Dvořák composed his Terzetto op. 74 in 1887 as the result of a spontaneous desire to write some domestic music. Inspired by neighbourhood violin lessons, he wrote these four little movements for two violins with viola accompaniment in the space of just a few days. This Terzetto is thus not technically difficult to play, though with its flowing melodies and spirited rhythms it still offers the best of Dvořák. It is not surprising that his publisher Fritz Simrock immediately snatched them up when Dvořák told him in 1887 that he was working on “little bagatelles”. The autograph of the score that contained many corrections nevertheless makes evident just how much hard work went into these “little bagatelles”. It also served as the engraver’s copy for the first edition. Both these sources were consulted for this Urtext edition that offers today’s players an authentic text of this musical jewel.
- Terzetto C major op. 74
By the mid-1880s, Antonín Dvořák (1841 – 1904) had become so renowned on the international scene that he was invited to go on many concert tours and was offered more commissions than he could accept. While his publisher, Fritz Simrock, was waiting impatiently in Berlin for the second volume of the popular Slavonic Dances, Dvořák was busy writing large-scale symphonies … 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
Henle’s clean and unfettered edition leaves players free to add their own fingering and bowing. Annette Oppermann’s extensive preface details the work’s fascinating genesis.