Julius Hegyi: George Whitefield Chadwick Symphony 2, Albany Symphony

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George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931)
Symphony No. 2 in B flat, op. 21 (1883-1886)

I. Andante non troppo; Allegro con brio
II. Allegretto scherzando
III. Largo e maestoso
IV. Allegro molto animato

Albany Symphony Orchestra
Julius Hegyi, conductor

Chadwick's Symphony No. 2 in B flat, op. 21 (1883-1886) is often compared to the New World Symphony (1893) by Antonín Dvorák, a composer with whom Chadwick shared a similar musical outlook. Both composers used folk-inspired thematic ideas and rousing rhythms to express their nationalistic sentiments. However, Chadwick completed his symphony well before Dvorák's visit to the United States: the end of its second movement features a pentatonic melody inspired by Negro song written almost a decade before Dvorák's better-known example. This movement was so well-liked in its premiere performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra that it was played twice by audience demand, an unprecedented occurrence in the orchestra's history.