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Antonin Dvorák:
Music Nationalism circa 1848

All across Europe in the 19th century, there was a wave of nationalism as people fought for political independence. Composers started wanting musical independence, too. When they started putting folk tunes and dance rhythms from their native countries into their music, and wrote about local legends, history, and landscapes, musical nationalism was born.

Music heard in this episode:
Smetana: Ma Vlast - Vysehrad
Smetana: Ma Vlast - Moldau
Verdi: Nabucco - Va, pensiero
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody #1
Chopin: Revolutionary Etude
Dvorak: Czech Suite
Dvorak: Dumky Trio
Dvorak: Slavonic Dance Op. 46, #8

Other shows about Antonin Dvorák:
About Antonin Dvorák
Composers Who Visited America
Other Musical Nationalism

Download this month's activity sheet

About Antonin Dvorák
9/8/1841 - 5/1/1904
Born in Czech Republic

Antonin Dvorak was born in a village just north of Prague. He was the oldest of nine children. His father was a butcher who wanted Antonin to become a butcher, too. But, when he saw how musical Antonin was, he made sure he got a good music education, including violin and organ lessons.

Dvorak got a job as a church organist, but what he really wanted to do was compose. So he entered his compositions in a government-sponsored contest and won! The prize money allowed Dvorak to quit his church job, and made him well known as a composer.

In spite of the fact that he never took composition lessons, Dvorak taught composition at the Prague Conservatory. And he also taught in New York City for a couple of years. The last of Dvorak's nine symphonies was written in the United States, and is nicknamed for the fact that it hails "From the New World."

See other composers born in Czech Republic


This Week's Quiz:

1. Who was the Czech nationalist composer who wrote Ma Vlast (My Fatherland)?

Antonin Dvorak

Bela Bartok

Bedrich Smetana

Zoltan Kodaly

2.Which Italian composer wrote Va, pensiero, which became an unofficial national anthem?

Giuseppe Verdi

Gioachino Rossini

Antonio Vivaldi

Giacomo Puccini

3. Frederic Chopin was born in what country?






Antonin Dvorák
Slavonic Dance No. 7

Composed in 1878
Performed by Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
Zdenek Kosler, conductor

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