Welcome to the Blogging From A to Z Challenge! My theme for the challenge this year is classical music. A is for composer Antonín Dvořák. I selected his Humoresque in G-Flat Major Op. 101, No. 7 for today’s featured video. Besides great composers and their works, another benefit of this theme is an introduction to excellent musicians. In this video Yo Yo Ma is playing the cello and Itzhak Perlman is playing the violin, and their performance is amazing!
Video link: https://youtu.be/oBDmAxSFt6A
A few quick facts about Antonín Dvořák:
· While giving piano lessons, Dvořák, fell in love with his pupil, Josefína Čermáková, but she did not return his love. He ended up marrying her younger sister, Anna. They had nine children together, six of whom survived infancy.
· Dvořák applied for and received the Austrian State Prize in 1874. Fellow composer Johannes Brahms joined the jury a few months later. After he reviewed Dvořák’s work, Brahms was said to have been “visibly overcome” by his “mastery and talent.” Brahms was a great help in Dvořák’s career and a good friend.
|Antonín and his wife, Anna|
· In 1877, the sheet music for his eight Slavonic Dances sold out in one day!
· Dvořák was a train spotter, and he spent a lot of his off time at the Franz Josef railway station in Prague. He often asked his pupils to discuss recent train journeys they had made.
· He lived in New York City from 1892 to 1895, which is where he composed his well-known Symphony No. 9 “From the New World.” He and his family returned to Europe after growing homesick.
Today’s selection is No. 7 in Antonín Dvořák’s piano cycle of Humoresques. Writer, David Hurwitz, said that "the seventh Humoresque is probably the most famous small piano work ever written after Beethoven's Für Elise." You may have heard it before as a theme for Slappy the Squirrel from the Animaniacs cartoon.
I’m going to be keeping a YouTube playlist of the videos from each day. I will update the list with the latest letter and add some bonus videos for anyone who might want to hear more. Today I added an extra video of an orchestra conducted by Sergiu Celibidache playing the fourth movement of Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony.
Have you heard of any of Antonín Dvořák’s work before today? Have you even heard his name before? How do like my playlist idea?