cypriot princess who seeks to reclaim her throne. It was a phenomenal flop. Sometime after the failed production, the incidental music disappeared. Discovered in 1867 by Sir George Grove and Sir Arthur Sullivan on a trip to Vienna in search of lost Schubert manuscripts, the Rosamunde Overture has become a standard piece in the canon of classical music. 

Lowell Liebermann’s Concerto for Violoncello, op. 132

Lowell Liebermann’s Concerto for Violoncello, op. 132 was co-commissioned by several orchestras, including the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, for cellist Julian Schwarz. Lowell Liebermann is one of the leading contemporary composers of symphonic American music. “It’s a beautifully written concerto,” Novo says. “Liebermann has a special gift for writing lyrically. The reaction of the audience is incredible, not only because the music is very accessible, but also because Julian Schwarz is so convincing.” 

Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7

Novo chose Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 for the emotional drama all listeners feel as the composition unfolds. “The entire symphony is a wonderful trajectory that starts sober and tragic but ends more exuberantly. Two beautiful moments at the beginning of the second movement reveal melodies that no one else could write except Dvořák. Once you hear that, it goes straight to your heart,” Novo said. 

The third movement of the symphony features the energy and rhythm of the furiant, a rapid and fiery Bohemian traditional dance form. While Dvořák may have lacked the confidence of other composers of the romantic era, he begins to grow into his voice with this symphony.  The music reflects Dvořák as a leading composer expressing a distinctly Czech style and incorporates the unique musical traditions of the Bohemian region into a more sophisticated symphonic idiom. 

Novo hopes the audience finds the trajectory of emotions from start to finish to be as moving as it is for him. “This symphony has a beautiful mix of happy and sad moments. This concert will be beautifully nostalgic, the mix between having a smile and a sad face at the time. It will be difficult to discern your emotions or exactly what your mood even is.”