The Song of a Czech, B73

Opus number

není

Burghauser catalogue number

73

Date of composition

November 1877 (?)

Premiere - date and place

unknown

Premiere performer(s)

unknown

First edition

Hudebni matice Umelecke besedy, 1921, Prague

Author of the text

Frantisek Jaroslav Vacek-Kamenicky

Parts / movements

one movement composition

Duration

approx. 4 min.

The Song of a Czech was written for unaccompanied male choir and set to a patriotic poem by Frantisek Jaroslav Vacek-Kamenicky. While the poem has five stanzas, Dvorak worked with only three of them, which might create the impression that the surviving autograph is merely an incomplete fragment. The manuscript has no date, but the work probably originated at the end of 1877, during a period when Dvorak was focusing mainly on choral writing. One particular detail is worthy of note, namely the setting for the words “This is where I learned to know God”, which corresponds melodically (although not rhythmically) with the melody of the Hussite hymn “Ye Who Are Warriors of God”. It is not known whether the work was ever performed in public; the song only came out in print after the composer’s death, published in 1921 by the artists’ association Umelecka beseda in its Hudebni matice edition.