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Hymn of the Czech Peasants

OPUS NUMBER 28
BURGHAUSER CATALOGUE NUMBER 143
COMPOSED
13 August 1885
PREMIERE - DATE AND PLACE
version with piano accompaniment by Josef Zubaty: 14 March 1886, Plzen and Roudnice
original orchestral version by Dvorak: ?
PREMIERE - PERFORMER(S)
version with piano accompaniment by Josef Zubaty: Hlahol of Plzen, conductor M. V. Slezak
original orchestral version by Dvorak: "Roudnicka Beseda", conductor ?
FIRST EDITION version with piano accompaniment by Josef Zubaty: František Urbánek, 1885, Prague
original orchestral version by Dvorak: Editio Supraphon, 1972, Prague
TEXT Karel Pippich
DURATION
approx. 4 min.

    


The circumstances surrounding the origin of this work are somewhat hazy. Dvorak was apparently asked to write the work for a major gathering of East Bohemian farmers and peasants in Chrudim, but the event did not take place in the end. The commission was for a short, straightforward chorus which could be sung in unison at occasions such as this. Yet the work does not correspond to the assignment: Dvorak wrote a piece for four-part mixed choir and orchestra, even if in a relatively simple style. It isn’t known whether this version was ever performed. Czech choirs were nevertheless still regularly performing a version with four-hand piano accompaniment at the beginning of the 20th century (written by Dvorak’s friend Josef Zubaty), which had been published in 1885 by Frantisek Urbanek in Prague. Dvorak’s original version with orchestra was not published until 1972, as part of a collected critical edition of the composer’s works. The Hymn gradually disappeared from the repertoire during the course of the 20th century and no recordings of it have been made to date.
final part of the score