Wind Music

Rhapsodies Op. 45, No. 2

Antonin Dvorak

arranged by Tony Turrill

2Fl.; Fl./picc; 2Ob.;Cor; 2Cl.;Bass Cl./Cl; 2Bsn.;Contra; 2Hn


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In all three Rhapsodies Dvorak sets the scene in the first few bars. The Second Rhapsody is very unlike no. 1 and 3 in the darker emotions it can generate.  Some of us will find the opening bars sinister especially in stark contrast to the harp of no.3 and the gentle melody that introduces no.1.  No. 2 begins as it means to continue with a resounding tutti comprised of a rising diminished second followed by the same descending interval, all in unison.  The melody that follows does little to restore a happier mood and in any case for the nearly 300 bars it is continually interrupted by the rhythm of the first two bars, sometimes in relentless full volume. Suddenly all turns into a delightful waltz and this happier mood continues for other 90 or so bars when the main theme returns marked feroce and with it the mood of the opening bars returns, the tempo increases until at bar 500 the horns lead the ensemble into the climax of a resounding triple forte chord repeated ten times. The opening motto then takes over but for most of the time in a much less sinister mood leading to a section that can only be described as gentle.  The tempo then accelerates to a concluding coda, a joyous, full out, fling “God is definitely back in his garden and all is right with the world” again; completing an interesting rollercoaster of a musical journey

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