The Maya Kulieva Turkmen National Conservatory’s Big Hall has played host to a concert devoted to the late-19th century Czech composer Antonín Dvořák as this year marks the 180th anniversary of his birth. The concert was organized by teachers and students of the Chamber Ensemble Department.

Ludwig van Beethoven and Richard Wagner were Dvořák’s much-loved composers, and as he acknowledged himself until he was thirty his work “was hypnotically influenced by the great Germans”. Dvořák’s move to Slavic folk melodies and rhythms took place when the Prague musical journal’s editor-in-chief showed the score of the composer’s opera ‘The King and the Charcoal Burner’ to composer and pianist Johannes Brahms, who wrote a one-line critical review: “Dvořák has the best of what a musician should have”.

Critically acclaimed and well received by audiences, the work encouraged Dvořák to continue creating in the original style inspired by traditional folk tunes. And later, he composed his famous ‘Moravian Duets’ based on Moravian folk song texts, the song cycles entitled ‘Evening Songs’ and ‘Gypsy Songs’.

The wonderful evening of music opened with four songs from Dvořák’s ‘Gypsy Songs’. Tenor Begench Moshiev gave virtuosic renditions of ‘I Remember’, ‘Strings All Nicely Tuned’, ‘A Free Gypsy’, and ‘A Falcon in the Sky’. Stella Vladimirovna Faramazova, an award winner of international competitions, who had compiled the evening’s program, provided piano accompaniment to the singer, as well as other performers during the concert.

The program also featured Dvořák’s ‘Slavonic Dance for Violin and Piano in G-Major’, played by Jamal Agajanova, a young talented violinist and prizewinner of international competitions. The violinist perfectly conveyed the sadness in the melody with a sudden and dramatic shift to the vibrantly energetic and upbeat mood of the dance.

Maya Gullaeva brilliantly sang the composer’s lesser-known song ‘Ave Maria’ (for mezzo-soprano).

The evening continued with Dvořák’s ‘Slavonic Dance for Violin in G-Major’. Merdan Charyev played the violin solo.

After flutist Emir Bayramgeldyev’s soulful performance of ‘Humoresque’, Aybolek Mukhieva, a talented violinist well-known in our country and abroad, took the stage. Accompanied by Stella Faramazova, Aybolek performed one of Dvořák’s most famous works ‘The Violin Sonatina in Four Movements’. The piece the composer created under the impressions of his visit to the United States, features African American traditional rhythms.

Then, Honored Artist of Turkmenistan Vladimir Mkrtumov took the place of Stella Vladimirovna to accompany singer Bakhar Durdyeva, the recipient of the Award of the President of Turkmenistan. The talented singer, who sang the aria of Rusalka (Mermaid) from Antonín Dvořák’s eponymous opera, earned thunderous applause from the audience.

The first movement of the composer’s ‘Quartet No. 2 for Violin, Cello, Viola and Piano, brought the event to a spectacular close. It was flawlessly performed by Bakhram Dolyev (violin), Takhir Ataev (viola), Kakageldy Khojalekov (cello), and Vladimir Mkrtumov (piano).

After the concert the audience members did not leave the venue for long, expressing their sincere gratitude to the organizers for the wonderful emotions brought out by the concert.

Following the event, Stella Vladimirovna Faramazova answered the Golden Age correspondent’s questions on her attitude to Dvořák and his creations.

Most works by one of the founders of the Czech national school of music are grounded in Romanticism, characterized by the expression of personal feelings and emotions, and the freedom of self-expression not restrained by tradition and custom. Unlike any other composer contemporary with Dvořák, his music simultaneously expresses joy, sadness, springtime moods, melancholy, feelings inspired by love, and national themes. Among the composer’s works, Stella Vladimirovna marked out the aria of Rusalka, ‘The Violin Sonatina in Four Movements’ and ‘The Slavonic Dances’, which were performed at the concert.