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The centenary anniversary of Antonin Dvorak

Early years (1841-1892) | Friendships | America (1892-1895) | Final years (1895-1904) | Works | Conclusion | Selected bibliography | Discography| Music of the article

Antonin Dvorak in 1865, Schonzeler, Hans Hubert. Dvorak. London: M. Boyers, 1984, photo: 13

On the 1st of May 2004, we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the death of Antonin Dvorak. Dvorak is one of the best-known composers of the Czech Republic, whose music has gained a worldwide reputation and popularity.

EARLY YEARS (1841–1892)

Dvorak was born in Nelahozeves, Bohemia, on 8 September, 1841, and died in Prague on 1 May, 1904. He was the son of a butcher and village innkeeper. He studied music at the Prague Organ School, graduating in 1860. He was also already known to be a highly competent viola player. By 1862 Dvorak was a member of the orchestra of the Bohemian Provincial Theatre, which since 1866 was conducted by Bedrich Smetana. Dvorak became broadly admired in Bohemia for his work The Heirs of the White Mountain, a patriotic hymn.

Dvorak is the world’s most frequently performed Czech composer. His music excels in rich and original melodic invention, often referring to folk roots, marked rhythm and colourful instrumentation. The nationalism of Dvorak is mainly apparent in the choice of national subjects for program music and operas, and in the infusion of their basic musical language with a melodic freshness and spontaneity, together with occasional traces of folklore-like tunes and popular dance rhythms. As a Slavic composer Dvorak drew inspiration also from Moravia, Slovakia, Poland and Russia. Dvorak’s most famous composition is the Slavonic Dances, through which his fame was spread all over the world. Dvorak’s most prominent national traits are found chiefly in his Slavonic Dances and in his Symphonies no. 6 in D major and no. 8 in G major which loosen up the mood, with fresh folklore-like melodies and rhythms. Dvorak’s work contains South Slavonic round dances, Ukrainian dumkas and Polish polonaises. He even created a specific form of instrumental ‘dumka’[i], inspired by the Ukrainian folk tradition.

Dvorak mined Slavic music for archaic harmonic modes, strange modulations, and a whole new wealth of rhythms and melodic turnarounds, which were all novel and attractive. Dvorak's works such as Slavonic Dances, Slavonic Rhapsodies, String Quartet E flat major, Piano Trio ‘Dumky’ and many others prove explicitly this Slavic inspiration. [ii]

When the Moravian Duets (1876) and Slavonic Dances op. 46 and 72 (1878-86) for piano four hands were published, the success was huge. Dvorak became a celebrated artist almost overnight. The Duets were sung in all families both home and abroad, and Slavonic Dances following the success of the piano version, which Dvorak had scored for an orchestra - won the entire world instantly. That meant the beginning of the Dvorak’s European and later international career. In 1891 he became professor of composition at Prague Conservatory.


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FRIENDSHIPS

Tchaikovsky visited the Czech capital in 1888. At that time he attended the Umelecka beseda concert on 14 February, at which Dvorak’s new piano Quintet was played. As Clapham reveals: “After having lunch at the Czech composer’s flat on the 15th, he [Tchaikovsky] wrote in his diary; ‘Dvorak is very dear to me and I like his Quintet.”[iii]

Richard Wagner’s great friend, Hans Richter, the famous conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, was a true admirer and friend of Dvorak’s. Richter introduced Dvorak’s works at many of his concerts. Dvorak’s D major Symphony op. 60 is dedicated to the famous conductor. Dvorak gave the splendid Symphonic Variations to Richter for a series of concerts in London at St. James Hall in May 1887. After the performance Richter reported: “Your Symphonic Variations are a great success here, and at the hundreds of concerts I have conducted during my life, no new work has been as successful as yours.”[iv]

Hans von Bulow was a famous conductor and pianist who met Dvorak in one of his frequent visits to Prague around 1859. He became a devoted and enthusiastic admirer of Dvorak’s works when he first performed the Hussite overture. Bulow once said: “The most important composer for me, apart from Brahms, is Dvorak”.[v] Dvorak was grateful for Bulow’s devotion and dedicated him his F major symphony. For this dedication Bulow said: “A dedication from you – is as higher decoration than any Grand Cross from the hands of any prince” [vi]

Johannes Brahms was attracted by Dvorak’s Moravian Duets Op. 20, 29, 31 and on his recommendation the Duets were published by the firm of Simrock in Berlin. In order to express his gratitude Dvorak dedicated his String Quartet in D minor to Brahms. A great friendship grew up between the two masters and they maintained the friendship until Brahms death.

