Antonín Dvořák

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)

Nationality: Czech
Born: September 8, 1841, Nelahozeves, Bohema Died: May 1, 1904, Prague (age 62)

Piano Trio No. 4 in e minor, Op. 90, B. 166, Dumky

(for violin, cello and piano)
5:04 I. Lento maestoso - Allegro vivace
7:08 II. Poco adagio - Vivace non troppo
6:29 III. Andante - Vivace non troppo
5:08 IV. Andante moderato - Allegretto scherzando
4:15 V. Allegro - Meno mosso
5:03 VI. Lento maestoso - Vivace
Duration: 33 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1890-1891 (age 48-50)
Premiere: April 11, 1891. Prague. Ferdinand Lachner (violin) Hanuš Wihan (cello) Antonín Dvořák (piano)
Published: 1894, Berlin: N. Simrock (age 52-53)
9 recordings, 47 videos
autoopen autoplay
4:13
Trio con Brio Copenhagen
I. Lento maestoso - Allegro vivace
6:57
Trio con Brio Copenhagen
II. Poco adagio - Vivace non troppo
6:32
Trio con Brio Copenhagen
III. Andante - Vivace non troppo
4:59
Trio con Brio Copenhagen
IV. Andante moderato - Allegretto scherzando
3:46
Trio con Brio Copenhagen
V. Allegro - Meno mosso
4:50
Trio con Brio Copenhagen
VI. Lento maestoso - Vivace
4:15
Tempest Trio
I. Lento maestoso - Allegro vivace
7:18
Tempest Trio
II. Poco adagio - Vivace non troppo
6:24
Tempest Trio
III. Andante - Vivace non troppo
4:47
Tempest Trio
IV. Andante moderato - Allegretto scherzando
4:07
Tempest Trio
V. Allegro - Meno mosso
4:43
Tempest Trio
VI. Lento maestoso - Vivace
4:19
Oberlin Trio
I. Lento maestoso - Allegro vivace
7:19
Oberlin Trio
II. Poco adagio - Vivace non troppo
6:39
Oberlin Trio
III. Andante - Vivace non troppo
5:07
Oberlin Trio
IV. Andante moderato - Allegretto scherzando
4:11
Oberlin Trio
V. Allegro - Meno mosso
4:38
Oberlin Trio
VI. Lento maestoso - Vivace
4:27
Czech Trio
I. Lento maestoso - Allegro vivace
7:27
Czech Trio
II. Poco adagio - Vivace non troppo
6:27
Czech Trio
III. Andante - Vivace non troppo
4:58
Czech Trio
IV. Andante moderato - Allegretto scherzando
4:04
Czech Trio
V. Allegro - Meno mosso
5:19
Czech Trio
VI. Lento maestoso - Vivace
4:25
Ahn Trio
I. Lento maestoso - Allegro vivace
7:04
Ahn Trio
II. Poco adagio - Vivace non troppo
6:15
Ahn Trio
III. Andante - Vivace non troppo
5:10
Ahn Trio
IV. Andante moderato - Allegretto scherzando
4:22
Ahn Trio
V. Allegro - Meno mosso
4:54
Ahn Trio
VI. Lento maestoso - Vivace
4:05
Munich Piano Trio
I. Lento maestoso - Allegro vivace
6:39
Munich Piano Trio
II. Poco adagio - Vivace non troppo
6:22
Munich Piano Trio
III. Andante - Vivace non troppo
5:04
Munich Piano Trio
IV. Andante moderato - Allegretto scherzando
3:54
Munich Piano Trio
V. Allegro - Meno mosso
4:59
Munich Piano Trio
VI. Lento maestoso - Vivace
10:59
Kim, Ma, Ax
I. Lento maestoso - Allegro vivace
6:18
Kim, Ma, Ax
II. Poco adagio - Vivace non troppo
5:29
Kim, Ma, Ax
III. Andante - Vivace non troppo
3:53
Kim, Ma, Ax
IV. Andante moderato - Allegretto scherzando
4:51
Kim, Ma, Ax
V. Allegro - Meno mosso
30:37
Hansen Trio
4:45
Beaux Arts Trio
(part 1 of 5)
7:19
Beaux Arts Trio
(part 2)
6:21
Beaux Arts Trio
(part 3)
5:51
Beaux Arts Trio
(part 4)
9:55
Beaux Arts Trio
(part 5)
From Kai Christiansen

