World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Symphony No. 1 (Dvořák)

Article Id: WHEBN0011766472
Reproduction Date:

Title: Symphony No. 1 (Dvořák)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Antonín Dvořák, István Kertész (conductor), Rafael Kubelík, Symphony No. 1, List of compositions by Antonín Dvořák, List of symphonies with names, A-flat major, Zlonice, List of symphonies in C minor
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Symphony No. 1 (Dvořák)

The Symphony No. 1 in C minor, B. 9, subtitled "The Bells of Zlonice" (Czech: Symfonie č. 1 c moll „Zlonické zvony“), was composed by Antonín Dvořák during February and March 1865. The work was written in the early Romantic style, and it was inspired by the works of Ludwig van Beethoven and Felix Mendelssohn.[1] It was the only one of his symphonies that Dvořák never heard performed or had a chance to revise. The work was lost shortly after its composition, and did not come to light until 1923, almost 20 years after the composer's death. It did not receive its first performance until 1936.

History of the work

Dvořák submitted the score for a competition in Germany, but never saw it again, and always believed it was destroyed or irretrievably lost. He later included the work in a list of early compositions he claimed to have destroyed.

However, in 1882, an unrelated person named Dr. Rudolf Dvořák, a 22-year old Oriental scholar, came across the score in a second-hand bookshop in Leipzig, and bought it. At that time the composer Dvořák was not widely known; although he had written six symphonies, only one of them (No. 6) had been published and only three of them (Nos. 3, 5 and 6) had been performed. Rudolf Dvořák kept the score in his possession, telling nobody about it, not even the composer. He died 38 years later, in 1920, when it passed to his son. The son brought it to the attention of the musical world in 1923. Its authenticity was proven beyond doubt, but it did not receive its first performance until 4 October 1936 in Brno, and even then, in a somewhat edited form.[2] The orchestra was conducted by Milan Sachs,[2][3] who was a Czech but was most notable for his work in opera in Zagreb, Croatia. Following the work's premiere, Hans Holländer wrote a review of the work. He noted that although the writing was at times awkward, the orchestration was not. He noted that it seemed to be similar in style to Beethoven and Smetana.[3] It was not published until 1961, and was the last of Dvořák's symphonies to be either performed or published.[4]

Programmatic content

The title The Bells of Zlonice does not appear in the score, although Dvořák is reputed to have referred to it this way in later years. While some argue that there is no programmatic content, it has been noted that several passages sound much like bells.[3] It was originally conceived as a three-movement work, and the Allegretto was added later. The 658-measure first movement, marked Maestoso — Allegro, is, in the original version, the longest movement of all his symphonic works,[4] owing to a 278-measure repeated exposition section comprising 44 score pages, thereby requiring just under 19 minutes to perform uncut.


The work is in four movements:

  1. Maestoso – Allegro
  2. Adagio molto in A-flat major
  3. Allegretto
  4. Finale (Allegro animato) in C major

A typical performance of the work has a duration of about fifty minutes: the movements are approximately 19, 13, 9, and 12 minutes long, respectively.[3]


The work is scored for an orchestra of two flutes (one doubling piccolo), two oboes (one doubling English horn), two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani, and strings.


The C minor symphony has been recorded various times, but the first recording complete and uncut was made in 1966 by the London Symphony Orchestra under István Kertész as part of his complete Dvořák cycle for Decca/London.[4] Other notable recordings have been by Witold Rowicki, also with the London Symphony (Philips, 1970); the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under Václav Neumann (Supraphon, 1987), the Berlin Philharmonic under Rafael Kubelík (DG, 1973); and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Neeme Järvi (Chandos, 1987).



Template:Cite album-notes[1]

External links

  • International Music Score Library Project.
Template:Antonín Dvořák
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.