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Antonin Dvorák

September 8, 1841 - May 1, 1904
born in Nelahozeves, Bohemia, composed during the Romantic period
Widely regarded as the most distinguished of Czech composers, Antonin Dvorák (1841-1904) produced attractive and vigorous music possessed of clear formal outlines, melodies that are both memorable and spontaneous-sounding, and a colorful, effective instrumental sense. Dvorák is considered one of the major figures of nationalism, both proselytizing for and making actual use of folk influences, which he expertly combined with Classical forms in works of all genres. His symphonies are among his most widely appreciated works; the Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World," 1893) takes a place among the finest and most popular examples of the symphonic literature. Similarly, his Cello Concerto (1894-1895) is one of the cornerstones of the repertory, providing the soloist an opportunity for virtuosic flair and soaring expressivity. Dvorák displayed special skill in writing for chamber ensembles, producing dozens of such works; among these, his 14 string quartets (1862-1895), the "American" Quintet (1893) and the "Dumky" Trio (1890-1891) are outstanding examples of their respective genres, overflowing with attractive folklike melodies set like jewels into the solid fixtures of Brahmsian absolute forms.

Dvorák's "American" and "New World" works arose during the composer's sojourn in the United States in the early 1890s; he was uneasy with American high society and retreated to a small, predominantly Czech town in Iowa for summer vacations during his stay. However, he did make the acquaintance of the pioneering African-American baritone H.T. Burleigh, who may have influenced the seemingly spiritual-like melodies in the "New World" symphony and other works; some claim that the similarity resulted instead from a natural affinity between African-American and Eastern European melodic structures.

By that time, Dvorák was among the most celebrated of European composers, seen by many as the heir to Brahms, who had championed Dvorák during the younger composer's long climb to the top. The son of a butcher and occasional zither player, Dvorák studied the organ in Prague as a young man and worked variously as a café violist and church organist during the 1860s and 1870s while creating a growing body of symphonies, chamber music, and Czech-language opera. For three years in the 1870s he won a government grant (the Viennese critic Hanslick was among the judges) designed to help the careers of struggling young creative artists. Brahms gained for Dvorák a contract with his own publisher, Simrock, in 1877; the association proved a profitable one despite an initial controversy that flared when Dvorák insisted on including Czech-language work titles on the printed covers, a novelty in those musically German-dominated times. In the 1880s and 1890s Dvorák's reputation became international in scope thanks to a series of major masterpieces that included the Seventh, Eighth, and "New World" symphonies. At the end of his life he turned to opera once again; Rusalka, from 1901, incorporates Wagnerian influences into the musical telling of its legend-based story, and remains the most frequently performed of the composer's vocal works. Dvorák, a professor at Prague University from 1891 on, exerted a deep influence on Czech music of the twentieth century; among his students was Josef Suk, who also became his son-in-law. ~ Rovi Staff, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: The Dvorak Album

Title: Cello Concerto In B Minor, B. 191 (Op. 104)
Title: Silent Woods (Klid), For Cello & Orchestra (arr. From From The Bohemian Forest, B. 133), B. 182 (Op. 68/5)
Title: Slavonic Dance No. 10 For Orchestra In E Minor B. 147/2 (Op. 72/2)
Title: Humoresque No. 7 For Piano In G Flat Major, B. 187/7 (Op. 101/7)
Title: Songs My Mother Taught Me (Als Die Alte Mutter), Song For Voice & Piano (Gypsy Melodies), B. 104/4 (Op. 55/4)
x

Track List: Antonín Dvorák: Complete Piano Trios

Disc 1
Title: Piano Trio No. 1 in B flat major, B. 51 (Op. 21)
Title: Piano Trio No. 2 in G minor, B. 56 (Op. 26)
Disc 2
Title: Piano Trio No. 3 in F minor, B. 130 (Op. 65) (once listed as Op. 64)
Title: Piano Trio No. 4 In E Minor ("Dumky"), B. 166 (Op. 90)
x

Track List: Cypresses by Antonín Dvorák

Title: Cypresses (Cyprise), Song Cycle For Voice And Piano, B. 11
Title: Cypresses (Ohlas Písní [Echoes Of Songs]), For String Quartet (arr. From Cypresses, B. 11), B. 152
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Track List: Dvorak: Complete Symphonic Poems

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Track List: Dvorak: Piano Concerto; The Golden Spinning Wheel

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Track List: Dvorak: Symphonies 7, 8 & 9 'From The New World'; Carnaval Overture; Scherzo Capriccioso