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AMERICA (1892-1895)

Dvorak’s apartment in New York at 327 E 17th st., Schonzeler, Hans Hubert. Dvorak. London: M. Boyers, 1984, photo: 50

It was in Europe that Dvorak achieved international acclaim for his musical genius. However from 1892 to 1895, Dvorak left Prague with his family to become director of the National Conservatory in New York.

Dvorak began to immerse himself in American culture. His keen interest on the American musical heritage suggested the possibility of using materials in his symphonic works. Dvorak has profoundly studied the American national music as exemplified in the native melodies of the Negros and Indian tribes. Harry Burleigh, a student at the National Conservatory, introduced Dvorak to the music of Afro- Americans. The songs he learned from Burleigh, the so-called Spirituals, helped to inspire the music of the second movement of the Ninth symphony, especially the famous English horn theme melody.

While working in his New World Symphony Dvorak wrote to his friend Emil Kozanek:

[it] pleases me very much and will differ very substantially from my early compositions. The influence of America can readily be felt by anyone with ‘nose’…as for the title ‘From the New World’, I meant impressions and greetings from the New World.[vii]

The themes used in Dvorak’s Symphony no. 9, according to Kretzschmar’s analysis, derive from American Indian melodies and especially Negro spirituals.

On the other hand long before Dvorak came to America, he read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem Hiawatha, the story of a Native American hero. In an article published in the New York Herald, Dvorak wrote how the poem influenced his Symphony no. 9 and how wrong were Kretzschmar’s allegations concerning this work:

"I first became acquainted with Hiawatha about thirty years ago. It had a strong appeal to my imagination at that time, and the impression has only been strengthened by my residence here. The scherzo of the symphony was suggested by the scene at the feast in Hiawatha where the Indians dance. I carefully studied a certain number of Indian melodies, which a friend gave me, and became thoroughly imbued with their features – with their spirit, in fact. It is this spirit, which I have tried to reproduce in my new symphony. I have not actually used any of the melodies. I have simply written original themes embodying the peculiarities of the Indian music, and using these themes as subjects, have developed them with all the resources of modern rhythms, harmony, counterpoint and orchestral color". [viii]

Weather the New World Symphony is in native Bohemia or in American style is left to the listener.

The New York Philharmonic under Anton Seidl at Carnegie Hall premiered the Symphony From the New World on December 16, 1893. It was a huge success. The critics and the people were talking about the symphony as the greatest symphonic work ever composed in America, a true masterwork. The symphony today remains one of the most popular symphonies in the classical repertoire.

Josefina Kaunitzova, Ivanov, Miroslav. In Dvorak’s footsteps: musical journeys in the New World. Kirksville, Mo.: Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1995, p.: 13

Dvorak wrote the Cello Concerto in B minor in his last months in New York, in 1895. At that time he was longing to be home again, and something of this nostalgia can be felt in the music. Finally after completing the concerto Dvorak revised the end of the finale as some sort of memorial to his sister-in-law, Josefina Kaunitzova who died on 27 May 1895, a month after Dvorak returned to Prague. This new version of the finale and particularly the last sixty bars that Dvorak added are among the loveliest he ever wrote. Dvorak was in love with Josefina many years and when she refused him he married her younger sister Anna. Here is how Dvorak described this passage of the finale:

The Finale closes gradually diminuendo, like a sigh, with reminiscences of the first and second movement - the solo dies down to pp, then swells again, and the last bars are taken up by the orchestra and the whole concludes in a stormy mood. That is my idea, and I cannot depart from it.[ix] 

Since then the concerto has grown in popularity and is frequently performed.

