A Critical Study of Antonín Dvořák's Vanda

Of Dvořák's eleven operas, Vanda has been one of the most overlooked and unjustly underrated. No one among the enth

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A Critical Study of Antonín Dvořák's Vanda

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A Critical Study of Antonfn DvoFSkfs Vanda

A Dissertation submitted In partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy




Henry Alan Houtchens

Committee In charge:

Professor Dolores M. Hsu, Chairperson Professor Dlmltrlje DJordjevIc Professor Robert N. Freeman

Professor Alejandro Planchart

June 1987

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The dissertation of

Henry Alan Houtchens Is approved:

Committee Chairperson

June 1987

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June 10, 1987

Copyright by Henry Alan Houtchens


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July 26, 1946—Born, Granby, Colorado 1969—B. Mus. in music history and literature, University of Colorado 1969-1971—80th Army Band 1971-1973—Teach Ing Assistant, University of Wyoming

1973—M. A. in musicology and performance. University of Wyoming 1977-1979, 1983—Associate, University of California, Santa Barbara

1980-1982—Recipient of an International Research and Exchanges Board Grant for doctoral research In Czechoslovakia

AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century music, history of opera, Slavic music, applied music (French horn)


Quverture to "Vanda". Critical edition prepared in collaboration with Jarmil Burghauser. Prague: Edltio Supraphon, 1987.

Review of Lvs/Lk by Hans-Hubert SchSnzeler. (March 19865:544-45.

NOTES 42, no. 3

"Romantic Composers Respond to Challenge and Demand." In The flEghfiStraj Origins and Transformations, ed. Joan Peyser, 169-90. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1986. "Antonin DvoFSk op. 25: Vanda." Introductory essay and translation of the libretto for the sound recording. Supraphon 1016 4071-72, 1985.

"’Deeds of Music Brought to Sight’—Ref lections on Wagner’s Tristan und ISOLda." The Opera Journal 16, no. 4 (1983):35-41.


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A Critical Study of Antonin DvoFSk’s Vanda


Henry Alan Houtchens

Of DvoMk’s eleven operas, Vanda has been one of the most overlooked and unjustly underrated.

No one among the

enthusiastic audience In attendance at Its premiere, which took

place In the Czech Provisional Theatre, Prague, on 17 April 1876, could have guessed that over the course of the next century this

work would be performed only nineteen more times and be almost

entirely forgotten.

Even during DvoFSk’s lifetime the

performance materials had fallen Into terrible disarray.

To make

matters worse In this century, the autograph score was destroyed

in a bombing raid during the Second World War.

A diplomatic copy

still exists, but It Is fraught with mistakes.

To date, only two

short excerpts In piano-duet arrangements and the full score and parts for the new overture that DvoFfik composed In 1879 for a

revival of the opera have been published. In the Interest of ensuring that future performances will accord with the Intentions of DvoMk and his librettists, all of the groundwork for a critical edition of the score Is carefully

laid In this study.

The manuscript materials are sorted out and


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the trouble spots described In detail.

Crucial sections of

music, long since misplaced or overlooked, are reconstructed. DvoMk’s various revisions are noted and, wherever possible, his reasons for making them are elucidated.

A fully annotated

edition of the libretto Is Included, along with an English


The stylistic features of both the text and the

music are considered, and the cultural, sociopolitical, and

economic conditions that fostered the opera’s creation are discussed.

This monograph on Vanda Is the product of exhaustive archival research and reflects a meticulous scholarly approach,

but It Is not Intended to serve the interests only of musicologists, historians, and linguists.

Conductors, theater

directors, vocalists, and Instrumental I sts Intent on staging this

musically engaging and dramatically Impressive opera likewise will find It valuable.


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List of Figures


List of Tables




Ack now Iedgments



Genesis and Composition

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


Introduction National Theatre Competition influence of Smetana’s LfbuSe Wave of Slavic Nationalism Original Source for the Libretto

1 Z 4 17 45

The Librettists

1. Introduction 2. V6clav BeneS-Sumavsky 3. FrantlSek ZSkrejs


53 54 58

The Libretto

1. Introduction 2. OveralI Assessment 3. Additions, Deletions, and Revisions

69 79 88


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Text-Music Relationships

1. Introduction 2. Nineteenth-Century Views Concerning Czech Prosody and Musical Declamation 3. DvoFSk’s Interest In the Principles of Proper Dec IamatIon 4. DvoFSk's Attention to Details of Czech Prosody and Musical Declamation In Vanda





The Music: Stylistic Features

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.



Introduction Instrumental and Vocal Writing Use of the Chorus Harmonic Language Slavic Qualities Form The Overtures Extrinsic Influences SeIf-Borrow Ings Recurring Motifs

149 152 155 159 162 169 204 217 221 236

The Music: Revisions

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Introduction "Kdy2 ondy srnu honlla" (Act 3,Scene 5) "Hory kde les vroubf zelen-"(Act 2,Scene 3) "Bohovfi veld, bohovS straSlivf" (Act1, Scene 7) ’'Replacement of "Ach, zSStf posemsk6 zle brSnf nSm" with "Budoucnosti dSInou dobu" (Act 3, Scene 2) 6. "Pro lid, kter^ mliovala” (Act 5, Scene 4) Bibliography

255 259 264 267 272 278


vl II

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Appendix A. Musical Examples

Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6

311 325 337

Appendix B. Annotated Edition of the Libretto with EnglIsh Translation Act Act Act Act Act

1 2 3 4 5

342 366 392 416 436

Appendix C. Supplement to the Libretto: Alternative German Ending 452

Appendix D. Supplement to the Libretto: Srb-Debrnov’s Additions 45g

Appendix E. Reconstruction of HVukol temno vladne krajem!” (recitative) and ’’Budoucnosti dSInou dobu" (grand duo) 467

Appendix F. Performance Dates and Cast Lists



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3.1. Front cover of the 11bret+o of Vanda


3.2. Title page of the libretto of Vanda


3.3. Playbill for the iirst performance of Vanda


6.1 First page of Dvorak’s sketch for "Budoucnostl dSInou dobu"



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L i st of Tables

5.1. Formal Outline of Vanda


5.2. Leitmotifs In Vanda



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Opera as an art form held an Innervating spell over Antonin Dvorak throughout his entire creative life.

He was just as

committed to composing works in this genre as symphonic and

chamber music; indeed. If he was not actually involved In working on an opera, he was searching for a suitable libretto.

his fifth of eleven completed stage works.

Vanda is

Previously he had

composed the historic opera Alfred (1870) and three comic operas, the two entirely different versions of KrLI a uh I IF (The king and

the charcoal burner, 1871 and 1874, revised In 1887) and TvrdS pal Ice (The stubborn

lovers, 1874).

By the year 1875, then, he

was sufficiently accomplished as a composer for the stage to try his hand at creating a large-scale, five-act tragic opera, and

the result Is a musically engaging and dramatically Impressive work. Yet Its performance history has not been particularly


As can be seen In Appendix F, which provides all of the

performance dates along with the cast lists, Vanda has been

performed only twenty times In four different productions.


premlSre, which occurred on Easter Monday, 17 April 1876, was auspicious enough.

