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Choral Songs for Male Voices 

opus number
Burghauser catalogue number
66 
composed
12 January - 16 January 1877 
premiere - date and place
4 March 1877, Praha 
premiere - performer(s)
Hlahol of Prague, conductor Karel Bendl 
text
Nos. 1 and 2: Moravian folk poetry, No. 3: Adolf Heyduk 
parts / movements
1. The Ferryman (Prevoznicek)
2. The Poisoning Sweetheart (Milenka travicka)
3. The Fiddler (Huslar
duration
approx. 11 min. 

    


This cycle emerged during a three-year period (1876-1878) in which the composer wrote the large majority of his choral works. The piece is written for an unaccompanied four-part male choir. The first two songs, “The Ferryman” and “The Poisoning Sweetheart”, are set to Moravian folk texts which Dvorak selected from Frantisek Susil’s collection Moravian Folk Songs with Melodies Included in the Texts. In the second of these, Dvorak found an ingenious way to use the vocal lines to suggest the ringing of funeral bells in one of his most eloquent examples of imitation. For the third song, “The Fiddler”, the composer chose the poem of the same name by Adolf Heyduk. He used the melody from this song later on as the main theme for his orchestral Symphonic Variations, Op. 78