feat. Dvořák, Britten, Glass, Glazunov & Chopin

This week we give you Heroes, and in all musical shapes and sizes.

Firstly ‘Hero's Song’, the final of Dvorak's five symphonic poems, which has been suggested as being autobiographical but we suspect not. From there we move to Benjamin Britten's ‘Ballad of Heroes’ for orchestra, choir and vocal soloists; composed in 1939, this was a pacifist work that trailed ahead to his angry ‘War Requiem’ of 1962 whilst being immensely powerful in its own right, not least for its timing just months before the start of the Second World War. As a result, Philip Glass's “Heroes” Symphony No 4 makes for quite a contrast coming off the back of it, because this 1996 work is based on the experimental 1977 album of the same name by David Bowie and Brian Eno. From there we move to Glazunov's ‘To the Memory of a Hero’, a teenage orchestral work which nevertheless saw him treading his own stylistic path, and finally to Chopin's rousing “Heroic” Polonaise for the piano. So from piano solo to orchestral and choral, and all moods from grieving to angry to triumphant, we feel we've got heroes pretty covered here. We hope you agree!

Curation: Natascha Klotschkoff

Text: Charlotte Gardner

Speaker: Charlotte Gardner

Visual Art: Philipp Nicolai Hertel

  • Heroes

  • An introduction to Dvořák — Heldenlied op. 111

  • Heldenlied op. 111 Preview Only

    Antonín Dvořák

    Andris Nelsons, Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks2012
  • An introduction to Britten — Ballad of Heroes op. 14

  • Ballad of Heroes op. 14 Preview Only

    Benjamin Britten

    Richard Hickox, Martyn Hill, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra1991
  • An introduction to Glass — Symphony No. 4 »Heroes«

  • Symphony No. 4 »Heroes« Preview Only

    Philip Glass

    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop2006
  • An introduction to Glasunow — To the Memory of a Hero op. 8

  • To the Memory of a Hero op. 8 Preview Only

    Alexander Glazunov

    Moscow RTV Large Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Fedoseyev
  • An introduction to Chopin — Polonaise No. 6 in A flat major op. 53

  • Polonaise No. 6 in A flat major op. 53 Preview Only

    Frédéric Chopin

    Olga Kern2005

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