Rudolf Wlrsing had chosen It to Inaugurate xl I

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his tenure as director of the Prozatfmnf dlvadlo (Provisional

Theatre), the home of the Czech National Theatre troupe until a new building could be built.

But after only four more

performances during the 1876/1877 season It was withdrawn from

the repertoire.

Under th« next director, J. N. Ma^r, It was

performed another four times In 1880 In a drastically cut version.

Like the first production, this one suffered from the

fact that the manpower and the facilities of the Prozatfmnf dlvadlo and the NovS -eskH dlvadlo (New Czech Theatre), another

theatre where the opera was performed once during each production

run as summer fare, simply were not adequate for producing

something like

which. In order to be effective, requires

an elaborate scenic apparatus, eight principal vocalists, a

considerable contingent of supernumeraries, and a very large


Various plans, some more serious than others, to perform

the opera at the Court Theatre In Vienna during the 1880/1881

season, in Budapest shortly thereafter, and at the Czech National

Theatre In Prague during the 1883/1884, 1900/1901, 1901/1902, and 1919/1920 seasons never came to anything.

Three-act versions were

staged In 1925 at Plzefi and In 1929 In Prague, but these

productions likewise were short-lived.

Since then Vanda has

disappeared completely from the stage. Productions after the first two, whether merely projected or


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actually realized* were defeated by the fact that, once DvoFSk

had sold the publishing and partial performing rights to August

Alwin Cranz in 1881 and sent the autograph score to Leipzig, the performance materials, including the score Itself and the

original manuscript parts, fell Into disarray.

In the Interest

of bringing Vanda back to life In the form intended by the composer and his librettists, all of the groundwork for a

critical edition of the score Is carefully laid in this study.

Except for a libretto printed at the time of the premiSre, all of the primary source materials relating to the opera proper are In manuscript and remain unpublished.

Regrettably, DvoFSk’s

autograph seems to have been destroyed during an Allied bombing raid on Leipzig at the beginning of December 1943.

A diplomatic

copy, prepared by one or another factotum of Cranz, has survived, but it is far from satisfactory.

Not knowing the Czech language,

the copyist made Innumerable mistakes In spelling and text underlay.

Furthermore, many serious discrepancies exist between

this score and the original performance parts.

In 1900 DvoFSk

himself tried to sort everything out, but, being limited by time

and, perhaps, by a lack of motivation, he only managed to solve some of the more obvious problems. This whole situation is described In chapters 3 and 6, but

it Is necessary to point out here that some of the pages of


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Cranz’s copy of the score, all of which originally were numbered,

were extracted and replaced at this time by others without


Consequently, I have had to renumber the entire

manuscript, starting with the first page of music and counting consecutively up to the very last page of the fifth act. Throughout this study references to specific pages Include two

numbers or two sets of numbers separated by a vlrgule, with my numbers given first followed by those appearing In the score.

The pages inserted later and left unnumbered are Indicated merely

with an x.

The first eight measures of Vanda's arioso "PFeSla

Jsem krStkou cestu temnou" thus would be cited as appearing on pages 453-54/402-x, Indicating that page 453 In my numbering system Is an original page bearing the number 402, while page 454

Is a newer, unnumbered page. Only three pieces of music from Vanda have ever been published.

The new overture Dvo^Sk composed for the revised

version of the opera staged In 1880 at the Provisional Theatre was Issued by Cranz in several editions. length In section 5.7.

These are discussed at

Cranz also offered the mazurka at the end

of the seventh scene In act 1 In a transcription for piano, two

hands; and Lumfr's strophlc song "Zde Jest Vltlmfr” (act 2, scene 2) appeared In an arrangement for piano, two hands In a student album prepared by Conrad Wangler.

All of these are


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listed In the bibliography.

A critical edition of the libretto is given in Appendix S,

along with a line-by-line prose translation into English.

Preparing this edition proved to be a substantia! undertaking not only because of the considerable number of discrepancies existing between the printed libretto and what appears in the manuscript

score and parts, but also on account of the antiquated style of

the text itself. abundant.

Outmoded words, forms, and spellings are

ZfimysInS is used, for example, instead of QmysInS.

Kl7.LIO.vL for krSlcvna, dSvice Instead of dfvka or dSvLice, and dibl ice carries the meaning of a real she-devil or sorceress as opposed to an elf, an Imp, or, commonly, a cute, Impish child.

Similarly, Lertva Is used as a synonym for obSt', and tresce may

be found in place of trestatI. velkoknSz Instead of veleknSz, and Lelo Instead of obiiCej or tvLF.

Gerunds, past passive

participles, and possessive adjectives formed from nouns occur with much more regularity than they do today.

Many declensions

and Inflections, and some peculiar examples of word order, also

point to Old Czech or, perhaps. Old Slavonic roots.


Instance, the old-fashioned Imperative form sofiStS appears Instead of spSSte.

Many of the contemporaneous writings quoted in this study

also pose a challenge because of outdated vocabulary and

xv I

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Jan Ludevlt ProchSzka’s description of Vanda quoted at

the beginning of chapter 5 Is representative of a style of

writing prevalent among Journalist-critics and historians in the nineteenth century—and musicologists In this century.


to great literary heights, this style Is verbose, anachronistic

In Its own time, stilted, sometimes convoluted.

These traits are

by no means faults: on the contrary, they provide a marvelous flavor and create a rich texture equal to whatever subject Is being treated.

The style reflects the times and should be

considered with this In mind.

By the same token, It Is not Just the music and, In the case

of opera, the libretto, the dficor and lighting effects, the acting and dancing that, In themselves, make a work of art.


order to fully grasp the significance of Vanda, Its flavor, its texture, one must also consider the cultural, sociopolitical, and

economic conditions that fostered Its creation.

These Important

considerations are accordingly addressed throughout this study, and especially In the first two chapters.

Of special concern Is

the position Vanda occupies, historically and stylistically, in relation to DvoFSk’s other works, particularly to his other dramatic works.

Writing In 1913, nine years after the composer’s death, Jan Kune prophesied: "’DvoFSk the Dramatist’ will be, In the end, an

xv 11

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interesting chapter in the history of Czech music, a chapter that

still has to be written Inasmuch as until now what has been said about Dvorak as a composer for the theatre paints a rather

distorted picture of his significance In Czech dramatic music.'’1

Kune would have been astonished had he known that over half a century later his words would ring just as true.

Very little

progress has been made In all that time toward assessing the real value of DvoMk’s dramatic music to Czech culture, not to mention

Western culture in general.

Fortunately, In recent years renewed

Interest in his operas has been shown, however tentatively, by

musicologists, conductors and theatre directors, and audiences alike; and with this monograph on Vanda a vital but forgotten chapter In his development as a dramatic composer has been reopened and considered in a fresh light.

