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Dvorak’s America


  1. What nonsense . Mr.Horowitz has gone to absurd lengths in this article on Dvorak to prove a point but seems
    to display a total lack of understanding music as a creative art . The length of the article can be
    thought of as an elephant giving birth to a mouse . All music is about itself – it is the most abstract of the
    arts . The W.J. Henderson 2,000 words are ridiculously laughable . The music world is full of idiots
    of his calibre writing endless nonsense.The symphony “imparts” only that he was a composer of music ,
    the humanitarian interpretation comes from Mr. Horowitz and has nothing to do with the music score . If
    Mr. Horowitz can show that anywhere in the score comes forth the musical expression “humanitarian ”
    we shall all be in his debt . What Dvorak thought while composing it we shall never know ,but we do know he put together a series of sounds that pleased and still pleases many people who interpret the work as they
    see fit .

    • Michael Beckerman says:

      The disrespectful tone of this posting reflects either a continuing deterioration of the standard of discussion and/or the obvious anxiety on the part of the person posting about just what music is and what it means to be a composer. None of us know the answer to this, but to categorically state that the only thing that mattered to a composer was putting forth a succession of “pleasing sounds” should be rethought. Dvorak was a complex human being and neither Mr. Horowitz or the poster of this comment know precisely what he meant to do, and none of us have the right to insist on a single way of hearing or understanding music. The facts are clear: for whatever reason, Dvorak wanted his audience in New York to know about the connections between the New World Symphony and a range of specifically American phenomena, including the Longfellow poem. Whether this was, to revisit the comments of this post, to “simply” make the sounds more “pleasing,” or whether Dvorak had other motives, is something for us to discuss respectfully. And if we cannot, then we should be asking ourselves why we are so exorcised by the curiosity of others.


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