1875, the year in which the Serenade for strings op.22 was written, was quite an intense one for Dvořák. It’s the year that marks his 5th symphony, the 2nd string quintet, and the famous Moravian duets among other works. Dvořák was beginning to be recognized as a composer which eased his mind of financial burdens.
Apparently, the serenade for strings was written in less than a couple of weeks, and was premiered in Prague in 1876.
The work holds for the most part that same spirit of an outdoor evening we recognized in Elgar’s serenade.
Antonín Dvořák in 1882
Antonín Dvořák: an analysis of the Serenade for strings – Mov. 1 and 2
First movement: Moderato
In case you don’t have it at hand, here’s a quick link to the score.
The first movement smells of a serene night in late spring, with a lovely breeze. It’s in an ABA structure, beginning with a delicate theme that – just like with Elgar’s piece – will come back in the last movement.
Played by the second violins, it’s accompanied by a gentle pulsing of the violas, while the cellos answer in the second bar
This content is available for free with all memberships.
Already a member? Login here.
Not a member yet? Subscribe today and get access to more than 80 videos, scores analysis, technical episodes, and exercises.