1. ,_c.’ LJan Kune], "UmSnf, vSda, llteratura. DvoFSk-dramatlk," Lld9Y$ HQVIny 21, no. 11 (12 January 1913):2. "DvoFSk-dramatIk bude Jednou zajlmavS kapitola z dSjin LeskS hudby. Kapitola, ktera teprve bude muslt bsstl napsSna, protofe to, co se dosud o DvoFSkovI Jako divadelnfm skladatell psalo, v-znamu Jeho v LeskS hudbS drarnatlckS nevystlhuje, nssbrL spTSe ho skresluje.”

xv III

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A few years ago the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts

and Sciences voted to present a special Oscar for humanitarian

achievement to Bob Hope at their annual awards ceremony.


of acknowledging the assistance of his relatives and practically

every other acquaintance In a long acceptance speech* as Is the

custom, Hope simply stated that he had done It all himself.


was right, of course, but his comic wit has Inspired me to proclaim that, with the following very Important exceptions, I

conceived, researched, and wrote this study of DvoFSk’s Vanda entirely by myself. Dr. Dolores Hsu, serving as chairperson, and the other

members of the dissertation committee, Drs. Dimltrlje DJordjevic,

Robert N. Freeman, and Alejandro Planchart, have helped In innumerable ways.

I will be grateful to them forever.


my basic approach and methodology reflect their tutelage.

I have

aspired to emulate their own fine work and to produce something of which they can be proud.

The financial wherewithal to conduct research in Europe came

from a grant awarded through the auspices of the International Research and Exchanges Board.

Vivian Abbott, Director of East


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European Programs a+ I REX, and Reg Ina Kay, Program Officer,

provided not only money but enthusiastic encouragement. Dr. Ruiena MuSfkovS, Professor of Musicology at Charles University, made my elghteen-month stay In Czechoslovakia all the more fruitful and enjoyable by offering expert guidance and

advice In practical as well as professional matters.


going beyond the normal duties associated with their respective professional positions, the following people likewise provided

Invaluable assistance: Dr. OldiHch Pulkert, director of the National Theatre Opera Archives In Prague, Drs. Mlloslav Mal^,

MTIada RutovS, and Miroslav Nov- at the Museum of Czech Music,

Dr. J Iff Borkovec In the Music Division of the National Theatre Institute, Drs. Ludmila BradovS and JItka SlavfkovS of the Antonin DvoFSk Museum, Dr. Milan Kuna, also connected with this

museum but primarily associated with the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Dr. Markfita HallovS at the Czech Music Information

Center, Olga Mfkldssy, Music Librarian at Charles University, and, In Plzefi, Dr. Antonfn Spelda, Jan BerSnek, and the director of the Municipal Archives, Dr. Mlloslav BSIohlSvek.

I am Indebted to Zora Macku, lecturer at Charles University,

and, In the United States, Martin MastIk and Frank Velek for

checking my English translations of Czech material.


Werner Fajardo, bibliography specialist In the main library of


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the University of Cal I torn Ia, Santa Barbara* assisted In the

transcription of letters handwritten In German.

Jarmll Burghauser has been an unending source of Inspiration

and Information.

He Is a prince of a man, truly a rare person

possessing a brilliant mind, a warm heart, and an honest spirit. Liz Finch helped collate the manuscript instrumental and vocal parts for the music In Appendix E and wrote out all of the

musical examples without any recompense other than to know that

she has been and always will be a cherished friend.


Houtchens, to whom I am lucky enough to be married, unselfishly provided support every step of the way.

Even Bob Hope would have

to acknowledge the significance of the contribution to the

present undertaking made by these three special people.

xx I

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Genesis and Composition


At no other time In his life did DvofSk pursue operatic composition with such persistence and determination than during

the period from April 1874 to December 1875.

Within this

remarkably short span of twenty-one months he produced three new

stage works: a second, entirely different version of the three-act comic opera KrLI a uhlfi*, the charming one-act comedy

Tvrd6 pal Ice, and, finally, Vanda.He began writing out the full score of Vanda on 9 August 1875 and finished the opera nineteen weeks and two days later.

After completing the first

1. DvoFSk’s productivity during this period was not limited to these three operas. He composed nine other works, including the String Quartet in A Minor, op. 16, which was his first chamber work to be published, the Plano Quintet In G, op. 77, the first set of Moravian Duets, op. 20, and the Symphony No. 5 In F, op. 76. This Intense creative activity must have been spurred In large measure by the fact that, in February 1875, Dvorak received for the first time the Austrian State Prize for artists, with a stipend of 400 gulden. The Jury responsible for awarding this prestigious award had consisted of Johann Herbeck, Eduard Hanslick, and Johannes Brahms. 1

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act on 23 September/ he was not able to start on the second act until the thirtieth, and he worked on it up to 22 October.


third act occupied him from 23 October to 16 November, the fourth

from 18 November to 12 December, and the last from 13 December to 22 December.3

Very little Is known about the circumstances that led Dvorak to become Interested in the Polish legend of Queen Wanda.

original material with which he worked has not survived.


None of

his extant letters or other personal papers provides any Information; nor do those of his friends and associates.


insight can be gained Into the matter, however, by considering

2. The week-long break following his completion of the first act was occasioned by the unfortunate death of his baby daughter Josefa. His feelings may have been stirred to such an extent by this event that they demanded tangible musical expression In the form of a specific melodic Idea. See the discussion of this matter in §5.9. 3. DvoFSk had written these dates In the autograph score. Otakar Sourek never had the chance to study the autograph, but he was able nevertheless to give the dates of composition in the first edition of his Zlvot a ds Io Antonina DvoFAka I (Prague: HudebnT matice UmSleckfi besedy, 1916), 141, on the strength of a brief note (undated) written by August Cranz in Leipzig, who owned the score, to an Intermediary, the Prague publisher and book dealer FrantiSek Chadfm. Sourek had asked Chadfm, who presumably had close business ties with Cranz and may have known him personally, to make some inquiries on his behalf concerning not only Vanda but also the cycle of five unaccompanied choruses entitled V—pfTrodS, og, 63. Cranz dutifully provided Chadfm with the Information Sourek had requested. Chadfm passed Cranz’s actual note on to Sourek, and it may be found among Sourek!s personal papers, which now belong to Jarmll Burghauser.

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the art 1stIc and political climate prevailing at the time In

Prague* as well as the Influence Smetana may have had on his younger compatriot.

Much of the following discussion is

necessarily speculative In nature. old ones discounted.

New viewpoints are expressed,

The Intention Is to stimulate further

Interest In a chapter of Antonin Dvorak's creative life that has

been sadly neglected.


When the foundation stone of the Czech National Theatre was laid with great ceremony In 1863, only the most cynical antagonists of

the cause could have guessed that seven years later construction of the building would not have progressed very far; that the committee established to oversee the project would be In terrible

disarray, wracked by Internal bickering and jealousies; and that

the Initial enthusiasm and support shown by the general public

would have dwindled to an alarmingly low level.

