Prague Waltzes, B99
Burghauser catalogue number
Date of composition
completed 12 December 1879
Premiere - date and place
28 December 1879, Prague
36th Infantry Regiment Orchestra, conductor F. Sommer
Státní hudební vydavatelství, 1961, Prague
2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, violins, violas, cellos, double basses
approx. 9 min.
At the beginning of 1879 Lumír magazine published an article by music critic Emanuel Chvála in which he points to the pedestrian state of contemporary dance music. The committee organising one of the highlights of the social calendar at the time, the Národní beseda annual ball, responded to this by inviting leading Czech composers to write music for the gala 30th edition of the Prague ball. Dvořák contributed a piece comprising five successive parts with a coda, all incorporating the waltz rhythm. While Prague Waltzes are not particularly ambitious in musical terms (being primarily intended for the dance hall), they still provide an important testimony of the composer’s ability to craft small forms and of his inexhaustible melodic ingenuity.