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From the Bouquet of Slavonic Folk songs

OPUS NUMBER 43
BURGHAUSER CATALOGUE NUMBER 76
COMPOSED 21 December 1877 - 6 January 1878
PREMIERE - DATE AND PLACE
Nos. 1 and 3: 8 December 1878, Prague
complete performance:
15 December 1878, Brno
PREMIERE - PERFORMER(S)
Nos. 1 and 3: Hlahol of Prague, conductor Karel Knittl 
complete performance: Beseda brnenska, conductor Leos Janacek, piano: Antonin Dvorak
FIRST EDITION with original two-hand piano accompaniment by Dvorak: not published yet
with four-hand piano accompaniment by Josef Zubaty : Emanuel Stary, 1879, Prague
TEXT Slovak folk songs
PARTS / MOVEMENTS 1. Sorrow (Zal)
2. Miraculous Water (Divna voda)
3. The Girl in the Grove (Devce v haji)
DURATION
cca 8 min. 30 s.

    


Dvorak wrote this cycle of choral songs for male voices with piano accompaniment in late 1877 and early 1878; the music is set to the texts of Slovak folk songs. In contrast to his previous works in this genre, the composer used a piano accompaniment, which enabled him to broaden considerably the palette of sounds afforded by a male choir. The piano part was originally written for two hands, but the first edition published by Emanuel Stary in Prague (1879) came out in an arrangement for four hands by the composer’s friend, Josef Zubaty. The first part of the cycle entitled “Sorrow” is surprising for the sharp contrast between the solemn nature of the text and the carefree, lively mood of the musical setting. The manuscript, which Dvorak donated to the Beseda brnenska Philharmonic Society, repeatedly went missing but is currently kept at the Moravian Museum in Brno.