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Dvorak: Slavonic Dance

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Eastern European pride…

Johannes Brahms met Antonin Dvorak when Dvorak was applying for a scholarship from an Austrian imperial committee. Brahms was a member, and the committee was charged with providing scholarships to struggling young composers. Brahms was immediately taken by the young Czech composer’s music and recommended him not only for the scholarship, but also to his publisher Fritz Simrock. Simrock then commissioned Dvorak’s “Moravian Duets” which were a huge success. The success prompted another commission from Simrock. This time, the piece was the first set of “Slavonic Dances” for piano 4-hands. It was so successful that Dvorak quickly orchestrated them and they were performed throughout Europe. So Fritz Simrock established Dvorak not only as the most important Czech composer of the day, but also one of the most respected composers in Europe.

Music Heard On This Episode

Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904): Slavonic Dance in g minor
Berlin Philharmonic/Lorin Maazel — Dvorak: Slavonic Dances (Angel Records, 1997)
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