Dvorak New World Symphony - mutes in 2nd movement

February 17, 2019, 8:41 PM · Hi all,
Been a while since I've been here. I'm leading my community orchestra for the first time, and we're preparing Dvorak's New World Symphony. In the Second movement, it starts "con sord" - with mutes. At rehearsal mark 5 (Meno mosso. Tempo 1), it reduces to 4 violins for 4 bars, and then "2 violini con Sordini" (similar marking in the violin 2 and viola, but not celli), before a solo and then Tutti.

Where it reduces to 2 violins, the con sordini would indicate putting the mute back on. But there's no where that has an instruction to take the mute off. The only space where we would have time would be at Rehearsal mark 2 (Un poco piu mosso), or possibly rehearsal mark 4.

Can anyone give me some guidance on this? What is the standard practice for this movement, and can anyone explain why?

Replies (2)

February 17, 2019, 9:02 PM · The mute stays on the whole movement, for everyone; the con sord indications are, as far as I know, just a reminder that the mute stays on. That includes the concertmaster for their solo.

February 17, 2019, 10:21 PM · I don't have my part in front of me but I think we sometimes take them off at rehearsal 4 with the soloists putting them back on just before rehearsal 5, and everyone else putting them back on before the tutti.

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