Cello Concerto in B minor Op.104
The second highest of Dvořák's 5 entries in the Ultimate Hall of Fame. This peaked at number 88 in the first Hall of Fame in 1996.
This is one of the two most performed cello concertos in the world (the other being by Elgar). Like the New World Symphony, it is another work hailing from the composer's American period and is therefore infused with the same sense of homesick longing that pervades the symphony. Yet there is far more to the Cello Concerto than initially meets the ear. Homesickness tells only half the tale. With Dvořák in America was his wife, Anna, whom he had married only after courting and being turned down by her elder sister, Josefina. At that time, he had started but not finished an early cello concerto, an expression of his love. Now, in America, he learned that Josefina was seriously ill and began another cello concerto. Into it, he wove Josefina's favourite of his songs, called 'Leave Me Alone'. It is heard most achingly in the wonderful slow movement. Intended originally for his friend Hanus.
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