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psalm 149

OPUS NUMBER 71
BURGHAUSER CATALOGUE NUMBER original version for male choir: 91
revised version for mixed choir: 154
COMPOSED original version for male choir: 13 January - 24 February 1879
revised version for mixed choir: July (?) 1887
PREMIERE - DATE AND PLACE original version for male choir: 16 March 1879, Prague
revised version for mixed choir: (?) 14 December 1888, Rotterdam
PREMIERE - PERFORMER(S) original version for male choir: Hlahol of Prague, conductor Karel Knittl
revised version for mixed choir: (?) Amphion Choral Society, conductor Alexander W. A. Heyblom
FIRST EDITION original version for male choir: Editio Supraphon, 1968, Prague
revised version for mixed choir: Simrock, 1888, Berlin
TEXT The Book of Psalms
INSTRUMENTATION original version for male choir: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, 1 tuba, timpani, violins, violas, cellos, double basses + male choir
revised version for mixed choir: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, 1 tuba, timpani, violins, violas, cellos, double basses + mixed choir
DURATION approx. 10 min.

    


At the beginning of 1879 Dvorak was approached by the Hlahol choral society with the request that he write a new choral work. The composer put his work on his String Quartet in E flat major to one side and started writing his piece for Hlahol. From the Book of Psalms he chose No. 149, writing a setting for male choir with orchestral accompaniment. The text of his psalm is akin to a hymn in praise of God, which is also reflected in Dvorak’s conception – the entire work is ceremonial and jubilant in mood. When, eight years on, Dvorak was revising earlier pieces he had not yet published, he decided to rework his Psalm to some extent as well. Apart from minor alterations in the orchestral score, the chief revision concerned the choral parts, which he rewrote for mixed choir. It was in this definitive form that the piece was published by Simrock in 1888.
public notice
announcing the premiere