The Romantic Legacy

late nineteenth to early twentieth century

(Classical Music Map)


I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz

Antonin Dvorak



Dvorak was born in a small village on the banks of the river Vltava, approximately 45 miles north of Prague. He left school aged 1 1 to become an apprentice butcher, and the following year was sent to Zlonce to learn German. Most of his time, however, he spent on music lessons, learning the organ, viola, piano, and basic composition. His interest in music was such that, despite misgivings, his father eventually allowed him to enrol at the Prague Organ School in 1857. There Dvorak received the strict training of a church musician, but after classes attended as many orchestral concerts as he could, enjoying especially the music of contemporary composers such as Wagner and Schumann.

After graduating in 1859, Dvorak became principal violist in the new Provisional Theatre orchestra, conducted after 1866 by Sinetana. The need to supplement his income by teaching left Dvorak with limited free time, and in 1871 he gave up the orchestra m order to compose. He fell in love with one of his pupils and wrote a song cycle, Cypress trees, expressing his anguish at her marriage to another man. He soon overcame his despondency, however, and in 1873 he married her sister Anna Cermakova.

In 1874 Dvorak entered no fewer than 15 works — including his Third symphony — for the Austrian National prize. He won and received a welcome cash prize and, perhaps more importantly, the admiration and support of Brahms, who was one of the judges. Brahms put Dvorak in touch with his own publisher, Simrock, who commissioned the popular first set of Slavonic dances in 1878. These robust pieces, notable for sudden mood switches from exuberant dance tunes to dark and melancholy melodies, were played not only in the musical centres of Europe, but also in the United States and England.

From this point on Dvorak's fame escalated. In 1884 he received a warm welcome in London, the first of nine visits. Several of his major works, including the Seventh and Eighth symphonies, were written for performance in England. Often regarded as Dvorak's greatest work, the Seventh symphony powerfully expresses a mood of tragedy through solemn music overlaid with ominous and foreboding overtones. In contrast, the more relaxed Eighth symphony makes use of folk melodies, conveyed with rhythmic verve and colourful orchestration.

Dvorak was appointed Professor of Composition at the Prague Conservatoire in 1891, but soon after took up the offer of Directorship of the National Conservatury of Music in New York.

He stayed for three years in the United States, spending summer holidays in Spillville, a Czech-speakmg community in Iowa. It is from this period that some of his best-loved music comes, notably the Symphony No. 9 (''From the New World") and the American string quartet. Both these works make use of themes influenced by American Indian folk melodies and Negro spirituals. As Dvorak later admitted, something of their melancholy can be attributed to the homesickness he felt during his time in America. Just before leaving in 1895 he produced his last major symphonic work, the remarkable Cello concerto, which in its expressive power and melodic beauty rivals even the
Seventh symphony.

Returning to Prague with some relief, Dvorak resumed his post at the Prague Conservatoire and m 1901 became its director. For the last three years of his life he devoted the greater part of his creative energies to working on symphonic poems and operas. He died in 1904.

Dvorak's importance lies partly in his nationalist outlook. During the latter half of the nineteenth century, Bohemia (later part of the Czech Republic) - long suppressed under German rule - fought for its political and cultural independence.

Dvorak, like Smetana and Janacek, consciously looked to Bohemian folklore for artistic inspiration, imitating traditional melodies, as in the Slavonic dances, or using traditional legends, as in his best-known opera, Rusalka, composed in 1900. Dvorak exercised a great gift for absorbing folk styles and reproducing them in the context of the Classical tradition.


Antonin Dvorak



Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904)



Cleveland Orchestra - George Szell
Slavonic Dances, Op.46
Slavonic Dances, Op.72

Columbia University Orchestra
Symphony No. 8
in G major
Allegro con brio
Allegretto grazioso - Molto vivace
Allegro, ma non troppo

Columbia University Orchestra
Symphony No. 9
"From the New World"
Adagio - Allegro Molto
Scherzo - Molto vivace
Allegro con fuoco

Uni Witten-Herdecke chor
Stabat mater op 58
Eja, Mater, fons amoris
Tui Nati vulnerati

Fac me vere tecum flere
Virgo virginum praeclara
Quando corpus morietur

Jerusalem Quartet
String Quartet No. 13 in Gmajor Op.106

Allegro moderato
Adagio ma non troppo
Molto vivace
Finale: Andante sostenuto - Allegro con fuoco

Albeniz Ensemble
Piano trio no. 4 "Dumky"
Lento Maestoso
Andante moderato
Lento maestoso
Turtle Rock String Quartet
String quartet no. 12 "The American"
Allegro ma non troppo
Molto vivace
Vivace ma non troppo






















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