This paper tries to show Dvorak's compositional approach to the central values and meanings of the libretto of Rusalka, by analysis of the dynamic curve of the opera's recording. Two dynamic characteristics can be identified here - the gradually changing world of people, and the stable, silent world of the supernatural beings, differentiating in a way which is reminiscent of the treatment of dynamics in Wagner's Tristan and Debussy's Pelleas. The silent world of supernatural beings, represented especially by the enclosed strophic formations, offers the possibility of thematic introduction of an isolated fortissimo major chord, which does not gradate any more, as a symbol of the supernatural beings' idealised pure idea of 'death', 'love', 'soul' and 'sin'. In the course of the opera, the values become relative. In the final duet, Dvorak changes both worlds, the first time allocating to the Prince and Rusalka the opposite dynamic characteristics (a gradating one for Rusalka, a stable, silent one to the Prince). In the final, newly thematic fortissimo major chord, he again nods to the supernatural beings' idealised ideas of love and death, expressed at the opening of the opera, and makes his treatment of the spiritual values and concept of the libretto clear.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.