Antonín Dvořák broke into the international music scene with his first set of Slavonic Dances, Op. 46, in 1878. Modeled after the widely popular Hungarian Dances of Johannes Brahms, Dvořák used melodies of his own creation instead of drawing from traditional folk tunes. That all of his Slavonic Dances feature wholly original melodies stands testament to Dvořák’s creative ability to capture the essence of Slavic music without parroting a single tune. This second set, Op. 72, was written in 1886 at the behest of Dvořák’s publisher, and was as well received as the first. The penultimate dance, the shortest of all, is a lively kolo (“circle”), a traditional Slavic group dance usually performed in, naturally, a circle.
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