Disc 1
Title: Symphony No. 7 In D Minor, B. 141 (Op. 70) (first Published As No. 2)
Title: Symphony No. 8 In G Major, B. 163 (Op.88) (first Published As No. 4)
Disc 2
Title: Symphony No. 9 In E Minor ("From The New World"), B. 178 (Op. 95) (First Published As No. 5)
Title: Carnival (Karneval), Concert Overture, B. 169 (Op. 92)
Title: Scherzo Capriccioso For Orchestra, B. 131 (Op. 66)
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Track List: Dvorak: Symphonies Nos. 7,8, & 9 New World

Disc 1
Title: Symphony No. 7 In D Minor, B. 141 (Op. 70) (first Published As No. 2)
Title: Symphony No. 8 In G Major, B. 163 (Op.88) (first Published As No. 4)
Disc 2
Title: Symphony No. 9 In E Minor ("From The New World"), B. 178 (Op. 95) (First Published As No. 5)
Title: Symphonic Variations For Orchestra (On "I Am A Fiddler" B. 66/3), B. 70 (Op. 78)
x

Track List: Dvorak: The 2 Piano Quartets

Disc 1
Title: Piano Quartet No. 1 In D Major, B. 53 (Op. 23)
Title: Piano Quartet No. 2 In E Flat Major, B. 162 (Op. 87)
Disc 2
Title: Piano Quintet In A Major, B. 155 (Op. 81) (Once Listed As Op. 77)
Title: Bagatelles (5) For 2 Violins, Cello & Harmonium, B. 79 (Op. 47)
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Track List: Dvorak: The String Quartets

Disc 1
Title: String Quartet No. 1 In A Major, B. 8 (Op. 2)
Title: Andante Appasionato For String Quartet In F Major, B. 40a
Disc 2
Title: String Quartet No. 2 In B Flat Major, B. 17
Title: Waltzes (2) For Strings (arr. From Waltzes For Piano, B. 101), B. 105
Title: String Quartet Movement In F Minor, B. 120
Disc 3
Title: String Quartet No. 3 In D Major, B. 18
Disc 4
Title: String Quartet No. 4 In E Minor, B. 19 (once Listed As Op. 9)
Title: String Quartet No. 5 In F Minor, B. 37 (Op.9)
Disc 5
Title: String Quartet No. 6 In A Minor, B. 40 (Op.12)
Title: String Quartet No. 7 In A Minor, B. 45 (Op.16)
Disc 6
Title: String Quartet No. 8 In E Major, B. 57 (Op.80)
Title: String Quartet No. 9 In D Minor, B. 75 (Op.34) (once Listed As Op. 43)
Disc 7
Title: String Quartet No. 10 In E Flat Major, B. 92 (Op. 51)
Title: String Quartet No. 11 In C Major, B. 121 (Op.61)
Disc 8
Title: String Quartet No. 12 In F Major ("American"), B. 179 (Op. 96)
Title: String Quartet No. 13 In G Major, B. 192 (Op. 106)
Disc 9
Title: String Quartet No. 14 In A Flat Major, B. 193 (Op. 105)
Title: Cypresses (Ohlas Písní [Echoes Of Songs]), For String Quartet (arr. From Cypresses, B. 11), B. 152
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Track List: Dvorák - Rusalka / Fleming · Heppner · Zajick · Hawlata · Urbanová · Czech Phil · Sir Charles Mackerras

Disc 1
Title: Rusalka, Opera, B. 203 (Op. 114)
Disc 2
Disc 3
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Track List: Dvorák: Complete Piano Works

Disc 1
Title: Silhouettes (12) For Piano, B. 98 (Op. 8)
Title: Minuets (2) For Piano, B. 58 (Op. 28)
Title: Dumka, For Piano In D Minor, B. 64 (Op.35)
Title: Theme & Variations For Piano In A Flat Major, B. 65 (Op.36)
Title: Scottish Dances (Skotské Tance) For Piano In D Minor, B. 74 (Op.41)
Title: Furiants (2) For Piano, B. 85 (Op.42)
Disc 2
Title: Waltzes (8) For Piano, B. 101 (Op. 54)
Title: Eclogues (4), For Piano, B. 103 (Op. 56)
Title: Moderato For Piano In A Major, B. 116
Title: Album Leaves (Lístky Do Památníku) (4), For Piano, B. 109
Title: Pieces (6) For Piano, B. 110 (Op. 52)
Disc 3
Title: Mazurkas (6) For Piano, B. 111 (Op. 56)
Title: Impromptu For Piano In D Minor, B. 129
Title: Dumka, For Piano In C Minor, B. 136 (Op.12/1)
Title: Furiant, For Piano In G Minor, B. 137 (Op.12/2)
Title: Humoreska For Piano In F Sharp Major, B. 138
Title: Suite For Piano In A Major, B. 184 (Op. 98) (also Listed As Op. 101)
Title: Pieces (2) For Piano, B. 188
Disc 4
Title: Humoresques (8) For Piano, B. 187 (Op. 101)
Title: Poetic Tone Pictures (13) For Piano, B. 161 (Op. 85)
x

