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Antonin Dvorák made his famous trip to the United States one hundred years ago, but despite an enormous amount of attention from scholars and critics since that time, he remains an elusive figure. Comprising both interpretive essays and a selection of fascinating documents that bear on Dvorák's career and music, this volume addresses fundamental questions about the composer while presenting an argument for a radical reappraisal.
The essays, which make up the first part of the book, begin with Leon Botstein's inquiry into the reception of Dvorák's work in German-speaking Europe, in England, and in America. Commenting on the relationship between Dvorák and Brahms, David Beveridge offers the first detailed portrait of perhaps the most interesting artistic friendship of the era. Joseph Horowitz explores the context in which the "New World" Symphony was premiered a century ago, offering an absorbing account of New York musical life at that time. In discussing Dvorák as a composer of operas, Jan Smaczny provides an unexpected slant on the widely held view of him as a "nationalist" composer. Michael Beckerman further investigates this view of Dvorák by raising the question of the role nationalism played in music of the nineteenth century.
The second part of this volume presents Dvorák's correspondence and reminiscences as well as unpublished reviews and criticism from the Czech press. It includes a series of documents from the composer's American years, a translation of the review of Rusalka's premiere with the photographs that accompanied the article, and Janácek's analyses of the symphonic poems. Many of these documents are published in English for the first time.
|Introduction: Looking for Dvorak in December 1992||3|
|Reversing the Critical Tradition: Innovation, Modernity, and Ideology in the Work and Career of Antonin Dvorak||11|
|Dvorak and Brahms: A Chronicle, an Interpretation||56|
|Dvorak and the New World: A Concentrated Moment||92|
|Dvorak: The Operas||104|
|The Master's Little Joke: Antonin Dvorak and the Mask of Nation||134|
|Reviews and Criticism from Dvorak's American Years: Articles by Henry Krehbiel, James Huneker, H. L. Mencken, and James Creelman||157|
|Letters from Dvorak's American Period: A Selection of Unpublished Correspondence Received by Dvorak in the United States||192|
|Antonin Dvorak: A Biographical Sketch||211|
|Dvorak in the Czech Press: Unpublished Reviews and Criticism||230|
|A Discussion of Two Tone Poems Based on Texts by Karel Jaromir Erben: The Wood Dove and The Golden Spinning Wheel||262|
|Index of Names and Compositions||277|
|List of Contributors||283|