Antonín Dvorák

Biography

Born: 1841   Died: 1904   Country: Czechoslovakia   Period: Romantic
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 Read more 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. Read less
Dvorák: Rusalka / Mackerras, Fleming, Heppner, Et Al
Release Date: 10/20/1998   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 460568   Number of Discs: 3
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Dvorák: Rusalka / Chalabala, Subrtova, Haken, Et Al
Release Date: 03/29/2005   Label: Supraphon  
Catalog: 7008   Number of Discs: 1
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Sir Charles Mackerras Conducts Delius, Dvorák, Etc
Release Date: 11/08/2005   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 4757061   Number of Discs: 3
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Dvorák: Rusalka (In German) / Keilberth, Trötschel, Et Al
Release Date: 06/20/2006   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 6031   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Songs My Mother Taught Me (Als die alte Mutter)

Browse 76-80 of 80 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Songs My Mother Taught Me / Delmoni, Vas
    Label: John Marks Records   Catalog: 1 Release Date: 05/24/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Johannes Brahms,  Charles Robert Valdez,  Maria Theresia Paradis  ... 
    Performer:  Arturo Delmoni,  Meg Bachman Vas
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  • 77.
    Dvorak In Prague - A Celebration
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46687 Release Date: 03/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Rudolf Firkusny,  Itzhak Perlman,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Frederica Von Stade
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Prague Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 78.
    Romantic Violin Favourites / Takako Nishizaki, Wolf Harden
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550125 Release Date: 06/25/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Georges Bizet,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Takako Nishizaki,  Wolf Harden
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  • 79.
    The World's Most Beautiful Melodies / Phillip Mccann
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 4501 Release Date: 07/29/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Sullivan,  Franz Schubert,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Iain Robertson,  Phillip McCann
    Conductor:  Major Peter Parkes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Black Dyke Mills Band
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  • 80.
    My Favorite Kreisler / Itzhak Perlman
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 47467 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eduard Gaertner,  Antonín Dvorák,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Samuel Sanders,  Itzhak Perlman
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