Hymn of the Czech Peasants, Op. 28, B143
Burghauser catalogue number
Date of composition
13 August 1885
Premiere - date and place
version with piano accompaniment by Josef Zubatý: 14 March 1886, Plzeň and Roudnice
original orchestral version by Dvořák: ?
version with piano accompaniment by Josef Zubatý: Hlahol of Plzeň, conductor M. V. Slezák
original orchestral version by Dvořák: "Roudnická Beseda", conductor: ?
version with piano accompaniment by Josef Zubatý: František Urbánek, 1885, Prague
original orchestral version by Dvořák: Editio Supraphon, 1972, Prague
Author of the text
approx. 4 min.
The circumstances surrounding the origin of this work are somewhat hazy. Dvořák was apparently asked to write the work for a major gathering of East Bohemian farmers and peasants in Chrudim, but the event did not take place in the end. The commission was for a short, straightforward chorus which could be sung in unison at occasions such as this. Yet the work does not correspond to the assignment: Dvořák wrote a piece for four-part mixed choir and orchestra, even if in a relatively simple style. It isn’t known whether this version was ever performed. Czech choirs were nevertheless still regularly performing a version with four-hand piano accompaniment at the beginning of the 20th century written by Dvořák’s friend Josef Zubatý, which had been published in 1885 by František Urbánek in Prague. Dvořák’s original version with orchestra was not published until 1972, as part of a collected critical edition of the composer’s works. The Hymn gradually disappeared from the repertoire during the course of the 20th century and no recordings of it have been made to date.