Exploring the New World through Antonin Dvorak's Music Essay

Exploring the New World through Antonin Dvorak's Music Essay

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Antonin Dvorak was one of the leading composers of the late Romantic period and one of many composers that utilized portions of music from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds in his compositions. The idea of Music Nationalism can be found in many of his works, especially in his Symphony no. 9 in E minor “from the New World”, which incorporates ideas from the American culture.
Antonin Dvorak was born on September 8, 1841 in the small village of Nelahozeves. Dvorak began his early music education training when he was eight years old at the local school in his village. When he was 14 he trained with the church choirmaster in the nearby town of ZIonce. At the age of 16 he studied at the German municipal school briefly and a year later, in 1857, he began his studies at the Prague Organ School, graduating in 1859. (Stefan 25-30).
Dvorak earned his first glance of success on March 9 of 1873 with the premiere of his patriotic cantata for male voices. (Doge) Boasting in the success Dvorak would then start to work on his opera, King and Charcoal Burner, with the Provisional Theatre. (Doge) This piece unfortunately did not get to premiere and was taken off the program because it exceeded the capabilities of the Czech orchestra. This event, however, is a pivotal point in the composition process of Dvorak as he began to critically assess his work and started to dive into new directions (Doge). This is where he starts to explore the ideas of music nationalism as his compositions deviated from the German influence and were influenced more by elements of Slavonic Folklore. During this Dvorak composed a couple more string quartets and a new version of his King and Charcoal Burner, which ended up having a very successful premiere in Novemb...


... middle of paper ...


...from America’s heritage and this is why Antonin Dvorak and his “New World” Symphony is a very important part of the late romantic music period among nationalism composers.



Works Cited

Beckerman, Michael. Dvořák's "New World" Largo and "The Song of Hiawatha".
19th-Century Music, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Summer, 1992), pp. 35-48


Karl Kroeger. "Fisher, William Arms." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online.
Oxford University Press. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.
.

Klaus Döge. "Dvořák, Antonín." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online.
Oxford University Press. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.
.

Stefan, Paul . Anton Dvorak . New York : Da Capo Press , 1971. Print.

Tibbetts, John C.. Dvořák in America, 1892-1895. Portland, Or.: Amadeus Press,
1993. Print.

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