Your summer date with Dvořák
Dvořák Slavonic Dance Opus 46, number 8
Dvořák Serenade for Strings
Dvořák Symphony No 7 in D minor
Dvořák’s Symphony No 7 has a couple of stories linked to it. Commissioned by the Philharmonic Society of England to conduct a series of concerts in London, he responded with this symphony and conducted its premiere in St James Hall on 22 April 1885. It was one of eight visits he made to England to conduct his own music and which led to success here before he achieved it in Germany and Austria. However, it is also said that his publisher failed to send a financial advance for the work, upon which Dvořák complained that a bad potato harvest had left him in need of money upfront. Apparently the publisher took his revenge by “Germanising” Dvořák’s first name on the first published edition.
The concert also includes two earlier works. The Serenade for Strings was composed in 1875, the year in which his first son was born and a year in which he did not win the Austrian State for composition. (He was successful in 1874, 1876 and 1877!) Brahms, who had been on the judging panel, introduced Dvořák to his own publisher, Fritz Simrock. The Slavonic Dances, composed in 1878, were originally written for piano duets but later orchestrated at the request of Simrock. They were an immediate and international success, with German sheet music shops selling out of the dances of the “hitherto …unknown composer”. Simrock requested another set of dances from Dvořák, which were equally successful when published in 1886 as his opus 72.
Tickets £10 (Accompanied children – free)