Many factors

contributed to this state of affairs, Including the Internal

politics within Bohemia, the broader political situation v!s-A-vis the government In Vienna, and the economy of the

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Habsburg Empire as a whole.4 Even though the situation seemed rather bleak in 1875* many

members of the Prague artistic community still believed that the National Theatre would become a reality within a reasonably short

period of time, and they began to consider wh.ch opera and which stage play ought to be performed at the opening ceremonies.


competition was announced, and nearly every Czech composer and playwright wanted to submit something for consideration. was no exception.


His Idea was to create an opera grand in

scope, majestic In tone, and suffused with a Slavic spirit.


Already Smetana had composed Libu?e with the alm of glorifying

the Czech nation In a stage work that would be appropriate for 5 special ceremonial occasions. When DvoFfik began searching for a

4. For an insightful, though not always entirely accurate, discussion of the situation in English, see Stanley Buchholz Kimball, Czech Nationalism; A Study of the National Theatre Movement. 1845-R3 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1964), 73-75, 115-27.5

5. Smetana originally hoped Libu§e would be performed whenever Franz Josef allowed himself to be crowned King of Bohemia, but since the Emperor continually refused to make this political gambit, he realized that it would serve a much better purpose as the inaugural opera for the National Theatre.

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new libretto, LibuSe was known publicly only through a short

excerpt and two rather extensive, analytical studies published in the music journal Dalibor.^

He undoubtedly studied these with

interest; in addition, he may have been able to look at Smetana*s

score first hand.

In any case, he set his mind on composing an

opera that would be similar to—indeed, perhaps deliberately in competition with—LibuSe, at least as regards Intent and subject

matter. The libretto of Vanda provided him with every opportunity to do so.

In fact, long before he had even finished the score, a

notice in Dalibor described the opera in terms almost Identical to those used earlier for LibuSe.

So that no one would miss the

point, a direct parallel was drawn between the two works: The plot of the libretto, the working out of truly must rank among the most successful in times, Is taken from a Cracow legend in many similar to our Czech legend about LibuSe and The musical structure of the first two acts,

which we recent respects PFemysl. which we

6. The first part of the music at PFemysl’s entrance in act 2, scene 3 was given as a supplement in Da 11bor 2, no. 4 (23 January 1874), and an article explaining this excerpt, signed only with the cipher *X.», appeared in no. 6 (6 February 1874):44-45. Later, V. J. Novotnf wrote a long article that was published in five installments: 2, no. 44 (31 October 1874):345-47; 45 (6 November 1874):353-55; 46 (14 November 1874):361-64; 47 (21 November 1874):369-71; 48 (28 November 1874):377-79.

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6 have been able to examine, Is built magnificently through the most lively and ravishing contrasts of musical features. The unique Slavonic flavor of the music is evident on every page of DvoFSk’s score.?

The ancient tribal legends of the Polish, Czech, and Ruthenian peoples—said to be founded by the three brothers Lech, Czech, and Rus—often manifest striking similarities.


certainly is the case with regard to the stories of LibuSe and Vanda.

Krok led his Czech people to the banks of the Vltava and

built a fortress, VySehrad, on a high point above the great


Of his three daughters, LibuSe was the youngest, the most

beautiful, and the wisest.

She succeeded him to the throne and

later took as her husband a man of peasant stock, PFemysl. In Polish legend, Krak slew a menacing dragon living in a cave at the edge of the river Wlsla, and for this deed became

king, ruling the land and its capital city named after him,

Krakfiw, from a castle situated atop the promontory called

7. "ZprSvy z Prahy a z venkova. Nov6 skladby," Da 11 bor 3, no. 44 (30 October 1875):353.

DSj libreta, jehoz zpracovSnf pooltat I muzeme k nejzdaHlejSfm zjevum doby nynSJSf vubec, jest vzat z povSstl krakovskS, v mnohSm ohledu naLf LeskS povSstl o LibuSI a PFemyslovI podobnS. Hudebnf stavba prvnfch dvou JednSnf, v nSL Jsme nahlSdll, Jest pi*Imo velkolepS v nejilvSjSfch a nejCichvatnSjSfch kontrastech hudebnf karakteristiky provedena. Origins I ns typus hudby slovanskfi jest na ka2d6 strSnce partltury DvoFSkovy patrnss.

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He had three children* two sons and a daughter named


The younger son committed fratricide with the expectation

of gaining the crown and was banished from the land* thus

allowing Wanda to ascend the throne.

She fell In love with

Slav©J, who* like PFemysl* was not of noble birth. • While LlbuSe’s vision of the future revealed a glorious city* Praha

(Prague)* and the magnificent achievements of a new Czech dynasty begun by herself and PI'emys!, Wanda realized a prosperous,

peaceful future for her people only through her own self-sacrifice.

She threw herself Into the Wlsfa to save the

Polish nation from German domination.

One particular motif recurring In both Vanda and LlbuSe concerns the supposed frailty of women and their Inadequacy as


Of the two heroines, perhaps Vanda Is the stronger, more

self-determined character, yet even she cannot reverse the

commandments of her pagan gods; she cannot Ignore the customs of a we I I-entrenched feudal order; she cannot circumvent the dictates of Fate.

Still, her act of self-sacrifice may be viewed

within the aesthetic framework of nineteenth-century romanticism as manifesting supreme power, strength of will* and moral

rectitude. The two opera librettos share yet another artistic and

philosophical theme: the veneration of nature.


references to the beauty and power of nature are abundant In both

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8 texts, and both utilize the sun, the moon, water, fire, and, most notably, the linden tree as symbols.

In Central Europe the

linden traditionally has been revered as a symbol of the

Immortality of the region; In addition, it stands as the tree of Q judgement. The printed libretto for Vanda does not mention a

linden tree anywhere, but a set of stage directions placed at specific places In the score during the course of the prelude to act 5 Includes these instructions: ’’Vanda and Slavoj go down

along the passageway and sit down on a bench beneath some linden g trees.” These directions appeared in the autograph score, so they must have been added by Dvoffik, either on his own or In

agreement with the stage director Edmund Chvalovsk^.

The idea of

stressing the symbolic significance of the linden tree very

likely sprang from LLfciiSfi.

Smetana and DvoFSk responded with the same sensitivity to these various Images of nature, but not always in like manner, as

can be seen by comparing the opening of the final act of Vanda just mentioned with a similar scene In LlbuSe.

Just before

Pf'emysl’s first entrance In the second act of Smetana’s opera,

the stage directions read: "The singing of PFemysl’s farm hands

8. EunKand Waqnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend (New York: Funk and Wagnails, 1950), 2:624.

9. See p. 735/662 of the full score.

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Is heard from the distance accompanied by the sound of

’0 shawms.”’

Smetana set the lines for four reapers singing behind

the scenes In a style more reminiscent of the cries of the Valkyries or the music of the Rhinemaldens than the harvest songs of the Bohemian folk.^

Indeed* his setting, with its Introductory brass fanfares, Its spun-out, through-composed structure, and Its rather busy, contrapuntal texture In which several leitmotifs are Interwoven,

seems overblown, too complex for the simple ca.1 l-to-work of a few farm hands.