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)

Piano Trio No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 90, “Dumky” (1891)

Antonín Dvořák Dvořák wrote reams of incredible chamber music in all forms. His combination of natural lyricism, clear texture, vivid color, rhythmic vitality and a sure sense of dramatic development place him among the composer gods with a noticeable affinity for Schubert who was undoubtedly a strong influence. After the "American" Quartet, The "Dumky" Trio is probably Dvořák’s most celebrated chamber work, neck and neck with the Piano Quintet in A major. If the American quartet is a possible mirror of indigenous American folk music, the Dumky Trio is pure Bohemian and Czech, an even more convincing reflection of a national folk tradition, this time, in Dvořák’s own mother tongue. He composed the Dumky, his fourth and final piano trio, in 1891 at the age of 50, just prior to his legendary trip to the America.

The word dumky is the plural for dumka, a Czech and Ukrainian term that, in summary, means "ballad", “elegy” or “lament.” A dumka was a kind of poetic ballad or tribute, often told about a heroic saga, a tragic historical event or the plea of a subjugated people. It fostered a musical genre of single-movement pieces that mix slow somber melancholy with fast, wild, exuberance almost like two stages of grief. Dvořák wrote a number of dumky scattered throughout his work and each one is a showcase of passionate Czech folk music in a sort of idealized classical realization. The Dumky Trio is essentially a suite of six dumky, each of the six movements a complete dumka exhibiting a dichotomy of low and fast, dour and bright, with masterful contrast of character, rhythm, tempo and color. Since the first three dumky are played in sequence, without pause, some have commented that the Dumky Trio coalesces into a kind of classical three or four-movement design. A nearly unbroken tapestry of sectional contrasts spans the movements making for a compelling, continuous narrative. The fourth movement reverses the dichotomy by starting out fast and lively rather than slow and deep and the last dumka is perfectly placed as the finale. It seems certain that Dvořák arranged and possibly composed the suite with a layered conception of flow, unity and dramatic shape as a series of heroic tales and epic laments, a book of fairytales, a suite of songs in a prevailing national style, each singular, exotic species in a common thread. Dvořák wrote other such collections such as his breakthrough Slavonic Dances and the set of string quartet “songs” knows as The "Cypresses".

Dvořák was a master of color in all of his music, whether written for a full orchestral palette or, nearly the opposite, a string quartet. But his chamber music with piano is a particularly rich vein of color. With Dvořák, the very term “color” becomes slippery and ambiguous. The constantly changing sonorities in his music involve instrumental techniques and carefully chosen ensemble configurations, but the color seems likewise inseparable from the essential elements of the music more fundamental than this: the melody and rhythm. All these elements are melded together creating vivid expressions and impressions in what is the brilliant signature style of Dvořák himself. But witness here how masterfully he deploys the piano trio discovering ranges of sonic expression hitherto unknown (expect perhaps to Schubert).

The clear, earthy, emotionally full and broadly accessible aspects of Dvořák’s most famous music span his entire career. The American Quartet often serves as the poster child of this lovely trend in Dvořák’s music and therefore it may often become entangled with a notion that it was unique to his American works or to a specific quest for a folk music inspiration in the new world. But the "Dumky" Trio and the Terzetto for 2 violins and viola of a few years prior both pre-date Dvořák’s American sojourn and yet they exhibit many of the same qualities including the spare, open harmonies, rustic rhythms and pentatonic folk scales. One might say that one set of works has a slight Bohemian accent, the other that of the American Midwest, both sharing underlying traits of world folk traditions. But really what they share is Dvořák’s own innate musical personality a proclivity for direct and bountiful expression with robust, passionate vitality from a generous and gifted sensibility.

© Kai Christiansen Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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