Dvorak, Antonin (1841 – 1904)

After Bedřich Smetana, Dvoarak was the second Czech composer to achieve worldwide recognition. Following Smetana’s nationalist example, Dvořák frequently employed aspects, specifically rhythms, of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. Dvořák’s own style has been described as ‘the fullest recreation of a national idiom with that of the symphonic tradition, absorbing folk influences and finding effective ways of using them’.

Dvořák displayed his musical gifts at an early age, being an apt violin student from age six. The first public performances of his works were in Prague in 1872 and, with special success, in 1873, when he was aged 31. Seeking recognition beyond the Prague area, he first submitted a score of his First Symphony to a prize competition in Germany, but he did not win, and the manuscript, not returned, was lost until rediscovered many decades later. Then in 1874 he first made a submission for the Austrian State Prize for Composition, including scores of two further symphonies and other works. Johannes Brahms, unbeknownst to Dvořák, was the leading member of the jury and was highly impressed. The prize was awarded to Dvořák for 1874 and again in 1876 and in 1877, when Brahms and the prominent critic Eduard Hanslick, also a member of the jury, made themselves known to him. Brahms recommended Dvořák to his publisher, Simrock, who soon afterward commissioned what became the Slavonic Dances, Op. 46. These were highly praised by the Berlin music critic Louis Ehlert in 1878, the sheet music (of the original piano 4-hands version) had excellent sales, and Dvořák’s international reputation at last was launched.

In 1892, Dvořák moved to the United States and became the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York City. While in the United States, Dvořák wrote his two most successful orchestral works. The Symphony From the New World spread his reputation worldwide. His Cello Concerto is one of the most highly regarded of all cello concerti. Also, he wrote his American String Quartet, his most appreciated piece of chamber music. But shortfalls in payment of his salary, along with increasing recognition in Europe and an onset of homesickness, led him to leave the United States in 1895 and return to Bohemia. (source: Wikipedia)

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Humoresque – Opus 101, No 7
BB BE 120408 – $38.00
2′ 35″ – medium

arranged by Michael Allen for Trumpet in E flat, 2 Trumpets in B flat, Flugelhorn, 2 Horns, 2 Tenor Trombones, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba

Largo from the New World Symphony
BB BE 170304 – $45.00
10′ 00″ – difficult

The Symphony No. 9 in E minor, “From the New World”, Op. 95, B. 178 popularly known as the New World Symphony, was composed by Antonín Dvorák in 1893 while he was the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America from 1892 to 1895. It is by far his most popular symphony, and one of the most popular of all symphonies. The symphony was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, and premiered on December 16, 1893, at Carnegie Hall conducted by Anton Seidl.

The second movement (Largo) was described by the composer as a “sketch or study for a later work, either a cantata or opera … which will be based upon Longfellow’s Hiawatha”

arranged by Michael Allen for Trumpet in E flat, Trumpet in B flat (doubles on Piccolo in A and Flugelhorn), Trumpet in B flat (doubles on Flugelhorn), Flugelhorn, 2 Horns, 2 Tenor Trombones, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Timpani