Other scenes In the opera suffer from the same

treatment, most especially wherever the sub-plot Involving Krasava and ChrudoS Is developed.

Yet Smetana’s nicer touches

far outweigh his few miscalculations.

In the scene under

consideration, for example, a hint of the out-of-doors Is effectively conveyed by two off-stage clarinets Imitating the

sound of shawms, and the long-sustained trills In the vocal parts seem to reinforce the Impression that the harvesters’ music Is floating In the air.

Dvorak treated the remarkably similar situation at the

10. Bedrich Smetana, LibuSe, slavnostnf zpSvohra ve 3 oddSlenfch, ed. FrantlSek BarvoS et al. (Prague; SpoleCnost BedFlcha Smetany, 1949), 320. ”Zp§v deled I PFemyslovy z dSlky zaznfvfi se zvuky Salmajf.”11 11. ibid., 321-26.

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beginning of the fifth act of Vanda in a substantially different way.

Prompted by stage directions indicating that shepherds’

lutes and shawms should be heard In the distance as Vanda and Slavoj share a final moment of bliss surrounded by the beauties of nature* he tried to create a specifically pastoral mood

primarily by stressing the color of the woodwind Instruments in the orchestra.

Oboes and clarinets in pairs and the English horn

predominate, while the triangle adds sparkle.

Throughout the

first scene* open fifths suggesting the sound of bagpipes underpin a lyrical, folk-1 Ike melody in the instrumental prelude

and interludes.

Only the solo flute’s trills are reminiscent of

Smetana’s music In LibuSe.

Characteristics of DvoFSk’s personal

style that are especially noticeable In this scene include the

sudden modulation up a third, from F major (traditionally the pastoral key) to A major; also the occasional major-minor shifts and other modal inflections, the series of diminished-seventh

chords, and the colorlstlc ninth chords scored for muted strings that provide the harmonic support for the voice.

PFemysl’s music immediately following the song of the

harvesters in LikuSifi invites further comparison with still another passage In Vanda, Slavoj’s romance in act 1, scene 5.


Smetana’s hero sings of his love for LibuSe and his determination

to protect her and her land, the orchestra engulfs his voice with a thick texture of sound and comments upon the action or develops

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a specific mood by frequently presenting reminiscence motifs or

Llsztlan transformations of them.

One stanza of text, one

literary or musical Idea, one larger section of music flows into the next naturally, effortlessly.

Pfemysl’s heroic, magnanimous

nature Is magnificently conveyed through an expressive,

through-composed vocal line that Is essentially declamatory In

style. Dvorak, on the other hand, has Slavoj recall his youthful

love for Vanda In a strophlc aria that Is considerably lighter, more lyrical, and more Intimate.

The orchestration remains

translucent, highly-refined, almost Mozartlan.

Major sections

are rounded off with cadent la I flourishes In the vocal part.

Unusual and varied chord changes and exquisite modal Inflections, all belonging to DvofSk’s normally rich harmonic palette, provide

special color. Dvorak quoted this aria in the full-scale overture he

composed for the new production of Vanda that was mounted at the

Provisional Theatre in 1880, and he used Its first phrase several times throughout the opera proper In the manner of a leitmotif

associated with Slavoj.

Compared with Smetana’s procedure In

LibuSe, however, Dvorak’s use of reminiscence motifs In Vanda Is

12. The overture is analyzed In §5.7, and a detailed discussion of Dvorak’s use of leitmotifs In Vanda may be found in §5.10.

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not as extensive, consistent, or sophisticated.

Nevertheless, he

was able to work with them enough to provide added unity to the work as a whole and to Intensify the Impact of certain dramatic

situations. Smetana was able to project a sense of monumental Ity In his

score by using the orchestra as an active participant In the drama; by maintaining fairly consistently a thick, comparatively

complicated texture; by -employing a more declamatory style of vocal writing; by creating magnificent, broad structural edifices

that flow one to another with remarkable fluidity; and by

Incorporating six tableaux vivants at the very end of the opera.

The dynamic power, the epic quality of Vanda, on the other hand,

comes largely from DvoFSk’s extensive use of the chorus, and, to a lesser extent, through the Incorporation of fairly substantial ba I let tableaux.^ !n so,--? res^c+s Vanda actually Is stylistically closer to

RalJ.bor than to LIbuSe.

Like Smetana’s earlier work, Vanda Is

essentially a number opera In which the various set pieces are linked In such a way as to give the Impression of a free-flowing,

continuous texture.

Smetana was perhaps more successful at

creating this illusion, however: the joints between numbers In Palibor are smoothed over with more finesse and the transitions

13. See §5.o.

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are more extensive and more carefully Integrated.

The original

prelude DvofSk composed for Vanda Is very similar to the

orchestral introduction to DalIbor.

It consists of a relatively

short working out of a motif associated with Vanda, just as

Dallbor’s theme pervades the prelude to Smetana’s opera.

A healthy but intense artistic rivalry developed between Smetana and DvoFSk, yet they undoubtedly viewed each other with

mutual respect and admiration.14* Dvorak most assuredly learned much from his older compatriot.

It may not be mere coincidence

that, up to and Including Vanda—which, to reiterate, bears a

kinship with both DalIbor and LibuSe—Dvorak chose to set the

same kind of opera texts as Smetana had tackled before him.


Smetana’s first effort, BraniboFI v LechSch. Alfred Is a

historical opera, while ProdanS nevSsta. DvS vdovy. KrAl a uhlfr*.

and TvrdS p.aJ.lce all belong to the genre of comic opera.


regard to the matter of musical style, Smetana’s operas sparked, and In some cases helped to direct, Dvorak’s creative genius. Jarmil Burghauser very likely Is right, for Instance, In speculating the ■ Smetana’s new approach in Dv8 vdovy provided the

14. One of the more Interesting and thought-provoking discussions of the concurrent artistic developments of the two composers and the influence each artist may have had on the other may be found In Mirko OCadllk’s study Smetana a DvoFAk (Prague: Mirko OCadlfk, 1947).

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necessary Impetus for Dvorak to re-evaluate his own dramatic and

musical style and to rework KrSI a uhlTF accordingly.15 On the other hand, there Is no Indication that Dvorak borrowed any specific musical


Idea directly from the works of his

It would have been disastrous from a personal and

an artistic point of view for him to plagiarize In this way. Jiri Berkovec has pointed out that a motif In Vanda, which he

tags as representing the will of the gods, bears a close

resemblance to the opening fanfare figures In LIbuSe. but the likelihood that Dvoffik consciously copied anything from the score

Is extremely remote.1^ Earlier In this century It became fashionable among some writers to denigrate DvoFSk’s dramatic works by making unfair

and, usually, Irrelevant comparisons between them and Smetana’s operas.

