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From the Bouquet of Slavonic Folk songs 

opus number
Burghauser catalogue number
21 December 1877 - 6 January 1878 
premiere - date and place
Nos. 1 and 3.: 8 December 1878, Prague
the whole work: 15 December 1878, Brno 
premiere - performer(s)
8 December 1878: Hlahol of Prague, conductor Karel Knittl 
15 December 1878: Beseda brnenska, conductor Leos Janacek, piano: Antonin Dvorak
Slovak folk songs
parts / movements
1. Sorrow (Zal)
2. Miraculous Water (Divna voda)
3. The Girl in the Grove (Devce v haji
cca 8 min. 30 s. 


Dvorak wrote this cycle of choral songs for male voices with piano accompaniment in late 1877 and early 1878; the music is set to the texts of Slovak folk songs. In contrast to his previous works in this genre, the composer used a piano accompaniment, which enabled him to broaden considerably the palette of sounds afforded by a male choir. The piano part was originally written for two hands, but the first edition published by Emanuel Stary in Prague (1879) came out in an arrangement for four hands by the composer’s friend, Josef Zubaty. The first part of the cycle entitled “Sorrow” is surprising for the sharp contrast between the solemn nature of the text and the carefree, lively mood of the musical setting. The manuscript, which Dvorak donated to the Beseda brnenska Philharmonic Society, repeatedly went missing but is currently kept at the Moravian Museum in Brno.