In the 1890s, Antonin Dvořák came to America, where he spent time in New York, in the little town of Spillville, Iowa, and in the Twin Cities. At the same time, he took a deep interest in American literature, and in the music of African Americans and American Indians.
Dvořák's stay resulted in an outpouring of music which includes some of his most popular and beloved pieces.
During Thanksgiving week, when Americans celebrate the bounty that surrounds us, we'll hear four of the "American" pieces that have their roots in Dvořák's historic visit to America and its heartland.
MondayString Quartet, Op. 96 ("American")
Dvořák clearly found Spillville congenial he wrote this piece while there, in three days.
TuesdayHumoresques for Piano
This music, first sketched in Spillville, will probably be unfamiliar until you come to the seventh Humoresque, and its instantly recognizable melody.
WednesdaySymphony No. 9 ("From the New World")
The poetry of Longfellow and the sound-world of the African American spiritual both went into the making of this symphony.
ThursdayMorning Glories will not be heard on Thanksgiving Day to make room for the holiday special, Giving Thanks, hosted by John Birge.
This is the piece containing a famous melody inspired by a visit to Minnehaha Falls.