In his biography of DvoFSk, for example, Josef BartoS

dismissed Vanda In this way:

15. Jarmll Burghauser, ”N§kter6 tvurcf aspekty DvoFSkovy komornf tvorby,” In DvoFSkova komornf hudba (Prague: CeskS hudebnl spoleCnost, 1983), 30; also ’’Wagner-Smetana-DvoFSk,” In The Theatrical Works of AntonTn DvoFAk (Prague: Cesk* hudebnl spoleCnost, forthcoming). The first signs of DvoFSk’s change of style may be seen In the manner In which he completely revised his String Quartet In A minor, op. 12, as John Clapham has pointed out In "DvoFSk at the Crossroads,” The Music Review 23, no. 1 (February 1962):7-12.16

16. JIM Berkovec, Anton Tn DvoFAk (Prague: Supraphon, 1969), 70. This matter Is also discussed In §5.10 at n. 5.79.

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As Is evident from the [description of the] libretto Just given, Vanda Is LlbuSe transferred to a Polish milieu; to be sure, an unImposing LlbuSe. deprived of the patriotic pathos that distinguishes Smetana’s drama. Instead, Vanda has a complicated plot and magical scenes, which Indicates that DvoFSk had not wholly come to terms with "grand opera.

This Is the concluding paragraph of a flve-page discussion

concerning Vanda that amounts to nothing more than a review of

the plot, with the similarities between It and LlbuSe pointed out wherever possible.

By his own admission, BartoS based his

assessment of Vanda solely upon a reading of the printed IIbretto.

He had not seen the score and had never attended a

performance of the opera.

Today the practical and, more

importantly, political constraints under which BartoS labored no

longer exist, so one can freely assert that DvofSk’s Vanda does

not suffer In any way from the fact that Its libretto has a number of significant features in common with LlbuSe or that

17. Josef BartoS, Anton Tn Dvorak: KrI tickA stud Ie (Prague: Josef Pelcl, 1913), 101.

Jak z podan^ho llbretta vysvTta, je Vanda LibuST pFeloJenou do polskSho prostFedT, LibuST ov§em neslavnostnT a ochuzenou o vSechen vlasteneckf pathos, Jak^m vynlkS drama Smetanovo. MTsto nSho mS Xanda zSpletku a scSny kouzelnickS, kterS poukazujT ns to, ze Dvoffik OpInS s "velkou operou" nedoflCtovaI.

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these features may be worked out In a different manner.1® The two operas were destined to play different roles In the Czech national revival movement.

The Jury that eventually was

established to select an opera for the opening of the National Theatre did not even begin to deliberate until toward the end of 1880.

By that time Vanda had gone through two productions and

Dvorak apparently was satisfied with the attention and notoriety It had received.

Since he did not have anything else of its kind

to submit, he did not enter the competition.19

Aside from this,

he probably recognized that the winning work could not be

surpassed either In greatness or appropriateness.

That work was,

18. A modern, dispassionate study of the political and Ideological factors bearing upon the controversy that has raged among Czech writers since the end of the first decade of this century concerning the relative merits of DvofSk and Smetana as men and of their compositions as works of art remains to be wrItten. 19. All of the other Czech operas Dvoi'Sk had composed up to.this time, Kr.ai a Uhl TF» Iyr.d£ pal Ice, and Selma sedlSk. belong to the comic genre and so would not have suited the serious, ceremonious nature of the occasion.

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of course, JJJiuSfi.

Even after the selection had been made,

however, Vanda continued to be compared favorably to Smetana’s opera.


One might wonder why DvoFSk did not follow Smetana’s example and choose a libretto based on a specifically Czech legend.


all, many people at the time took the stand that, in order to create something Czech, an artist must treat a Czech subject. Such a libretto may not have been available to him, and In any

20. As reported by V. V. Zelenf in "Opera v nSrodnfm divadie," P.ivadelnf I I Sty 2, no. 1 (1 January 1881) :2-3, the runners-up were Karel Bend I’s Cernohorcl and ZdenSk Fiblch’s Blanfk. These two operas were scheduled during the first season as weI I. There is no doubt that the jury made a very good selection. The premidre of UMSa took place on 11 June 1881, but under less than ideal circumstances. The theatre still remained uncompleted and final preparations for the opening ceremonies did not proceed smoothly. Smetana had to wait another two and a half years before he could feel genuinely satisfied that his opera had served the purpose for which it was destined. During this Interval the National Theatre had been destroyed by fire, and its reconstruction In an amazingly short period of time provided added cause for a genuine national celebration. On 18 November 1883 a new production of LibuSe helped to Inaugurate the rebuilt structure and to revitalize an old dream.

21. See, for example, the discussion of the two operas in "Opera v NSrodnlm divadie," Dlvadelnf Hsty 2, no. 18 (25 June 1881): 156.

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case he undoubtedly recognized that Vanda could be used as a

vehicle for expressing his ardent nationalistic feelings and for presenting his views concerning Habsburg domination In a way that

would slip past the censor.


Opposing unfavorable conditions In

subtle, passive ways Is one of the most characteristic traits of

• 23 the Czech mentality: every Czech Is like Svejk.

In the arts

expressions of dissatisfaction and passive resistance often have taken the form of all.egory, and many features of the Wanda legend

lend themselves well to this kind of treatment.

22. A stiff policy of censorship was severely enforced throughout the Habsburg Monarchy. Henry Raynor has treated the subject very well In his Music and Society Since 1815 (New York: Schocken, 1976), 4-14. Some Idea of just how repressive or, at the very least, annoying this policy was for artists also can be gotten, from a letter written by EITSka KrSsnohorskS to FrantlSek ZSkrejs on 9 November 1881 in which she complains bitterly about the harassment she had received from the police concerning her libretto Blanfk. ZdenSk Fiblch originally had set this libretto to music between 1874 and 1877 but was making some last-minute revisions In preparation for its premldre. KrSsnohorskfi ’s letter remains unpublished, but can be found among ZSkrejs’s papers located in the LIberSrnf archTv PamStnfku NSrodnfho pTsemnlctvi, Prague, Inv. no. 32/65/34.

23. Svejk Is the "hero” of Jaroslav HaSek’s sequence of satirical novels collectively entitled Osudy dobrSho vojSka Svejka za svStove valky. HaSek planned to Issue the work in six volumes and began writing In 1920, but he had completed only four when he died In 1923. The following English edition Is to be recommended highly, even though occasionally the translator, guided by rather Victorian principles, mollifies the rlsqus piquancy of the original language: The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes In the World Wan trans. Cecil Parrott, Ulus. Josef Lada (New York: Crowell, 1973).

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The developments of the Czech national revival and their

politicals cultural, and socio-economic ramifications have been

adequately covered by many competent authors.24

Likewise, the

24. Of the many general history books dealing either with Bohemia specifically or with the Habsburg Empire as a whole that treat this subject in some detail, see especially A. H. Hermann, A History of the Czechs (London: Allen Lane, 1975); J. F. N. Bradley, Czechoslovakia: A Short History (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1971); R. W. Seton-Watson, A History Qi. the Czechs and SIovaks (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1965); Kamil Krofta, A Short History of Czechoslovakia, trans. William Beardmore (London: Williams and Norgate, 1935); C. A. Macartney, Ih£_habsburq. Empire 1790-1918 (London: Wledenfeld and Nicolson, 1971); Oscar JSszl, The Dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961); Hans Kohn, The Habsburg Empire. 1804-1918 (New York: D. Van Nostrand Company, 1961); Arthur J. May, The Habsburg Monarchy, 1867-1914 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1951); Robert A. Kann, The Multi national Empire: Nationalism and National Reform in the Habsburg Monarchy. 1848-191R. 2 vols. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1950). A I 1st of some of the more important specialized studies follows: Peter Brock and H. Gordon Skilling, ed s • ’ Ihfi_Czech Renascence of the Nineteenth Century: Fssays Presented to Ot-akar 0dJ.o2.Ilfk in Honor of His Seventieth Birthday (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970); Jan HavrSnek. "The Development of Czech Nationalism," Austrian History Yearbook z, pt. 2 (1967):203-260; Stanley Buchholz Kimball, Czech Nationalism: A Study of the National Theatre Movement, 1845-8^5 (Urbana: University of Illinois rress, 1964); Peter F. Sugar, "External and Domestic Roots of Eastern European Nationalism," in Nationalism, in Eastern Europe, ed. Peter F. Sugar and Ivo J. Lederer (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1969), 3-54; Elizabeth Wlskemann, Czechs and Germans: A Study of the Struggle liL.the Historic Provinces of Bohemia and Moravia. 2d ed. (London: Macmillan and Company, 1967); Joseph F. Zacek, "Nationalism in Czechoslovakia," In Nationalism in Eastern Europe, ed. Peter F. Sugai and Ivo J. Lederer (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1969), 166-206.

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& 20

general nature of Dvorak’s patriotism—that Is, his love for his

native Bohemia and his pride In being Czech—has been described

very well by all of his biographers, from Josef Zubat^ writing a OR hundred years ago to Hans-Hubert SchSnzeler In 1904. Nevertheless, two traits of Dvorak’s artistic personality that seem to have developed from his patriotic outlook deserve further

consideration, for they may help explain why he found the Iibretto of Vanda so appeal Ing.

The first Important trait stems from the adamant ant I-German sentiment that had become an Integral part of nationalism among

the Czechs and most other Slavic peoples.

DvoFSk’s own stance

was perhaps more pro-Czech than specifically ant I-German.


valued German culture very highly, and his letters to Slmrock, Jauner, Brahms, Mahler, and others Indicate that his knowledge of the German language approached the level of a native speaker. His first opera and a few of his art songs have German texts. Yet he was deeply patriotic, and he gradually became extremely

25. Dr. Josef Zubat^, Anton DvoFSk: Eine bioqraohlsche Skizze (Leipzig: GebrOder Hug, 1886); Hans-Hubert SchSnzeler, Dvorak (London: Marlon Boyars, 1984). See my review of Schonzeler’s book in WLL 42, no. Z (March 1986):544-45.

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sensitive to the German question.

Although his pragmatism kept

him from becoming a radical——he never would have considered

political action—Dvorak’s nationalistic feelings were strong enough to drive him to artistic action, and the story of Wanda provided an Ideal outlet for him.

Perhaps the most telling manifestation of this pro-Czech orientation is the manner In which Dvorak argued with Fritz

Simrock In a series of letters during the months of July to September 1885 over the publisher’s unwillingness to print the

title of his newest symphony, the seventh in D minor, in Czech as well as German.

Undoubtedly Dvorak viewed this as a test case

the resolution of which would apply to all subsequent publications, so he also brought up another thorn in his side, namely, that Simrock was In the habit of printing his first name

In the Germanized form ’Anton’.

As a compromise, Dvorak

suggested using the abbreviation ’Ant.’, which In Bohemia would

be read properly as ’AntonTn'.

Simrock took the matter lightly

and sent back a flippant reply, which drew this response from Dvorak:

Do not laugh at my Czech brothers, and not feel sorry for me either. What I asked was only a personal wish, and if you cannot it I am justified in seeing in it a lack of on your part such as I have not come across among En.flJ.ISh or French pub 11 shers. You do

you need of you fulfill goodwill either not seem

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to have any Idea of the circumstances In which I IIve.26

SImrock must not have been able to muster up much sympathy,

for DvoFfik was provoked still further Into writing: Your last letter, where you let fly your national-political views, amused me enormously; I only regret that you are so Ill-Informed. That Is how all our enemies speak; or, put a better way, how a few Individuals on the staff of such Journals as the Kolnlsche Zeltung. the Auasburger [AlIgemelne Zeitung], etc. must write just to reflect the taste and persuasion of this or that political paper. But what have we two to do with politics: let us be glad that we are able to dedicate our services solely to the beautiful art [music]! And let us hope that nations which have art and value It will never perish, no matter how small they are. Forgive me, but I only wanted to tell you that an artist too has a fatherland In which he must have resolute faith and

26. Dvorak to SImrock, 22 August 1885, quoted In Otakar Sourek, ed., Antonin Dvo^Sk in Briefen und Er Innerungen (Prague: StStnf nakladatelstvl, 1954), 99; and In Wilhelm Altmann, "Antonin Dvorak Im Verkehr mlt Fritz SImrock," in N. SImrock Jarhbuch II. ed. Erich H. MOHer (Berlin: N. SImrock, 1929), 111. The two readings differ slightly. Sourek’s Is given here:

Machen Sle slch nicht iustlg uber melne tschechIschen BrOder und mlch brauchen Sle auch nicht zu bedauern. — Das, was Ich von Ihnen verlangte, war dloL mein Wunsch und wenn Sle mlr das nicht erfOllen kSnnen, so habe Ich recht, es als elne Ungef§lIigkelt von Ihnen zu betrachten, die ich weder be I eng 11schen noch beI franzSsIschen Verlegern gefunden habe. Sie schelnen keinen Begrlff zu haben, in welchen VerhaltnIssen Ich lebe.

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for which he must have an ardent heart.??

Even after this emotional outburst Slmrock remained unmoved.


edition of Dvorak’s symphony came out with the German title only and with the German equivalent of the composer’s first name. This was not the first time DvoFSk had tried to deal with

27. DvoFcik to Slmrock, 10 September 1885, quoted In Sourek, Anton Tn DvoFSk in Briefen und ErInnerunqen. 99-100. Ihr letzter Brief, wo Sie Ihre natlonalpolitlschen Auseinandersetzungen losgelassen haben, amuslerte mich sehr; nur bedauere ich, dais Sie so schlecht unterrichtet si nd. So sprechen alle unsere Feinde Oder besser gesagt: einige in den Journalen alia Kolnische Zeltung, Augsburger etc. angestellten Individuen, die eben im Sinne und Tendenz dieses Oder Jenes polltischen Blattes schreiben mussen! Doch was aeht uns beide die Polltik an; wo Hen wir froh seln, da£ wir nur der schSnen Kunst unsere Dienste weihen konnen! Und Nationen, woIlen wir hoffen, welche Kunst haben und representieren, werden nie untergehen, wenn sie auch noch so kleln slnd. Verzeihen Sie mir dies, aber ich wollte Ihnen nur sagen, dak ein Kunsfler auch ein Vater I and hat, fur welches er eben auch festen Glauben und warmes Herz haben muk.

