Dumka, Op. 12/1, B136

Opus number


Burghauser catalogue number


Date of composition

September (?) 1884

Premiere - date and place

(?) 4 February 1885, Prague

Premiere performer(s)

(?) Karel Slavkovský

First edition

Album de Gaulois, 1885, Paris


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. Dvořák 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 František Augustin Urbánek, featuring a dedication to a young amateur pianist, Marie Rusová, the daughter of one of Dvořák’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.