Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)
Program note written by Jacob Farmer
I. Allegro risoluto
III. Molto vivace
Approximate Performance Time:
Intermediate – appropriate for high school students
James Galway & Phillip Moll. Sonatina for Flute and Piano in G Major, Op. 100. Sony Music, 2014. MP3.
Kim, Jinyoung. “The Compositions for Violin and Piano of Antonin Dvorak.” Order No. 9948246 Boston University, 1999. Ann Arbor: ProQuest. Web. 1 Oct. 2016.
Antonín Dvořák is an Austrian composer born in 1841 and was one of the most accomplished and recognized Romantic composers. He developed skills as a violinist as a young boy while playing for the patrons of his father’s inn. He moved in with is aunt and uncle in Zlonice to study piano and organ, where he wrote his polkas during his three year stay. After learning all he could in Zlonice, Dvořák’s father allowed him to enroll in the Institute for Church Music in Prague. While in Prague, Dvořák fell in love with one of his pupils, Josefina Čermáková, but it was not mutual. This grief is reflected in his string composition Cypresses. He later married Josefina’s younger sister Anna. In the first four years of their marriage, they buried all three of their children. His œuvre comprised of hundreds of works including operas, symphonies, chamber works, concerti, and choral works. His most famous work is his Symphony No. 9 in E minor “From the New World,” composed during his time in America. Dvořák died in 1904 after returning to his home in Bohemia.
Dvořák’s Sonatina for Violin and Piano Op. 100 was written between November 19th and December 3rd of 1893. The work was dedicated to two of his children, Tonik and Otilka. The piece was written with your abilities in mind and intended for amateur music making at home. Tonik was ten and played the violin while Otilka was fifteen and played the piano. The premiere of this work was within Dvořák’s home, featuring his children. The work contains four movements with American and Czech influences. Some of these influences include uses of the pentatonic scale, syncopated rhythms, and minor sevenths in the minor mode. Both the violin and piano parts are treated as equals and create an inner dialogue between the two throughout the piece. An arrangement of this work for flute and piano was made by Sir James Galway.