After the enormous success of the Symphony no. 9 many suggested that Dvorak was now an American composer. But Dvorak was annoyed: “I was, I am, and I remain a Czech composer. I have only showed them [Americans] the path they might take. But I am through with that! From this day forward I will write the way I wrote before.” [x]

The last few months before Dvorak’s return to Prague he was very homesick and this affected his work. This is proved by his words: "I cannot give so much to my work-and if I could I would not feel like it - In short, it would be best to go back to Vysoka - I am refreshed there, I rest, I am happy. Oh, if I were home again.”[xi] On April 16, 1895 Dvorak returned to Bohemia.

 

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FINAL YEARS (1895-1904)

Dvorak’s tomb on Vysehrad, Schonzeler, Hans Hubert. Dvorak. London: M. Boyers, 1984, photo: 66

Dvorak eventually returned to Prague where he continued teaching at the Prague Conservatory later to become its artistic director until his death in 1904. He received numerous distinctions such as an honorary doctorate of philosophy from Charles University, Prague. He was a member of the Parliament, a member of the jury for the Austrian State Awards, an honorary member of many Czech and Moravian choral societies etc.

The last part of Dvorak’s creative life was dominated almost entirely by an opera and four symphonic poems. In March 1904, two months before his death, Dvorak wrote:

In the last five years I have written nothing but operas. I wanted to devote all my powers, as long as God gives me the health, to the creation of opera. I consider opera the most suitable form for the nation..…[My publishers] look upon me as a composer of symphonies, and yet I proved to them long years ago that my main bias is toward dramatic creation.[xii]

Dvorak died in 1904 from a brain stroke. It was early afternoon. All Prague grieved for Dvorak’s death. Expressions of sympathy came from all over the world. Dvorak’s body was buried in Vysehrad Cemetery beside other famous Czechs.

 

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WORKS

A complete thematic catalogue of Dvorak’s works was compiled by Jarmil Burghauser[xiii]and can be consulted in The Music Library of Greece “Lilian Voudouri”. It includes all of Dvorak’s completed and unfinished compositions. Other important information that can be found in this catalogue are: Dvorak’s own list of works, a list of the original publishers, the location of Dvorak’s autographs the instrumentation and duration of stage, choral and orchestral works, the duration of chamber music and piano works.    

Dvorak has attained richly deserved popularity for the wealth of spontaneous lyricism and vigorous, folk-inspired rhythms that reflect his music. Dvorak's sensitivity to both Bohemian and American folk sources is evident in his most beloved chamber and symphonic compositions.

Orchestral music

Dvorak wrote symphonies, symphonic poems, symphonic variations, concert overtures, a Scherzo capriccioso, a suite, dances, a march and the splendid serenade for strings. He also composed five overtures for orchestra, these are: My Home, In Nature's Realm, Othello, Hussite and Carnival. The best known of Dvorak’s symphonies is the Symphony no. 9, From the New World. Works for solo instrument and orchestra by Dvorak include the famous Cello Concerto, and the Violin Concerto. Other orchestral works include two sets of Slavonic dances, arrangements of works originally designed for piano duet, and three Slavonic Rhapsodies. Last but not least the symphonic poems The Noonday Witch, The Golden Spinning-Wheel and The Wild Dove are considered pieces of work that seem to explore new grounds, with their narrative content.

New World Symphony: first page manuscript score, Horejs, Antonin. Antonin Dvorak. The composer's life and work in pictures. Prague: Artia, 1955. Click to maximise

Unlike many other composers who shied away from the symphony until their mature years Dvorak wrote his Symphonies No. 1 and No. 2 at a very young age. In Symphony No. 2 the most fully unified and musically most significant movement of the symphony is the warmly lyrical Adagio. . The influence of Brahms is shown in Dvorak’s Symphony No. 2.

Symphony No. 7 in D minor is an emotionally turbulent work, certainly the most typically romantic symphony Dvorak wrote. In 1935 Tovey wrote about Dvorak’s Symphony no. 7 that:

I have no hesitation in setting Dvorak’s [seventh] symphony along with the C-major Symphony of Schubert and the four symphonies of Brahms, as among the greatest and purest examples in this art form since Beethoven. There should be no difficulty at this time of the day in recognizing its greatness.[xiv]

Symphony No. 8 in G major together with his last Symphony no. 9 , are regarded as the peak of Dvorak's symphonic writing and among the finest symphonies of the nineteenth century.

