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vanda (overture)

OPUS NUMBER 25
BURGHAUSER CATALOGUE NUMBER 97
COMPOSED August 1879 - October (?) 1879
PREMIERE - DATE AND PLACE 13 February 1880, Prague
PREMIERE - PERFORMER(S) Provisional Theatre Orchestra, conductor Adolf Cech
FIRST EDITION August Cranz, Leipzig (without date)
MAIN KEY G minor
INSTRUMENTATION 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, violins, violas, cellos, double basses
DURATION approx. 9 min.


The opera Vanda, which Dvorak wrote in 1875, had only a brief orchestral introduction. When preparations for a new production of the opera were under way at the National Theatre four years later, Dvorak decided to write a new overture for the occasion. The outcome was an impressive, invigorating piece of music dominated by lively rhythms. The overture develops the thematic material of the opera itself, above all, the syncopated theme which, in Act 3, is associated with the character of the witch Homena, and with the motif of Slavoj’s aria from Act 1. The work is written in rondo form, A-B-A-C-A-C-B-A.
sketch for the overture