Four Choruses, Op. 29, B59

Opus number


Burghauser catalogue number


Date of composition

No. 1: 7 February 1876
Nos. 2 – 4: before 1878

Premiere - date and place

Nos. 1 and 3: 20 October 1878, Turnov
No. 2: 29 March 1879, Prague (?)
No. 4: 4 March 1877, Prague
complete performance: 15 November 1931, Turnov (?)

Premiere performer(s)

Nos. 1 and 3: Society of Singers, conductor František Čepelík
No. 2: ?
No. 4: Hlahol of Prague, conductor Karel Bendl
complete performance: Society of Singers “Dvořák”, dir. Josef Kuhn

First edition

Emanuel Starý, 1879, Praha

Author of the text

Nos. 1 and 2: Adolf Heyduk; Nos. 3 and 4: Moravian folk-song

Parts / movements

1. Evening's Blessing (Místo klekání)
2. Cradle Song (Ukolébavka)
3. I Won't Tell (Nepovím)
4. The Forsaken One (Opuštěný)


approx. 10 min.

This work appeared during a three-year period in which the composer wrote the large majority of his choral works (1876–1878), nevertheless we only have a precise date of origin for the first chorus, Evening’s Blessing, whose manuscript is dated 7. 2. 1876. The cycle was written for a cappella mixed choir. The first two parts are set to texts from the poetry collection by Adolf Heyduk, The Cimbalom and the Violin, while the other two are set to Moravian folk texts from Frantisek Sušil’s extensive collection Moravian Folk Songs with Melodies Included in the Texts. The setting respects the character of the texts, conveying the spirit of folk music in a largely homophonic style which is only occasionally enlivened by imitative treatment; the music adheres to a strophic form. The fourth part of the cycle, in particular, is reminiscent of the composer’s Moravian Duets. Dvořák dedicated these four songs to the Choral Society in Turnov, which premiered two of them and, after Dvořák’s death, added “Dvořák” to its name. The work was first published in Prague in 1879 by Emanuel Starý.