Ballade for Violin and Piano in D minor, Op. 15/1, B139

Opus number


Burghauser catalogue number


Date of composition

September/October 1884

Premiere - date and place

(?) 28 September 1885, Prague

Premiere performer(s)

(?) Ferdinand Lachner and ?

First edition

Magazine of Music, 1884, London

Main key

D minor


approx. 6 min.

When Dvořák’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. Dvořák, a master of the miniature, agreed to his request and provided the publisher with three short pieces. One of them, a song The Wild Duck written to the folk text, 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.