What with coach Bob Bowman walking around with Dvorak's stirring 7th in his musical mind this season, the final notes of the Phelps Symphony appear to be falling nicely into place, all the talk of a man who can't stand water a touch overblown: at the Austin meet in Texas, Olympic champion Michael Phelps made his last outing before US trials at the end of the month count.
A 1:54.79 in the 200m butterfly was the 23rd best performance of his career, 12th taking away the 2008 and 2009 seasons when polyurethane was allowed. On a list of 75 world-ranked swims since 1999, Phelps has been faster just once in textile in season, and even that was in unusual circumstances, a sub-1:54 clocked in February of a year that featured world titles in March 2007.
The latest swim - the last before Phelps and teammates head to Colorado Springs for taper phase with coach Bob Bowman before returning to Baltimore for the last Olympic send off - served as reminders to his opponents - as if they needed any reminding - that above all else perhaps, Phelps intends to make history in his signature event by becoming the first to take the Olympic 200 'fly crown three times.
In Austin, Wu Peng (CHN), among those who has pipped Phelps over 200m butterfly in season, took second in 1:56.71, while over in Santa Clara Takeshi Matsuda (JPN) clocked 1:54.57, the third best of the four best performances in the world this year in his hands.
The remote splits across the States:
Down to the laps lap on that one - something a little rest might take care of.
Phelps was disappointed to finish second to Jimmy Feigen 48.63 to 49.05 in the 100m free at the start of the meet but responded in typical fashion: he jumped back in and clocked 52.02 (27.25 at the turn) to win the 100m 'fly and said: "I didn't swim smart or very well in the 100, and I got beat because of it. I was angry with myself for that, and I turned it around a little in the 100 butterfly."
Depending on the success of Kosuke Kitajima (JPN) on breaststroke, Phelps, whether such a thing be among targets on his list of goals or not, could also become the first man in swimming history to take the same crown at three separate Games. The women got their first, courtesy of Dawn Fraser (AUS) and then Krisztina Egerszegi (HUN).
There has long been a musical quality to the soaring career of Phelps, Bowman the music-scholar maestro who wrote the notes for the greatest Olympian in history.
Witten in 1884, Dvořák's 7th, the focus of Bowman's down-time obsession this year, could well be significant to Olympic swan song schedule of his charge, one that we will only know when the start list for US trials is posted.
Could it be that Phelps, six in Athens and eight in Beijing, will target seven in London? Maybe - but the final count of a man with 14 big ones under his belt is not what will set pulses racing. The more likely significance of the movement is its relevance to struggle and resulting legacy of success.
The London Philharmonic society had invited Dvorak to write a symphony as a new honorary member. The theme came to him on a daily stroll he would take to Prague station. "The first subject of my new symphony flashed in to my mind on the arrival of the festive train bringing our countrymen from Pest", he would later say.
The trains were delivering folk to the National Theatre in Prague, where a musical evening was to be held in support of the Czech nation's political struggles. Dvorak, marrying the big theme to his own struggle to reconcile his desire for a simple and peaceful life with his intense patriotism and desire to see the Czech nation flourish, completed a sketch of the 1st movement in just five days.
He wrote to a friend: "I am now busy with this symphony for London, and wherever I go I can think of nothing else. God grant that this Czech music will move the world." A footnote to the slow movement in the piece reads: "From the sad years". For him, the loss of his mother was in the mix of a mood that captures the extremes of intense calm, turmoil and unsettled weather.
In the Bowman-Phelps tale, the tone of turmoil nods to motivation in a man who achieved so much so young and could have walked away from Beijing and the sport the greatest of them all without a single further stroke swum. He opted not to.
Dvorak told his publisher that in the 7th "there is not one superfluous note". In 1885 the symphony went down like a storm, its first performance at St James's Hall London, with Dvořák conducting, widely acclaimed as a master work, one considered to reflect the composer at the height of his powers.
A modern assessment of Dvorak's 7th, which speaks of defiant triumph, runs likes this: "The 7th is the most ambitious in structure, and the most consciously international in its message."
The same might be said of the Phelpsian cycle in London this summer.
You can read what Bowman has to say on Dvoraks' 7th and much more in the last edition of the SwimNews Magazine before the Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, you can follow our headlines and more @swimnewscom.
And so back to the Austin meet:
Megan Romano, of Athens Bulldogs, cracked out a 1:00.19 victory in the 100m backstroke way up on the pack led by her teammate Kristen Shcikora, on 1:01.81, and Dominique Bouchard, Mizzou, on 1:01.95.
Like Natsumi Hoshi over in Santa Clara, Camille Adams, Aggie, sprinted away from her closest opponent down the last lap of the 200m 'fly for a 2:07.35 victory over Longhorn's Kathleen Hersey, on 2:08.45 by the close after leading the way on 1:01.49 at the 100m turn. Third place went to the winner's teammate Caroline McElhany in 2:11.80.
Breeja Larson, Aggie, pipped Longhorn's Laura Sogar 1:08.08 to 1:08.15 after the two turned precisely at the same moment, on 32.79. Baltimore's Annie Zhu took third in 1:10.33.
Brendan Hansen, Eddie Reese's charge at Longhorn, took the men's equivalent in 1:01.16, off a 29.07 split, with Nicolas Fink on 1:02.62 and Eric Friedland on 1:03.77.
The women's 800m free went to South Africa's Wendy Trott in 8:29.21, Gillian Ryahn, Baltimore, on 8:32.46, and Sarah Henry, Aggie, on 8:41.72.
Club Wolverine's Connor Jaeger clocked 15:16.84 to take the 1500m free ahead of Ryan Feeley, Badger, on 15:20.78, with Atlanta's Will Freeman on 15:48.18.
Karlee Bispo, Longhorn, took the 200m medley 2:13.32 to 2:13.80 over Shannon Vreeland, Athens Bulldogs, with Melanie Margalis third for St Petersburg in 2:15.28, 17-year-old Annie Zhu back for more on 2:16.29 for fourth.
The meet came to a close with former Gator Bradley Ally (BAR) on 2:00.80 at the helm of the men's 200m medley ahead of Baltimore's Chase Kalisz, 2:02.36, and Austin Surhoff, on 2:02.73.