Not intended to open a performance of Shakespeare’s play, Berlioz’ “concert overture,” rather intended to suggest a link to a well-known literary or theatrical work in a single movement. The terms “tone poem” and “symphonic poem” had not yet been developed for this kind of orchestral work, so a number of composers simply applied “overture” as a designation. He simply wanted to write a score of powerful tragic character and, having done so, entitled it with the name of the greatest tragedy he had recently read. If it was Smetana who effectively created the Czech musical character, it was Dvořák who took it to the world. His Sixth Symphony, the first to be published (which is why for many years it was known as his First), sees Dvořák’s style fully formed, the thick scoring of his earlier symphonies now replaced by the colourful, translucent sound that characterised his mature output. Its allusions to the musical world of Brahms, Beethoven and Schubert only serve to highlight the confidence Dvořák had in his own voice, which is never swamped by his illustrious forbears.

CLICK HERE to view the livestream for this concert

The concert will be available to view on demand for 30 days after the orginal performance until 7.30pm (GMT) on Friday 12 February.
The concert stream will be accessible behind a paywall as an embedded Vimeo video stream. It is best to watch through an up-to-date browser (we recommend Google Chrome on a PC and Safari on an Apple device). You can then connect to your TV or HIFI via a cable connection. An Amazon Firestick is also compatible using the Amazon Silk browser direct on a TV as well as most default browsers on SMART TVs.

Works and composers

Berlioz King Lear Overture
Dvořák Symphony No.6

Supported by

The Michael & Ilse Katz Foundation