Dvořák’s “Slavonic Dances”: Sublime Bohemian Miniatures

Today marks the 180th anniversary of the birth of Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904). The legacy of the famous Czech Romanticist includes monumental symphonies, nationalistic tone poems, chamber music, opera, and the soulful and nostalgic Cello Concerto. Yet, it was the sixteen Slavonic Dances, almost singlehandedly, that lifted Dvořák out of relative obscurity and poverty. These sublime Bohemian miniatures were published in two sets (Op. 46 and 72) in 1878 and 1886. In a letter to Brahms, the …

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