The Cello Concerto in B minor (1895) (see pages: 3-4) is one of the most popular works in the orchestral repertoire. Over sixty recordings can be listed for this concerto. The Music Library of Greece ‘Lilian Voudouri’ holds four recordings of this work. Among them there is a recording of the cello concerto performed by the renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Kurt Masur. The latter is an exceptional recording of the concerto and a delightful to listen. Although the concerto had an immediate success, for many years cellists avoided it due to its difficulties in the solo part. Nowadays the concerto is in every cellist’s repertoire.

Chamber music

Dvorak left fourteen string quartets, of which the best known of all works of this kind and the most frequently performed quartet is the so-called American Quartet, no. 12 in F Major, written in 1893. Second in popularity after the American String Quartet stands the E flat major String Quartet, which is a beautifully written work. The Vivace section of the second movement of the quartet is a splendid example of a typical Dvorakian dumka.

Another remarkable composition is the String Quartet in D minor (1877) dedicated to Brahms. This work is one of the most beautiful and most deeply felt among his quartets. A sense of melancholy and sadness is reflected in the quartet. Hence the quartet was written shortly after the death of Dvorak’s eldest son and his second daughter. His grief adds to the gloomy atmosphere of the quarter. “The slow movement is one of the most profoundly felt and most fervently lyrical which Dvorak ever created in this genre.” [xv]

Of the four surviving piano trios the fourth, nick-named the Dumky because of its use of a Bohemian national dance-form, is the best known. Dvorak composed the ‘Dumky’ piano trio in E minor, op. 90, in 1890-1. In this work Dvorak produced his most original and Slavonic chamber work taking a distance from the German classical forms. “Here the structure consists of neither the classical four movements nor the traditional sonata form, but a series of six dumky movements in two groups”.[xvi] The first two movements have the violent contrasts that Dvorak saw as typical of dumka.

Piano music

The best known of all the pieces that Dvorak wrote for the piano must be the Slavonic Dances. The two sets of Slavonic Dances op. 46 and op. 72 for piano duet, are among the most popular works of the world’s musical literature. The first set of the Slavonic Dances, op. 46 no.1 contain elements of the furiant and no. 3 of the polka. They both belong to the first group of eight in the total of sixteen pieces with that title. Polkas and Furiants are the two traditional Slav dances which inspired Dvorak’s music. The Slavonic dance op. 46 no. 3 (Polka) is a lively 2/4 dance that was known in Bohemia in the early Nineteenth century. Hoffmeister reveals that: “Slavonic dances spring directly from the soul of the people. Something of our Slavonic soul speaks in every theme we meet in them”[xvii].

Operas

Dvorak longed for success as an opera composer. Some of the most important operas are: Dimitrij, Rusalka, Armida, Alfred, The Jacobin and Vanda. “All Dvorak’s best work for the stage is in the peasant and fairy-tale operas.”[xviii] Rusalka is an outstanding example of a fairy-tale opera. However Alfred and Vanda are epic-romantic operas and Dimitrij is a historic opera.

The Jacobin made an instant appeal to the public of Prague. In this opera the scene is set in the year 1793 in a rural town in Bohemia during the French revolution. It was Dvorak’s first unequivocal stage success.

At the end of his life Dvorak wrote Rusalka, which was a success. The young poet and playwright Jaroslav Kvapil wrote the libretto. “Rusalka is the pathetic tale of a water spirit who yearns for human love and obtains it at too great a price.”[xix] It provides a well-known aria, ‘Mesickuna nebi hlubokem’ (O silver moon) which is a delight to listen. To this day Rusalka remains together with Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, the best loved of all Czech operas.

