John Polifronio wrote:
>The Dvorak 7th sym. is often said to be "Brahmsian;" what do you take that
>to mean? I take it to mean that it's thought to have greater weight than
>his 6th or 8th symphonies. But now you can ask me what "weight' means.
>I'm sure you'll agree that, assuming these words have any meaning at all,
>it's impossible to answer your question definitively or unambiguously.
For me the tie in between the Dvorak and Brahms is much stronger. At a
meeting with Brahms, Dvorak heard Brahms play his F maj. symphony. Dvorak
wrote (10 October 1883) "My wish to hear something from his new Symphony he
granted me at once and played the first and last movements. I say, and I
am not exaggerating, that this work surpasses both his earlier symphonies,
if not perhaps in greatness and monumentality of expression, then certainly
in beauty! In it there is a mood which you will not find so often in
Brahms. What lovely melodies are there! It is pure love, and on hearing
it your heart melts within you!" This was in a letter Dvorak wrote to his
publisher after his visit with Brahms.
Listen to the 1st movement of the Brahms and then listen to the second
theme from the exposition of the first movement of the Dvorak seventh.
To my ears the similarities are remarkable.