I had such a similar experience. I was the percussionist in my high school orchestra, and we played the Allegro. I had never even heard of Dvorak, but I was instantly gripped by all the moving parts, and how they worked perfectly together. Every time we played it, it felt like a journey to me. To this day whenever I listen to it, it’s ebbs and flows make me feel like I’m riding waves. Alternating between being in-control and out-of-control. I recently saw the National Symphony Orchestra perform it at the Kennedy Arts Center. And it was magnificent.
Best. Effin. Piece. Ever.