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Dvořák on cheery form, inspired by the Bohemian folk music that he loved.
A more timid sibling to the limelight-stealing New World Symphony, the composer dedicated his Symphony No.8 to the music world: "To the Bohemian academy of emperor Franz Joseph for the encouragement of arts and literature, in thanks for my election." Debts duly paid, he produced a fun and lively symphony, replete with folk tunes that the Academy would no doubt have loved.
In this work, Dvořák tried to achieve a marked difference to his Symphony No. 7, which was stormy and romantic. The Eighth is cheery and lyrical and draws its inspiration more from the Bohemian folk music that Dvořák loved.
In it, the composer kept the typical format of a symphony in four movements, but structured them in an unusual way. All movements show a markable variety of themes. Occasionally the development of the themes seems like improvisation.
Along with the Seventh and the Ninth Symphonies, this symphony is without doubt one of Dvořák's major achievements.