1. Atonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, B. 163 (8/10)
- Allegro con brio (G minor → G major)
- Adagio (E♭ major → C minor → C major)
- Allegretto grazioso — Molto vivace (G minor → ending in G major)
- Allegro ma non troppo (G major)
I definitely prefer my Romantic music moody and brooding, so this bubbly thing is not really in my wheel-house necessarily. But I appreciate both the commitment to musical sources outside the strict classical tradition and his playfulness with the tradition. I have to read about it because my ears are still not good enough to detect subtle twists like this, but it’s certainly crowd-pleasing enough that you don’t need to know what he’s up to, to enjoy it as music (if this upbeat stuff is your thing).
If memory serves, I prefer No. 9. Not sure I’ve heard any others.
3. Edvard Grieg: Six Songs (8/10)
- “Greeting,” words by Heinrich Heine
- “One Day, O Heart of Mine,” words by Emanuel Geibel
- “The Way of the World,” words by Ludwig Uhland
- “The Nightingale’s Secret,” words by Walter von der Vogelweide
- “The Time of Roses,” words by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- “A Dream,” words by Friedrich von Bodenstedt
Norwegian translation by Nordahl Rolfsen
The Six Songs (Op. 48) are compelling as well, but a little less obviously wonderful than his most famous song-cycle (to my ears). I still like them and would recommend them even if you are not into lieder.
3. Erik Satie: Ogives (7/10)
Quite simple music supposedly reminiscent of plainchant. (There he goes again, thinking outside the box.) I find them less impressive than his earlier work from this period in part because of how simple they are. I do like the idea that the tempo is totally up for grabs to the performer; that is cool.
4. Erik Satie: Gnossienne No. 5 (7/10)
The most conservative of these pieces, sequenced first in my collection because it was actually written first. Pretty but not up to the level of the later stuff.