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polonaise for cello and piano

COMPOSED June (?) 1879
PREMIERE - DATE AND PLACE 29 June 1879, Turnov
PREMIERE - PERFORMER(S) Alois Neruda, Antonin Dvorak
FIRST EDITION Universal Edition, 1925, Vienna
MAIN KEY A major
DURATION approx. 8 min.

This short piece was written for a concert of Dvorak’s works held in Turnov on 29 June 1879. The main item on the programme was his Piano Trio in G minor, but all three players were also to perform as soloists. For cellist Alois Neruda, Dvorak wrote a polonaise with piano accompaniment. The whereabouts of the autograph is unknown, but the polonaise survived as a copy which was discovered in Vienna in 1925. The polonaise follows a symmetrical A-B-A form, and is preceded by a quasi-improvisational introduction. In terms of rhythm and expression, the main theme respects the traditional polonaise style; the middle section is more serene and lyrical in tone. Dvorak later used a variant of the polonaise’s thematic material in his String Quartet in C major.