Golden Spinning Wheel, The

From Wind Repertory Project
Antonín Dvořák

Antonín Dvořák (trans. William V Johnson)

This work bears the designation Opus 109, B. 197

General Info

Year: 1896 / 2018
Duration: c. 13:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: William V. Johnson
Cost: Score and Parts - $45.00

Episodes (played without pause)

3. Lento
4. Allegro non Troppo


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
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
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Marimba
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Golden Spinning Wheel, Op. 109, is the third of the symphonic tone poems that Dvořák wrote in the early months of 1896. During Dvořák’s visit to Vienna, Johanna Brahms urged him to move his family to Vienna -- an invitation that Dvořák couldn’t seriously consider, since, after returning from the United States, he now felt more attached than ever to his native land (Czech Republic).

Taking a cue from Liszt’s pioneering tone poems, Dvořák assigned a musical theme to each central character in the action, allowing it to be transformed by the events in the unfolding drama. The Golden Spinning Wheel tells the tale of a young king, out hunting on horseback, who stops at a cottage to ask for a drink of water, and, immediately falling in love with Dornicka, the young girl at the spinning wheel, becomes caught in an ill-fated romance. When the king later returns to pursue Dornicka, he encounters her stepmother, who has a young, unmarried daughter of her own. In a turn of events that in our time would surely dominate the media for weeks, the stepmother takes the two girls into the woods, murders and dismembers Dornicka, and sends her own daughter off to marry the king. (Dornicka’s feet, hands, and eyes are later sent along to the king’s castle.)

After the wedding, the king goes off to war. In the meantime, an old man, wandering in the woods, discovers the remains of Dornicka’s body and is determined to bring her back to life, a make-over process that ultimately involves exchanging a golden spinning wheel for her feet, a golden distaff for her hands, and a golden spindle for her eyes. When the king returns from his triumphant wartime action, the spinning wheel begins to play a song describing the crimes committed by the stepmother and her daughter. The king races to the forest, where he finds Dornicka alive and even well, and he takes her back to his castle. Dvořák’s ending is uncomplicated and unequivocally happy.

- Program Note from Wikipedia and William Johnson


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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