Three Slavonic Dances, Op46 by Antonin Dvorak
Arranged for Piccolo, 6 C Flutes, 2 Alto Flutes, Bass Flute and optional Contrabass Flute. (Piccolo doubles on C Flute 2)
The Slavonic Dances are a series of 16 orchestral pieces composed by Antonin Dvorak in 1878 and 1886 and published in two sets as Opus 46 and Opus 47, respectively. Originally written for piano four hands, the Slavonic Dances were inspired by Johannes Brahms' own Hungarian Dances and were orchestrated at the request of Dvorak's published 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.
Dvorak only made use of the characteristic rhythms of Slavic folk music: the melodies are entirely his own.
No. 7 in c minor (Skocna) – Skocna is a rapid Slavic folk-dance, normally in 2/4 metre. Czech composers Antonin Dvorak and Bedrich Smetana used this dance, the latter in the third act of The Bartered Bride where it is danced by a circus troup and is often known as the Dance of the Comedians.
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No. 2 in e minor (Dumka) – Originally, Dumka is the diminuitive form of the Ukranian term duma, “a Slavic epid ballad…generally thoughtful or melancholic in character.” Ukranian and other Slavic classical composers drew on the harmonic patterns in the folk music of their countries to inform their more formal classical compositions.
A natural part of the process of transferring the traditional folk form to a formal classical milieu was the appropriation of the Dumka form by Slavic composers, most especially by Antonin Dvorak.
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No. 8 in g minor (Furiant) – A Furiant is a rapid and fiery Bohemian dance in 2/4 and 3/4 time, with frequently shifting accents. The stylised form of the dance was often used by Czech composers such as Antonin Dvorak in his Slavonic Dances and in his 6th Symphony, and by Bedrich Smetana in The Bartered Bride amd om Czech Dances.
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