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Five Choruses for Male Voices

opus number
27 
Burghauser catalogue number
87 
composed
completed 12 December 1878 
premiere - date and place
No. 1: 20 May 1882, Brno
No. 2 and 4: 6 April 1879, Olomouc
No. 5: 3 July 1881, Blansko 
premiere - performer(s)
20 May 1882: "Beseda brnenska", conductor Leoš Janáček
6. 4. 1879: "Slovansky ctenarsky spolek"
3. 7. 1881: "Rostislav" Choir and "Beseda brnenska" 
text
Lithuanian folk-songs, Czech translation: Frantisek Ladislav Celakovsky 
parts / movements
1. Village Gossip (Pomluva)
2. Dwellers by the Sea (Pomorane)
3. Promise of Love (Pripoved lasky)
4. The Lost Lamb (Ztracena ovecka)
5. The Sparrow's Feast (Hostina
duration
approx. 13 min.  

    


This cycle of five choruses is set to Lithuanian folk texts translated by Frantisek Ladislav Celakovsky and is written for unaccompanied male choir. Dvorak was probably commissioned on this occasion by the Slavonic Choral Society in Vienna. The title page of the autograph score bears the note: “Composed on the journey from Prague to Vienna, 12th of December 1878” (Dvorak was travelling to visit Johannes Brahms). The individual parts of the cycle present a vibrant palette of moods, from the balladic “Dwellers by the Sea” to the final, light-hearted “The Sparrow’s Feast”. The songs’ melodies echo the spirit of folk songs, and the composer used simple but colourful harmonies and chose a strophic form. The work did not come out in print until 1890, published in Prague by Frantisek Urbanek with the misleading opus number 27. 
No. 1 "Village Gossip"