7 Apr 2022

DVORAK: Four Slavonic Dances

From Music Alive, 8:04 pm on 7 April 2022

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Giordano Bellincampi.

Giordano Bellincampi conducts the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

Giordano Bellincampi conducts the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Photo: Adrian Malloch

After the model of Brahms’ wildly successful Hungarian Dances published a decade earlier, Antonin Dvořák put forward his own Slavonic Dances Op 46 in 1878.

They were four-hand piano duets in their first incarnation and they flew off the retailers’ shelves, so publisher Simrock asked for arrangements for orchestra, which followed in short order. Both versions were published within the year, and quickly established Dvořák’s international reputation.

A second set of Slavonic Dances came in 1886 and these also received the same enormous success.

Whereas Brahms made use of actual Hungarian folk melodies, all of Dvořák’s tunes were his own invention. But the character is authentic enough to give the impression of ‘good times on the village green’.

His pieces are in the forms and styles of specific dances. The APO plays these four:

Op 72 No 2 – Starodávný (a nostalgic Bohemian waltz)

Op 46 No 3 – Polka (a lively dance)

Op 46 No 4 – Sousedská (a Bohemian dance with a calm, swaying character)

Op 46 No 1 – Furiant (a rapid and energetic folk dance marked by the alternation of duple and triple meters and frequently shifting accents. “Furiant” is the Czech word for a very proud and conceited man who is pompous and has an inflated opinion of himself – a loudmouth.)

Recorded by RNZ Concert, Auckland Town Hall, 24 February 2022
Producer: Tim Dodd
Engineer: Adrian Hollay

Get the RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes