Five Choruses for Male Voices on Lithuanian Folk-Song Texts, Op. 27, B87

Opus number


Burghauser catalogue number


Date of composition

completed 12 December 1878

Premiere - date and place

No. 1: 20 May 1882, Brno
Nos. 2 and 4: 6 April 1879, Olomouc
No. 5: 3 July 1881, Blansko

Premiere performer(s)

No. 1: "Beseda brněnská", conductor Leoš Janáček
Nos. 2 and 4: "Slovanský čtenářský spolek"
No. 5: "Rostislav" Choir and "Beseda brněnská"

First edition

František Augustin Urbánek, 1890, Prague


Lithuanian folk-songs, Czech translation: František Ladislav Čelakovský

Parts / movements

1. Village Gossip (Pomluva)
2. Dwellers by the Sea (Pomořané)
3. Promise of Love (Přípověď lásky)
4. The Lost Lamb (Ztracená ovečka)
5. The Sparrow's Feast (Hostina)


approx. 13 min.

This cycle of five choruses is set to Lithuanian folk texts translated by František Ladislav Čelakovský and is written for unaccompanied male choir. Dvořák 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” (Dvořák 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 František Urbánek with the misleading opus number 27.