Recreating Dvořák’s Czech Day Concert at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893

  • Bohemian National Hall 321 East 73rd Street New York, NY, 10021

The Aaron Copland School of Music Orchestra under the direction of Maurice Peress presents a rousing concert “recreating” the Czech Day program of August 12, 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.  Imagine the fairgoers’ excitement as you hear Dvořák’s popular Slavonic Dances and “From My Homeland” Overture as well as his Symphony No. 6 in D Major!  

Read Maestro Peress’s text about the World’s Columbian Exposition, Dvořák’s Trip to Spillville.

Maestro Peress discusses two musical favorites by Dvořák:

Slavonic Dances

We will hear three “Slavonic Dances” from the second set that he chose to conduct at the Chicago Columbian World’s Fair in the summer of 1893; a Woodcutter’s Dance, traditionally danced with a dangerous long-handle axe, the last chord struck as the axe sinks into the cutting block; a Dumka, juxtaposing melancholy with exuberance; and a Jump Dance, two sharp chords for the entry jump followed by lively busy music.

From My Homeland, Overture

In 1882 Dvořák composed an Overture and incidental music to a play by František Ferdinand Šamberk, Josef Kajetán Tyl, a beloved Czech dramatist. It should come as no surprise that Šamberk’s play, depicting the life of Tyl and the beginnings of Czech language theatre, was intensely patriotic, a fact also reflected in the stage music. Towards the end of each act, the audience would hear music derived from the themes of the song “Where is my home?” today the Czech national anthem Kde domov můj. The melody, by František Škroup, stems from an earlier play, the text was by Tyl himself. Dvořák’s Overture … that now ends with a dramatic rendering of the Kde domov můj  … was subsequently published separately as Op.62 under the title From My Homeland.

Where is my home, where is my home?
Water roars across the meadows,
Pinewoods rustle among crags,
The garden is glorious with spring blossom,
Paradise on earth it is to see.
And this is that beautiful land,
The Czech land, my home,
The Czech land, my home.

 

General Admission to be paid at door: $20; Seniors, Students, Czech Center Club Members $10.

Supported by the Bohemian Benevolent & Literary Association (BBLA).

Dvořák conducting at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, by V. E. Nádherný.  Courtesy of National Museum – Czech Museum of Music – Museum of Antonín Dvořák, Prague.     

Dvořák conducting at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, by V. E. Nádherný.  Courtesy of National Museum – Czech Museum of Music – Museum of Antonín Dvořák, Prague.