Following the great success of the Slavonic Dances op. 46, the publisher Simrock was extremely happy when Dvorák presented him with the prospect of a new cycle for piano four hands, the “Legends”, in October 1880. Barely a year was to pass before the new work was published. Shortly before this, Dvorák and Simrock had travelled to Karlsbad with the proofs, where the Viennese music critic Eduard Hanslick was taking the waters. They played through the work together and proofread it. Hanslick was delighted and even became the dedicatee of these ten charming pieces. Later he wrote in a review of the Legends that one felt a “sense of pleasure” that “feels doubly good in our pessimistic times”.
- Legends op. 59
- Legend no. 1 d minor op. 59,1
- Legend no. 2 G major op. 59,2
- Legend no. 3 g minor op. 59,3
- Legend no. 4 C major op. 59,4
- Legend no. 5 A flat major op. 59,5
“I shall soon begin working on four-hand piano pieces entitled ‘Legends’ and hope to finish them next month” (Antonín Dvorák, Korrespondenz und Dokumente, ed. by Milan Kuna et al., vol. 1, Prague, 1987). In this letter of 14 October 1880 to his Berlin publisher Fritz Simrock, Antonín Dvorák (1841 – 1904) made his first reference to a composition on which … more
About the composer
With Smetana he is the most famous Czech composer of the nineteenth century, contributing to the dissemination and appreciation of Czech music throughout the world. Among his around 200 works, encompassing all standard genres, are nine symphonies, fourteen string quartets, and twelve operas.
|1841||Born in Nelahozeves (Mühlhausen) on the Vltava River on September 8, the son of a butcher and innkeeper.|
|1853||Attends the training school in Zlonice; there he receives a comprehensive musical education from Josef Toman and the cantor Antonín Liehmann; subsequent education in Česká Kamenice (1856–57).|
|1857–59||Studies at the organ school in Prague. Until 1871 he will earn his living as a music teacher, organist, and violist.|
|1861||String Quintet No. 1 in A minor, considered his first work.|
|1862||Position as solo violist in the orchestra of the Bohemian Provisional Theater (conducted by Smetana, among others)|
|1873||Breakthrough with the premiere in Prague of his patriotic hymn “The Heirs of the White Mountain,” Op. 30. Employment at the private Prague School of Music. Several state scholarships.|
|1874–77||Organist at St. Adalbert church.|
|from 1876||“Moravian Duets,” Opp. 20, 29, 32, and 38 (1876–77), “Slavonic Rhapsodies,” Op. 45 and the first series of “Slavonic Dances,” Op. 46 (both from 1878) enjoy great success. His fame abroad grows.|
|1882||Premiere of the opera “Dimitrij”, in the tradition of grand opera.|
|1884||First invitation to England, after which eight more will follow.|
|1886||Premiere of his oratorio “Saint Ludmila,” Op. 71.|
|1891||Professor of composition at the Prague Conservatory.|
|1891–95||Director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York.|
|1893||Premiere in New York of Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” Op. 95 (American folkloric elements, cyclic techniques).|
|1901||Premiere in Prague of his most famous opera, “Rusalka.”|
|1904||Premiere in Prague of his last opera, “Armida.” Death in Prague on May 1.|
About the authors
De partituur is, zoals we van Henle gewend zijn, prachtig verzorgd. Een speciale pluim gaat uit naar de goed doordachte vingerzetting van Andreas Groethuysen.
Un excellent travail de la part de l'éditeur comme à l'accoutumée.