Antonín Dvořák: Symphony no. 8 in G Major, op. 88
Antonín Dvořák composed his Symphony no. 8 in G Major, op. 88, in 1889. One explanation given for why it is called his “English” symphony is that he performed it on the occasion of his being awarded an honorary doctorate from Cambridge University (1891). Much of it was written at Dvořák’s summer residence in Vysoká u Příbramě, where he liked to go so that he could work amidst the quiet natural surroundings. The symphony reflects the Czech love of song, a joyful state of mind, and a full kaleidoscope of moods. It was first performed at the Rudolfinum on 2 February 1890 as part of the 13th popular concert of the Umělecká Beseda, with Dvořák himself conducting the National Theatre orchestra.