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Autograph letter signed ("Ant. Dvořák") to music publisher Mr. [Alfred] Littleton regarding conducting his 6th Symphony in Worcester, etc.
2-1/2 pp. of a bifolium. Octavo. Wysocka, February 18, 1884. Mentioning three of his important works, including the Hymnus, which "made his name as a Czech composer in 1873," the Symphony No. 6 in D major, and the Stabat Mater; Birmingham; and a proposed trip to London in September. Dvořák says that he is happy to conduct his symphony in Worcester but would like to discuss compensation with the committee. "Conducting three works like Stabat, Hymnus, and the symphony is very hard work indeed... consequently I may request a larger honorarium from the committee. In my last letter of May 28, I shared more details with you on the subject of Birmingham. What do you think? I hope to bring the entire work with me to London in September." Dvorak proceeds to ask if he can send the photographs for Bennett and Hüffer directly to his address. Creased at folds. Dvořák's correspondent, Alfred Littleton (1845-1914), was co-owner of the important London publishing house Novello, Ewer & Company from 1886-1914. He played a very important role in Dvorak's musical activities in England, acting as his informal representative. The Symphony No. 6 in D major was composed from August 27-October 15, 1880, first published in Berlin in 1882, and first performed in Prague on March 25, 1881, dedicated to Hans Richter. The symphony was first published as Symphony No. 1. (Op. 60, once listed as op. 58: Burghauser 112, Šourek 78). His Stabat mater, composed from February 19, 1876-November 13, 1877, was first published in Berlin in 1881, and first performed in Prague on December 23, 1880. (Op. 58, once listed as op. 28: Burghauser 71, Šourek 38). The Hymnus: Dědicové bilé hory [Hymn: The Heirs of the White Mountain], composed from ?May-June 3, 1872 and first published (3rd version) in London in 1885, was first performed in Prague on March 9, 1873. "Large-scale choral works were of importance at various times in Dvořák's career. He made his name as a Czech composer in 1873 with the first performance of a work for chorus and orchestra, Hymn: The Heirs of the White Mountain." (Op. 30: Burghauser 27, Šourek 15). "With Smetana, Fibich and Janácek [Dvořák] is regarded as one of the great nationalist Czech composers of the 19th century. Long neglected and dismissed by the German-speaking musical world as a naive Czech musician, he is now considered by both Czech and international musicologists Smetana's true heir. He earned worldwide admiration and prestige for 19th-century Czech music with his symphonies, chamber music, oratorios, songs and, to a lesser extent, his operas." "Early in August 1883 Dvořák was invited to London by the Philharmonic Society to conduct orchestral performances of his works in the coming season. A few months later, at the beginning of November 1883, the London music publishing firm of Novello asked him to conduct a performance of his Stabat mater during his visit and to compose a work for soloists, chorus and orchestra for the 1885 Birmingham Festival and conduct it himself. Dvořák was already known in London from performances of such works as the Slavonic Dances (conducted in 1879 and 1880 by Manns), the Slavonic Rhapsodies (conducted in 1880 and 1881 by Manns, Richter and Hallé), the String Sextet (given by Joachim in 1880) and the Sixth Symphony (conducted by Manns in 1882), and they had received favourable reviews. However, the performance of the Stabat mater under Barnby on 10 March 1883, received enthusiastically by both the audience and the critics, was probably the main reason for the Philharmonic Society's invitation." "On 5 March 1884 Dvořák travelled to England for the first time and on 13 March conducted the Stabat mater in the Albert Hall. A week later he conducted his overture Husitská, the Sixth Symphony and the Slavonic Rhapsody no.2 in St James's Hall, and on 22 March, at the Crystal Palace, he conducted the Scherzo capriccioso and the Nocturne in B (b47). The musical world of London regarded his visit as an 'event of "red letter" significance', and fêted him as the 'musical hero of the hour'. The Philharmonic Society made him an honorary member. He promised it a new symphony, and he was expected to write choral works for both the forthcoming Birmingham Festival and the Leeds Festival of 1886." "Dvořák's great success in England led to eight more visits. In November 1884 he travelled to London and to Worcester (where he gave a performance of the Stabat mater); in April 1885 he visited London for the première of the Seventh Symphony; in August 1885 he gave concerts in London and in Birmingham, where he conducted the British première of the cantata Svatební košile ('The Spectre's Bride')." Klaus Döge in Grove Music Online.
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