With the publication of the second volume, all of the “Slavonic Dances” are now available in Urtext. Following the resounding success of the first series op. 46, which immediately made the composer famous around the world, the publisher urged him to write more. Dvorák only got down to work on them eight years later, announcing, “I think, these will be very different”. And indeed, the difference cannot be missed: the second series is singled out by greater formal freedom and more colourful harmony. Whereas Opus 46 is for the most part characterised by sparkling high spirits (HN 757), in Opus 72 there are also quieter notes: melancholy and poetry find their way into the exuberant dance.
- Slavonic Dances op. 72
The origins of the Slavonic Dances op. 72 (B 145) by Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904) go back to the controversy over the honorarium for his Seventh Symphony in the summer of 1885 (the work number B 145 is from Jarmil Burghauser, Antonín Dvořák. Thematic Catalogue · Bibliography · Survey of Life and Work, Prague/Kassel, 21996). Fritz Simrock, Dvořák’s Berlin publisher, … 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
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