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dumka, op. 12

COMPOSED September (?) 1884
PREMIERE - DATE AND PLACE (?) 4 February 1885, Prague
PREMIERE - PERFORMER(S) (?) Karel Slavkovsky
FIRST EDITION Album de Gaulois, 1885, Paris
DURATION approx. 4 min. 30 sec.

The short piano Dumka was commissioned by the owner of a London-based publishing company, J. W. Coates, who requested it for the supplement of his journal Magazine of Music. Dvorak also wrote Furiant, Op. 12/2, for this magazine. While the Furiant was indeed published in the magazine, the Dumka ended up in the Paris-based Album de Gaulois. Both pieces were also published in Prague by Frantisek Augustin Urbanek, featuring a dedication to a young amateur pianist, Marie Rusova, the daughter of one of Dvorak’s friends. What is different about this dumka, however, is that its middle section doesn’t follow the traditional pattern and lacks the lively contrast one might expect. The wonderful main theme is somewhat reminiscent of the poetic style of Chopin’s nocturnes.