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Vaughan Williams on Music$
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David Manning

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182392.001.0001

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Dvořák, ‘New World’ Symphony

Dvořák, ‘New World’ Symphony

(p.407) Chapter 97 Dvořák, ‘New World’ Symphony
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

Antonin Dvořák was born of Bohemian peasant stock and was brought up among the beautiful folk tunes of his native land. In 1892 he visited America, determined to crystallize his impressions in music; so he composed this “New World” Symphony, in the ordinary four separate parts or movements, the tunes of which were suggested by the people and sights of the United States. It is not to be wondered at that Dvořák, loving his own native melodies so much, should be attracted by the gay and beautiful tunes of the negro population of America; and this influence is apparent throughout the work. The next movement (after a few bars of introduction) gives a new aspect of America. The famous tune of this movement is obviously an idealization of those popular American melodies of which “Swanee River” is the best-known example.

Keywords:   Antonin Dvořák, folk tunes, New World Symphony, United States, negro population, American melodies, Swanee River

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