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Slavonic Dances, The

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Antonín Dvořák

Antonín Dvořák (trans. James Curnow)


Subtitle: A Symphonic Suite


General Info

Year: 1878-1886 / 1984
Duration: c. 12:45
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Origial Medium: Piano four-hands
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $95.00   |   Score Only (print) - $15.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
Cornets I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Timpani
Percussion I-II

(Percussion instrumentation undifferentiated in score)


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

The Slavonic Dances (Czech: Slovanské tance) are a series of 16 orchestral pieces composed by Antonín Dvořák in 1878 and 1886, and published in two sets as Opus 46 and Opus 72, respectively. Originally written for piano four hands, the Slavonic Dances were inspired by Johannes Brahms's own Hungarian Dances and were orchestrated at the request of Dvořák's publisher soon after composition. The pieces, lively and overtly nationalistic, were well received at the time and today are among the composer's most memorable works, occasionally making appearances in popular culture.

Prior to the publication of the Slavonic Dances, Op. 46, Dvořák was a relatively unknown composer and was of modest means. Consequently, he had applied for the Austrian State Prize fellowship (German `Stipendium') in order to fund his composing work. After he won the prize three times in four years (1874, 1876–77), Johannes Brahms, as one of the members of the committee responsible for awarding the stipend, referred Dvořák to his own publisher, Fritz Simrock. The first of Dvořák's music to be published by Simrock was the Moravian Duets, which attained widespread success; encouraged, Simrock asked the composer to write something with a dance-like character.

Unsure how to begin, Dvořák used Brahms's Hungarian Dances as a model -- but only as a model; there are a number of important differences between the two works. For example, whereas Brahms made use of actual Hungarian folk melodies, Dvořák only made use of the characteristic rhythms of Slavic folk music: the melodies are entirely his own. Simrock was immediately impressed by the music Dvořák produced (originally for piano four hands), and asked the composer for an orchestral version as well. Both versions were published within the year, and quickly established Dvořák's international reputation. The enormous success of the Opus 46 dances led Simrock to request another set of Slavonic Dances in 1886; Dvořák's subsequent Opus 72 dances met with a similar reception.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


Five Dances from Slavonic Dances was arranged by James Curnow and consists of Dances 1, 2, 8, 4, and 3 (in that order) from Dvořák’s original work. These pieces display brilliantly suspenseful changes in both tempo and dynamics that exhibit the joyfulness of the Slavic soul. This remarkable transcription of Dvořák’s dances into the wind band’s voice captures all of the magic of the orchestral transcription, while highlighting sonorities unique to the symphonic band.

- Program Note from United States Marine Band concert program, 12 June 2019


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


Media


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class A
  • Arkansas: IV
  • Georgia: V
  • Louisiana: V
  • Michigan: Senior High AA
  • Oklahoma: IV-A
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Texas: V. Complete


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Florida State University (Tallahassee) Wind Ensemble (Patrick Dunnigan, conductor) - 10 November 2020
  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Ryan J. Nowlin, conductor) – 12 June 2019
  • Golden State Wind Orchestra (Sacramento, Calif.) (Marlon A. Ramirez, conductor) – 5 November 2016
  • Repasz Band (Williamsport, Penn.) (Albert Nacinovich, conductor) – 12 April 2016
  • Heart of Texas (San Antonio) Concert Band (Mark Rogers, conductor) – 2013
  • University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) Summer Band (Linda Moorhouse, conductor) - 18 July 2013


Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music


All Wind Works


Resources

  • Dvořák, A.; Curnow, J. (1984). The Slavonic Dances: A Symphonic Suite [score]. Jenson Publications: [New Berlin, Wisc.].
  • Slavonic Dances, Wikipedia