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Five Choruses for Male Voices

OPUS NUMBER 27
BURGHAUSER CATALOGUE NUMBER 87
COMPOSED completed 12 December 1878
PREMIERE - DATE AND PLACE
No. 1: 20 May 1882, Brno
Nos. 2 and 4: 6 April 1879, Olomouc
No. 5: 3 July 1881, Blansko
PREMIERE - PERFORMER(S)
No. 1: "Beseda brnenska", conductor Leoš Janáček
Nos. 2 and 4: "Slovansky ctenarsky spolek"
No. 5: "Rostislav" Choir and "Beseda brnenska"
FIRST EDITION Frantisek Augustin Urbanek, 1890, Praha
TEXT Lithuanian folk-songs, Czech translation: Frantisek Ladislav Celakovsky
PARTS / MOVEMENTS 1. Village Gossip (Pomluva)
2. Dwellers by the Sea (Pomorane)
3. Promise of Love (Pripoved lasky)
4. The Lost Lamb (Ztracena ovecka)
5. The Sparrow's Feast (Hostina)
DURATION
approx. 13 min.

    


This cycle of five choruses is set to Lithuanian folk texts translated by Frantisek Ladislav Celakovsky and is written for unaccompanied male choir. Dvorak was probably commissioned on this occasion by the Slavonic Choral Society in Vienna. The title page of the autograph score bears the note: “Composed on the journey from Prague to Vienna, 12th of December 1878” (Dvorak was travelling to visit Johannes Brahms). The individual parts of the cycle present a vibrant palette of moods, from the balladic “Dwellers by the Sea” to the final, light-hearted “The Sparrow’s Feast”. The songs’ melodies echo the spirit of folk songs, and the composer used simple but colourful harmonies and chose a strophic form. The work did not come out in print until 1890, published in Prague by Frantisek Urbanek with the misleading opus number 27. 
No. 1 "Village Gossip"