Dvorak and the bright, beautiful sunrise

It’s hugely important to feed the muse, no matter the creative endeavour. And from now on — at least for a little while — I’m dedicating Wednesdays on this blog to this purpose.

Today’s inspiration comes in the form of music. Specifically Dvorak’s Symphony Number 9 — From the New World.

I love all kinds of music, and this week I’ve been in classical music mode. ‘From the New World’ is one of my favourites. It was composed in 1893 during Dvorak’s visit to the United States. I’ve embedded the entire symphony above (it goes for something like 42 minutes), and it’s lovely to have playing in the background.

One of the things I love about Dvorak’s 9th Symphony is the way it conjures up vivid images in my head. Particularly during the second movement (Largo) — which for me is a bright and beautiful sunrise. (Starts at around the 12min mark.)

Listening to this symphony makes me smile. It makes my heart light. It makes me feel as though I can achieve whatever I set out to do.

Aside: I had an epiphany about orchestral music this week. I have never played an instrument to speak of (aside from juvenile piano playing) and so I have never played in a band or an orchestra. But as I was driving to work, listening to the classical music radio station for once, it suddenly struck me how amazing it must be to play in an orchestra. To contribute your own small thread, however innocuous (depending on your instrument), to the whole stupendous weave. To have it all come together as one brilliant whole, the parts distinguishable but perfectly blended. It seems such an incredible achievement! I confess I was so moved by the thought of all those individuals contributing to whatever piece I was listening to that I teared up a little. Previously I had tended to consider an ‘orchestra’ as a faceless single entity.

And then I was reminded of the process of weaving a novel together…

Dvorak’s 9th symphony is my inspiration of the week. Who else finds classical music feeds their muse?

6 thoughts on “Dvorak and the bright, beautiful sunrise

  1. Okay, I can only speak for the choir, since the only instrument I play is my voice, but I had to giggle at your description of an orchestra as a “faceless single entity”. OMG, if you ONLY knew the drama that goes on in the choir room, it would blow your mind. The snarky, backstabbing, soap opera, HYlarious crap that people get into…and then they all walk calmly into the church and sing Bach or Mozart or whatever and sound like the very angels come down from heaven. Except the tenors, but you know how they are…


  2. That’s a lovely piece. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE writing to classical music. My favorite pieces to listen to right now is Bach’s Cello Suites and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto #5 (especially the Adagio movement). The cello suites seem to have a trance-like effect on me – I become completely absorbed in my writing when listening to that.


  3. I love orchestral pieces, though my tastes run more to movie soundtracks than classical. Every time I listen to The Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack I wish I had the skill to play with a group of other musicians. I have two years of a piano under my belt (as an adult) and I discovered a lot of classical pieces that I love.

    My current favorite classical piece to listen to is Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, but in the past I’ve also been obsessed by Vivaldi’s work, Tchaikovsky’s Slavonic March, and some Bach. I’m especially drawn to music written in a minor key. My muse loves melancholy or eerie. 😀


    1. My favourite orchestral movie soundtracks are Lord of the Rings and Last of the Mohicans. I like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon too, although I don’t own the soundtrack. I love music in minor keys — so atmospheric! Perfectly suited ot some moods.


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