Songs - Choral music

Dvorak’s greatest natural ability in his songs is surely that of melody. The last songs written by Dvorak are the Biblical songs, op. 99 their text is taken from the traditional Czech Protestant Bible of Kralice. Dvorak’s religious music added considerably to his works worldwide acclaim. His faith, human and artistic creed, his profound humanity and ideals flowing from Christianity were the things shaping his character and work. The Biblical Songs testify to Dvorak’s deepest Christian faith. These songs are now published in Czech, German, English, and French. The songs have won worldwide recognition and popularity. One of the most beautiful sacred melodies of the Biblical Songs and at the same time the most dramatic ever written is the song By the Waters of Babylon

Their [Biblical Songs] strength and deep sincerity, combined with the finest musical workmanship, give them a high place in sacred literature. They are deeply religious without a trace of mawkishness, and at times they have a stark simplicity, almost an angularity, that gives them a kind of medieval charm.[xx]   

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CONCLUSION

Antonin Dvorak before his death, In Dvorak’s footsteps: musical journeys in the New World. Kirksville, Mo.: Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1995, p.: 1

Otakar Sourek[xxi] argues that the significance of Dvorak’s artistic heritage is huge:

He remains a might pillar on which the development of modern Czech music rests. He gave a fruitful and versatile impulse to later Czech music – without him it would be almost impossible to think of it in all its expanse. He also remains an important part of all the music all over the world, which he supplemented and enriched all the more fundamentally because of his originality and his clear-cut national quality. His music remains the great work of an artist of genius and of a rare person who has the charm of an unusual musical spontaneity arising from a pure heart and a profound human soul with a sensitive ability to communicate.[xxii]

Dvorak’s Symphony no.9 From the New World was nominated to be included in the "Memory of the World" of the United Nations in connection with the 100th anniversary of the composer’s death. Symphony no. 9 holds an important cultural value in the world.[xxiii]

Victor Herbert, the head of the cello class of the National Conservatory of Music, New York, wrote in a letter to the German critic Hans Schnoor about Dvorak:

We all loved him, for he was so kind and affable – his great big beautiful eyes radiated warmth – and of such childlike simplicity and naturalness – and when he left us, we lost not only a master-musician whose presence had had a marked influence on musical activities in N.Y [New York] but a most admirable, lovable friend. Dvorak still lives among us through his music and the works of his disciples.[xxiv]

Antonin Dvorak has been included in the UNESCO list of international anniversaries. The 1st of May commemorates the 100th anniversary of the death of the most famous composer in Czech history. By lucky coincidence it is also the date of the accession of the Czech Republic to the European Union.[xxv]Dvorak's music will be the best message from the Czech nation sent to the world at this historical moment.

Irini Kriki
Athens 6-7-2004

 

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Burghauser, Jarmil. Antonin Dvorak, thematicky Katalog=Jarmil Burghauser. Bibliografie = Bobliographie = Bibliography. Prehled, zivota a dila = Ubersicht des Lebens und des Werkes = a survey of life and work. Praha: Barenreiter Editio Supraphon, 1996.

Yoell, John, H. Antonin Dvorak on records. New York: Greenworrd Press, 1991.

Horejs, Antonin. Antonin Dvorak. The composer's life and work in pictures. Prague: Artia, 1955.

Sourek, Otakar. Antonin Dvorak: his life and works. Prague: Orbis, 1952.

Beckerman, Michael, ed. Dvorak and his world. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1993.

Steinberg, Michael. The concerto: a listener’s guide. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Steinberg, Michael. The symphony: a listener’s guide. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Holoman, Kern, D. The nineteenth-century symphony. New York: Schrimer Books, 1997.

Ivanov, Miroslav. In Dvorak’s footsteps: musical journeys in the New World. Kirksville, Mo.: Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1995.

Beveridge, David, R. Rethinking Dvorak: views from five countries. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996.

Clapham, John. Dvorak. Newton Abbot [Eng.]: David & Charles, 1979.

Layton, Robert. Dvorak’s symphonies & concertos. London: Ariel Music; BBC Publications, 1987.

Robertson, Alec. Dvorak. Irvine, Calif.: Reprint Services Corporation, between 1990 and 1996.

Schonzeler, Hans Hubert. Dvorak. London: M. Boyers, 1984.

Hoffmeister, Karel. Antonin Dvorak. Irvine, Calif.: Reprint Services Corporation, 1990.

