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Suite in D. Op. 39

Antonín Dvorák
(1862-1918)



The D major suite of Dvorák's is laid out in five movements: 1. Prelude ("Pastorale"); 2. Polka; 3. Menuet; 4. Romanza; 5. Furiant. In the "Pastorale" a single theme is employed, given out by the first violins and oboe soon extended in the cellos and bassoons, and gradually worked up to a climax, the movement ending andante. The second movement is in dance form, the theme beginning in the strings and repeated. A second theme appears in unison in the violins, violas, and bassoons, with a picturesque accompaniment. In the Trio the principal subject enters in the violins and the first part is repeated. In the Menuet, a Styrian rhythm, the subjects is given out in the clarinet and bassoon, followed in the violins and developed without a trio. In the repeat of the first subject it is treated with still fuller harmonic effect. In the Romanza the principal theme is taken by the English horn, giving it a pastoral effect, and is developed in the other woodwinds with a triplet accompaniment in the strings. The last movement, Furiant, might be described as a Slavonic frenzy. The oboe gives out the theme, which is then taken up in the strings. A contrasting theme appears, though it is based upon the same figure. In the development of the theme the composer has introduced rushing climaxes and tremendous fortissimos, the work closing with a brilliant display of orchestral resources and total pyrotechnics. Dvorák is credited with introducing two new Bohemian forms -- the "Dumken," or Elegy, and the "Furiant," a wild Scherzo, as described above.





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