Track List: Dvorák: Complete String Quartets (Box Set)

Disc 1
Title: String Quartet No. 3 In D Major, B. 18
Disc 2
Title: String Quartet No. 2 In B Flat Major, B. 17
Title: Andante Appasionato For String Quartet In F Major, B. 40a
Disc 3
Title: String Quartet No. 8 In E Major, B. 57 (Op.80)
Title: Cypresses (Ohlas Písní [Echoes Of Songs]), For String Quartet (arr. From Cypresses, B. 11), B. 152
Disc 4
Title: String Quartet No. 4 In E Minor, B. 19 (once Listed As Op. 9)
Title: String Quartet Movement In F Minor, B. 120
Disc 5
Title: String Quartet No. 5 In F Minor, B. 37 (Op.9)
Title: String Quartet No. 6 In A Minor, B. 40 (Op.12)
Disc 6
Title: String Quartet No. 1 In A Major, B. 8 (Op. 2)
Title: Terzetto For 2 Violins & Viola In C Major, B. 148 (Op. 74)
Disc 7
Title: String Quartet No. 11 In C Major, B. 121 (Op.61)
Title: Waltzes (2) For Strings (arr. From Waltzes For Piano, B. 101), B. 105
Disc 8
Title: String Quartet No. 9 In D Minor, B. 75 (Op.34) (once Listed As Op. 43)
Title: String Quartet No. 7 In A Minor, B. 45 (Op.16)
Disc 9
Title: String Quartet No. 10 In E Flat Major, B. 92 (Op. 51)
Title: String Quartet No. 14 In A Flat Major, B. 193 (Op. 105)
Disc 10
Title: String Quartet No. 12 In F Major ("American"), B. 179 (Op. 96)
Title: String Quartet No. 13 In G Major, B. 192 (Op. 106)
x

Track List: Dvorák: Der Jakobiner

Disc 1
Title: Jakobin, Opera, B. 159/B. 200 (Op. 84)
Disc 2
Disc 3
x

Track List: Dvorák: Eight Humoresques; Silhouettes; Six Mazurkas

Title: Humoresques (8) For Piano, B. 187 (Op. 101)
Title: Mazurkas (6) For Piano, B. 111 (Op. 56)
Title: Silhouettes (12) For Piano, B. 98 (Op. 8)
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Track List: Dvorák: Music for violin & piano 1

x

Track List: Dvorák: Piano Trios Nos. 1-4

Disc 1
Title: Piano Trio No. 1 in B flat major, B. 51 (Op. 21)
Title: Piano Trio No. 2 in G minor, B. 56 (Op. 26)
Disc 2
Title: Piano Trio No. 3 in F minor, B. 130 (Op. 65) (once listed as Op. 64)
Title: Piano Trio No. 4 In E Minor ("Dumky"), B. 166 (Op. 90)
x

Track List: Dvorák: Piano Works

Title: Theme & Variations For Piano In A Flat Major, B. 65 (Op.36)
Title: Silhouettes (12) For Piano, B. 98 (Op. 8)
Title: Furiants (2) For Piano, B. 85 (Op.42)
Title: Waltzes (8) For Piano, B. 101 (Op. 54)
x

Track List: Dvorák: Poetic Tone Pictures; Two Little Pearls

Title: Dumka, For Piano In C Minor, B. 136 (Op.12/1)
Title: Furiant, For Piano In G Minor, B. 137 (Op.12/2)
Title: Two Little Pearls (Dve Perlicky), For Piano, B. 156
Title: Poetic Tone Pictures (13) For Piano, B. 161 (Op. 85)
x

Track List: Dvorák: Requiem, Op.89; 6 Chants

Disc 1
Title: Requiem For Vocal Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra, B. 165 (Op. 89)
Disc 2
Title: Biblical Songs (Biblické Písne) (10) For Voice & Piano Or Orchestra, B. 185 (Op. 99)
x

Track List: Dvorák: Six Pieces; Four Furiants; Four Eclogues; Two Furiants

Title: Furiants (2) For Piano, B. 85 (Op.42)
Title: Eclogues (4), For Piano, B. 103 (Op. 56)
Title: Album Leaf No. 3 For Piano In F Major, B. 109/3
Title: Album Leaf No. 4 For Piano In G Major, B. 109/4
Title: Moderato For Piano In A Major, B. 116
Title: Album Leaf No. 1 For Piano In G Major, B. 109/1 (incomplete)
Title: Pieces (6) For Piano, B. 110 (Op. 52)
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Track List: Dvorák: Stabat Mater, Op. 58; Legends, Op. 59

Disc 1
Title: Stabat Mater For Vocal Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra, B. 71 (Op. 58)
Disc 2
Title: Legends (10), For Orchestra (arr. From, B. 117), B. 122 (Op. 59)