Mason, Daniel Gregory. From Grieg to Brahms: studies of some modern composers and their art. Irvine, Calif.: Reprint Services Corporation, between 1990 and 1996.

 

DISCOGRAPHY

Dvorak, Antonin and Herbert, Victor. Concertos from the New World. New York Philharmonic. Guarneri Quartet. Ma, Yo-Yo. Masur Kurt. Sony Classical, 1995.

Dvorak, Antonin. Celloconcerto op.104; Rokokovariationen op.33. Berlin Philharmonic. Herbert von Karajan. Deutsche Grammophon, 1995.

Dvorak, Antonin. Cello Concerto, op.104. Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Leonard Bernstein. Mischa Maisky violoncello. Deutsche Grammophon, 1989.

Dvorak, Antonin. The Symphonies. London Symphony Orchestra. Kertesz Istvan. Decca, 1991.

Dvorak, Antonin. Requiem op. 89; 6 Chants biblioques op. 99. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Karel Ancerl. Maria Stader, soprano. Sieglinde Wagner, alto. Ernst Haeflinger, tenor. Kim Borg, bass. Deutsche Grammophon, 1992.

Dvorak, Antonin. Piano quintet, op.8; Piano quartet op.87. Emerson String Quartet. Manahem Pressler, piano. Deutsche Grammophon, 1994.

Dvorak, Antonin. The complete Symphonies. Royal Scottish Orchestra. Jarvi Neeme. Chandos, 1991.

Dvorak, Antonin. Symphony no.9 in E minor: “From the New World”; “Carnival”: overture, op.92; From Slavonic dances, op. 46, no.1 and no. 3. New York Philharmonic. Leonard Bernstein. Sony Classical, 1992.

Dvorak, Antonin. Die Streichquartette. Prager Streichquartett. Deutsche Grammophon, 1989.

Dvorak, Antonin. String Quintet in E flat major, op 97; String sextet in A major, op 48. Raphael Ensemble. Hyperion 1989.

Dvorak, Antonin. Rusalka. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Sir Charles Mackerras. Donald Zajick, mezzo-soprano. Ben Heppner, tenor. Franz Hawlata, bass. Kuhn, Mixed Choir. Decca, 1998.

Dvorak, Antonin. Piano Quartets no.1 and 2. Hala Josef. Suk Josef. Kodousek Josef. Chuchro Josef. Supraphon, 1983.

Dvorak, Antonin. Stabat Mater, op. 58. English Chamber Orchestra. Rafael Kubelik. Edith Mathis, soprano. Wieslaw Ochman, tenor. John Shirley-Quirk, bass. Elmar Schloter, organ. Deutsche Grammophon, 1977.

Dvorak, Antonin. Slavonic Dances op. 46 & op.72. Wiener Philharmoniker. Andre Previn. Philips, 1994.

Dvorak, Antonin. Dumky op. 90, piano trio E minor; Piano trio in F minor, op. 65. Bernard Beaux arts Trio. Philips, 1990.

Dvorak, Antonin. Serenades op. 22 & 44. Academy of St. Martin in the fields. Neville Marriner. Philips, 1982.


WEBSITES

http://www.antonindvorak2004.com, Tribute to Antonin Dvorak 2004

http://www.karadar.com/Lieder/dvorak.html, Classical music world

 

MUSIC OF THE ARTICLE

String Quartet no.10 Es-dur op.51 ( 2. Dumka ‘Elegia’: Andante con mot-Vivace), Dvorak, Antonin. Die Streichquartette. Prager Streichquartett. Deutsche Grammophon, 429 193 – 2, 1989

String Quartet no.9 d-moll op.34 (3. Adagio), Dvorak, Antonin. Die Streichquartette. Prager Streichquartett. Deutsche Grammophon, 429 193 – 2, 1989

Piano Trio in E minor op. 90 “Dumky”(1. Lento maestoso - Allegro vivace, quasi doppio movimento, Tempo I – Allegro molto), Dvorak, Antonin. Dumky op. 90, piano trio E minor; Piano trio in F minor, op. 65. Bernard Beaux arts Trio. Philips, 426 095-2, 1990.

