Founded 1974
 
President:
Jiří Bělohlávek
 
Patron:
Graham Melville-Mason
Vice-Presidents:
Antonín Dvořák III
Radomil Eliška
Markéta Hallová
Miloš Jurkovič
Radoslav Kvapil
Alena Němcová
Zuzana Růžičková

Journal “Czech Music” Volume 17 No. 1 (Abstract)

A Message of Beauty and Tolerance
by Jan Hanuš
[Czech Music: Journal of the Dvořák Society, Vol. 17, No.1 (1991), pp. 13-16.]

     The belief that generations of damaging infighting occurred between rival camp followers of Smetana and Dvořák is shown to be misguided. Rather there were discrete attacks on the two composers. The relationship between Smetana and Dvořák was in general one of mutual esteem, the older composer supporting the younger in a number of ways, while Dvořák in turn recognised the distinctive Czech nature of Smetana’s work and its influence on his own. Such tolerance was, however, deplorably lacking in their detractors, who respectively could not accept the precious legacy of both.

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Dvořák and Smetana: Some Thoughts on Sources, Influences and Relationships
by Jarmil Burghauser
[Czech Music: Journal of the Dvořák Society, Vol. 17, No.1 (1991), pp. 16-24.]

The problems of reconciling sources in the process of establishing a ‘critical edition’ of Dvořák’s compositions are on-going. Though trained at the Prague Organ School, Dvořák’s initial knowledge of the wider musical literature was limited. But through the help of Karel Bendl, and taking part in Prague orchestral concerts, this was quickly supplemented. Older composers such as Liszt and Wagner clearly influenced Dvořák’s early works, but Brahms less so. Dvořák rated highly Smetana’s music, and appreciated its impact in moving him away from the earlier influence of Wagner, on the way to becoming an authentic national voice, and heir to the older composer’s artistic legacy.

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Antonín Dvořák: Man and Artist
by Jitka Slavíková
[Czech Music: Journal of the Dvořák Society, Vol. 17, No.1 (1991), pp. 24-30.]

While the characteristics of Dvořák’s appearance and physique are well documented, what went on in his inner world is harder to pin down. He was not one for theorising or revealing his creative approaches in his correspondence. Far from being a ‘child of nature’, as he was perceived by some, Dvořák had an insatiable thirst for knowledge, a wide appreciation of literature and art, a profound interest in the technology of his time, and travelled widely. Though he composed quickly, this followed long periods of intense mental preparation. Self-criticism led to many revisions. A shrewd business brain was evident in his relationships with publishers, theatres and concert agencies.

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Dvořák and Elgar
by Graham Melville-Mason
[Czech Music: Journal of the Dvořák Society, Vol. 17, No.1 (1991), pp. 30-38.]

Elgar responded with consistent enthusiasm to Dvořák’s music. In 1884, he played in Worcester and Birmingham under the direction of the composer himself. Elgar was particularly captivated by Dvořák’s orchestration, which influenced his own composing. Elgar’s experience of hearing Dvořák’s Symphonic Variations inspired the Enigma Variations, and there are also parallels between, for example, their respective Violin and Cello Concertos, Serenades for Strings, Piano Quintets, and choral music. Elgar conducted London orchestras in works by Dvořák from 1897. Through Elgar, Dvořák indirectly played a part in the twentieth century regeneration of English music.

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