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ballade for violin and piano 

opus number
15/I 
Burghauser catalogue number
139 
composed
September/October 1884 
premiere - date and place
28 September 1885, Praha 
premiere - performer(s)
Ferdinand Lachner and ? 
main key
D minor 
duration
approx. 6 min. 


When Dvorak’s oratorios had helped to establish the composer in England during the 1880s, he found himself frequently approached by publishers over there who wanted him to write shorter compositions as well. One such individual was John W. Coates, publisher of the journal Magazine of Music, who planned to publish a selection of short pieces in the 1884 Christmas edition. Dvorak, a master of the miniature, agreed to his request and provided the publisher with three short pieces. One of them, a song written to the folk text “The Wild Duck”, was never printed and the manuscript’s whereabouts are unknown today. The other two pieces were Furiant, Op. 12/2, for piano, and Ballade for Violin and Piano in D minor. The latter is composed in symmetrical A-B-A form, where part A is solemn, even tragic in character, whereas the short middle section B has a more lively rhythm and melody, whilst preserving the overall tone of the work.