‘Mesickuna nebi hlubokem’ (O Silver moon), Dvorak, Antonin. Rusalka. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Sir Charles Mackerras. Donald Zajick, mezzo-soprano. Ben Heppner, tenor. Franz Hawlata, bass. Kuhn, Mixed Choir. Decca, 460 568-2, 1998.

Symphony no.9 in E minor ‘From the New World’ (II. Largo), Dvorak, Antonin. The Symphonies. London Symphony Orchestra. Kertesz Istvan. Decca, 430 046-2, 1991.

Symphony no.2 in B flat major (II. Poco Adagio), Dvorak, Antonin. The Symphonies. London Symphony Orchestra. Kertesz Istvan. Decca, 430 046-2, 1991.

Konzert fur Violoncello und Orchester h-moll op. 104 (3. Finale. Allegro moderato), Dvorak, Antonin. Celloconcerto op.104; Rokokovariationen op.33. Berlin Philharmonic. Herbert von Karajan. Deutsche Grammophon, 447 413-2, 1995.

Slavonic Dances op.46, (No.3 in A flat. Poco Allegro), Dvorak, Antonin. Slavonic Dances op. 46 & op.72. Wiener Philharmoniker. Andre Previn. Philips, 442 125-2, 1994.

6 Chants biblioques op. 99 (“in den Wassern su Babylon sassen wir”), Dvorak, Antonin. Requiem op. 89; 6 Chants biblioques op. 99. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Karel Ancerl. Maria Stader, soprano. Sieglinde Wagner, alto. Ernst Haeflinger, tenor. Kim Borg, bass. Deutsche Grammophon, 437 377-2, 1992.

All the titles sited and the music examples given in this article can be found in the collection of The Music Library of Greece “Lilian Voudouri”.


[i]The word dumka occurs in several Slavonic languages, and implies meditation and reminiscence. Examples of the dumka as music are found in Ukrainian ballads of the early 19th century; dumky were never dances; There was a tendency for such music to exhibit changing moods, but it seems to have been Dvorak who by exaggerating this characteristic, established as the dumka’s most striking feature the alteration of slow and fast sections, melancholy and ebullient.

[ii] Op.cit.: 80

[iii] Op.cit.: 93

[iv] Clapham, John. Dvorak. 1979: 85

[v]Op.cit.: 85

[vi] Op.cit.: 85

[vii] Op.cit.: 150

[viii] Antonin Dvorak, New York Herald, December 15, 1893.

[ix] Michael Steinberg. The concerto: a listener’s guide. 1998: 184

[x] Op.cit.: 21 [The quote is taken from the unpublished letter from Kovarik to Dvorak’s biographer Otakar Sourek from the estate of the late Jarmin Burghauser. Printed in Beckerman 1993: 141]

[xi] The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians 2001: 784

[xii]Holoman, Kern. The nineteenth-Century Symphony. 1997: 294

[xiii]Jarmil Burghauser. Antonin Dvorak, thematicky Katalog=Jarmil Burghauser. Bibliografie = Bobliographie = Bibliography. Prehled, zivota a dila = Ubersicht des Lebens und des Werkes = a survey of life and work. Praha: Barenreiter Editio Supraphon, 1996.

[xiv]Op.cit.: 284 [taken from Donald Francis Tovey, Essays in Musical Analysis. 1956: p. 94]

[xv] Sourek, Otakar. Antonin Dvorak. 1952: 49

[xvi] The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians 2001: 796

[xvii] Hoffmeister, Karel. Antonin Dvorak. 1928: 59

[xviii]Fischl, Viktor. ed. Antonin Dvorak: his achievement. 1992: 141

[xix] Op.cit.: 159

[xx] Op.cit.: 187-88

[xxi] Sourek was Dvorak’s biographer and he also compiled Dvorak’s thematic catalogue.

[xxii] Sourek 1952: 119

[xxiii] http://www.antonindvorak2004.com

[xxiv] Smaczny, 1999: 15 [taken from reprinted in Edward N. Waters, Victor Herbert: A Life in Music New York, 1955: 87-8]

[xxv] http://www.antonindvorak2004.com

   
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