- A Hero's Song (Písen bohatyrská), symphonic poem for orchestra, B. 199 (Op.111)
- Symphony No. 9 in E minor ("From the New World"), B. 178 (Op. 95) (first published as No. 5)
For this 2017 release from Alpha Classics, Krzysztof Urbanski and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra give exciting, if slightly rough-edged, performances of Antonín Dvorák's "Symphony No. 9 in E minor, From the New World," and the late tone poem "A Hero's Song." The symphony is one of Dvorák's most beloved works, not only for its hints at popular American tunes, such as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Turkey in the Straw," or for the original, Bohemian-flavored melody in the second movement which became the pseudo-spiritual, "Goin' Home," but also for its vibrant orchestration, dynamic propulsion, and evocative expressions. Urbanski and the orchestra are especially tender in the Largo, which for many is the best-known part of the work, though in the other three movements, they play with great rhythmic energy and ferocity, practically making the music jump from the speakers. "A Hero's Song," which was the last orchestral work Dvorák composed, is a tone poem without a specific program, though its contrasting moods of turbulence, gloom, joy, and triumph offer a generalized depiction of a hero's life, presumably Dvorák's own. Urbanski gives this work a lively treatment, though it is fairly anticlimactic following the vigorous performance of the symphony, which by itself makes this recording worth hearing.