Four Choruses, Op. 29, B59
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 (?)
Nos. 1 and 3: Society of Singers, conductor Frantisek Cepelik
No. 2: ?
No. 4: Hlahol of Prague, conductor Karel Bendl
complete performance: Society of Singers "
Emanuel Stary, 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 (Misto klekani)
2. Cradle Song (Ukolebavka)
3. I Won't Tell (Nepovim)
4. The Forsaken One (Opusteny)
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 work was written for a cappella mixed choir. The first two parts of the cycle 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 Susil’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. Dvorak dedicated these four songs to the Choral Society in Turnov, which premiered two of them and, after Dvorak’s death, added “Antonin Dvorak” to its name. The work was first published in Prague in 1879 by Emanuel Stary.