Slavonic Dance No.1
Dvorak composed his first set of eight Slavonic Dances in 1878. Originally written for piano duet, the dances were inspired by Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, and were orchestrated soon after at his publisher’s request. The music is lively and overtly nationalistic, although the tunes themselves are all original. It was indeed these first set of Slavonic Dances that launched Dvorak’s popularity beyond his native Bohemia.
Slavonic Dance No.1 is high-spirited and in the style of a furiant, the boldest of Czech dances. Although written in 3/4 metre throughout, Dvorak creates cross-rhythms that shift the metre in to 2/4, which is an important characteristic of the furiant.