Recorded on 02/28/2006, uploaded on 01/09/2009
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Dvořák’s first set of Slavonic Dances, published as his opus 46, launched his career as a composer. Prior to their composition, he was little known outside his native Bohemia. Though he held an organist position in Prague, he sought additional financial help by entering to win the Austrian State Music Prize. After winning the prize three out of four years (1874, 1876 and 1877), Dvořák drew the attention of none other than Johannes Brahms, who was a member of the committee for awarding the prize. Brahms subsequently referred Dvořák to his publisher, Fritz Simrock and, just as Robert Schumann had done for Brahms decades before, Brahms became the catalyst that brought Dvořák to the international music scene. Simrock first published Dvořák’s Moravian Duets, a setting of twenty-three folk poetry settings for two voices and piano. The pieces were an instant success and Simrock approached Dvořák with the idea of composing a set of dances. Not knowing where to start, Dvořák turned to Brahms’s own Hungarian Dances for inspiration. However, unlike Brahms who had drawn on actual Hungarian folk songs for his dances, Dvořák instead invented his own melodies influenced by the rhythms of Slavic folk music. When Dvořák presented the eight dances to Simrock, he was immediately impressed and requested the composer transcribe them for orchestra. Both version were published in 1878 and firmly established Dvořák’s composition career. Joseph DuBose
Dvořák's publisher Fritz Simrock came up with the idea that he should compose a series of 'Slavonic Dances' for piano duet in a style similar to that which had recently proved so successful in the case of Brahms' Hungarian Dances. Unlike Brahms, Dvořák did not use as his starting point the music of original folk dance songs but only made use of their rhythms as their most characteristic and expressive element. The A-flat Major Slavonic Dance is a lively polka. Tong, Hasegawa
Courtesy of International Music Foundation.
We at classicalconnect.com believe that classical music is a necessity of life. It is our pleasure to be your virtual concert hall and bring you this performance.
Copyright 2008-2010 Classical Connect, LLC