The underscoring In my own English translation conforms to that above and to what appears in John Clapham, Dvorak (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1979), 76. Unfortunately, neither Sourek nor Clapham clarifies his use of Italics. I assume both were able to look at the autograph and so had a special reason for Indicating emphasis; yet Altmann, who likewise worked with the primary source material, does not include such Indications in his transcription of this letter found In "Dvorak im Verkehr mlt Slmrock,” 111. I am inclined to think that Dvorak himself underlined the words in question, as this is a rather common characteristic of his writing style. In any case, here Is further evidence of the need for a new critical edition of Dvorak's correspondence!

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the problem, however.

Over five years earlier someone writing In

Da 11bor—most likely the chief editor, V. J. Novotn^—had strongly admonished him for allowing Slmrock to publish two of

his song cycles with German texts only.

The vehemence with which

the writer pounced on this subject is Indicative of the volatile nature of the times, and his remarks reflect the general tenor not only of this particular journal but also of the wave of nationalism that had spread among the Czech Intelligentsia.


the process of commenting upon an announcement that had appeared In the Signale fQr die muslkalIsche Welt of the new edition of

Dvorak’s Zlgeunermelodlen (ClgSnskS melodle, Gypsy songs), he quipped:

Nowhere Is It mentioned that the poems are translated from the Czech (the text Is only In German), as though our Czech composer Anton Tn DvoFSk not once so far has even cared whether Czech text enjoyed a place alongside the German In his hitherto published works. It would be advisable after all in this regard for DvofSk to adopt Smetana’s manner.28

The last gibe seems to Imply that DvofSk was thought to be In a

28. "DrobnS zprSvy," Dal Ibor 2, no. 28 (1 October 1880):222. Ze jsou bLsnS ty pFekladem z CeStiny, o tom nikde nenf zmfnky, text jest pouze nSmeck^, jako vubec nSS Cesk^ skladatel Antonin Dvoi'Sk nikdy se o to dosud nestaral, aby vedle nfimeckfiho I CeskSmu textu mfsto by Io popfSno v dosavSde uveFejnSn^ch jeho skladbSch. By Io by zShodno, aby DvoFSk I v tomto ohledu konefinS Smetanuv rZz si osvojil.

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class quite apart from Smetana and that some kind of rivalry was seen to exist between the two composers. On the same page, but in a separate entry, Dvorak is chided again, this time with regard to the Klange aus MShren (Moravsk6 dvojzpSvy, Moravian duets):

The composer sold this work to the Berlin publisher Slmrock, who printed it only with German text. No one here has the Epub 1Ication] rights for a new Czech edition, so our public is obliged to buy the German translation. A composer like Dvorak, after whose works German publishers are scrambling, could command the publication of each of his vocal works in five languages, not to mention German and Czech, and it could be so merely at his whim. However, we must observe with regret that so far Dvorak has not shown enough consideration for our musical heritage and our public to provide for the printing of Czech texts and titles in addition to the German. We are convinced—and it won’t be long in coming—that the covetous Germans will be writing about our highly gifted Dvorak: ”unser Dworzak”! If It matters to Dvorak to remain one of us—and we think it does matter—he should forestall any further unpleasant consequences while there still Is time by vigorously

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26 standing up against the German publishers.29

One of the ’'consequences” may have been that during the next three months nothing at all concerning DvoPSk appeared In the

pages of P.a.l Ibor.

Since 1873 at I east, and especially after

Novotny took over the duties of chief editor from Jan Ludevft ProchSzka In 1875, DvoFSk’s compositional activities and the

performances and publications of his new works had heretofore been noted on a regular basis In the "ZprSvy" (Reports) section of the journal, and occasionally full-length reviews or analyses

29. Ibid. Ski adate I prodal toto di Io berlfnsk&nu nakladateli Simrockovi, kter^ je vytiskl pouze s nSmeck^m textem. K novSmu CeskSmu vydSnl prSvo u nSs nlkdo nemS, a tak jest obecenstvo naSe nuceno kupovati ntzmeck- pfeklad. Ski adate I jako DvoFSk, o Jeho2 prSce se nSmeCtf nakladatelS derou, mohl by si poruCi 11 vydSnl kaLdSho svSho vokSInlho di I a tfeba v pStl jazyclch, neLku-li v nSmeckSm a LeskSm, a stalo by se vLdy po jeho vuli; s politovSnlm vSak muslme poznamenati, 2e Dvorak dosud nemSI tolik SetrnostI k naST Iiteratufe hudebnf a k naSemu obecenstvu, aby se postaral o tlsk Lesk-ch textu a titulu vedle nSmeck^ch. Jsme pFesvSdCenI, a nebude to dlouho trvat, 2e hrablvT NSmci psStl budou o genialnfm na§em DvoFSkovi: „unser Dworzak”! ZSle2f-li DvofSkovi na tom, aby zustal naSincem—a myslfme, 2e zSle2f—to2 a/ rSzn^m vystoupenfm vuCl nSmeck^m nakladatelum pFedejde pozdSJSfm neblah^m konsekvencfm je5t§ v Las!

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of his compositions had been featured.

DvoFSk had been viewed as

the darling of the Czech musical establishment, next In

Importance to Smetana, and he and his works had been discussed only In glowing terms.

Perhaps the hiatus In attention given to

him now was a deliberate and calculated way of showing

disappointment In the way he seemed to be courting a German audience. This silent treatment lasted until January 1881.

Finally a

slightly conciliatory notice appeared wherein the situation was

reviewed and certain assurances were given: I have regretted very much that from his oeuvre of songs DvoFSk published his most perfect and respectable work HCIgLnskS me IodI el at Simrock’s In Berlin with German text only, and I told him openly and directly In these pages, as Is well-known, that the Czech public deserved greater attention on his part, that a Czech composer must write above al I for a Czech audience. What good would DvoFSk be to us If his works were not accessible? And they would not be accessible to our public published only with German text. I found out, however, that DvoFSk did not act In this way Intentionally; for I have just been told that SImrock will publish for our public a new edition of these excellent songs in Czech, and that In the future each vocal work by DvoFfik always will be issued with the Czech text In addition to a German translation. For this we are grateful to our composer, as generally there would be a danger In

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letting his_composltlons be stolen from our musical IIterature.^O

DvoF5k henceforth took care not only to Inform SImrock and

other foreign publishers that his works should Include the original Czech texts and titles, but also to make his intentions

clear to his compatriots. '

The announcement of the sale of the

score of Vanda to August Cranz that appeared In the 25 May 1881

30. "DvoF5k co skladatel pssns," Da 11 dor 3, no. 1 (1 January 1881):7. Ze DvoFfik toto z oboru pfsnS nejdokonalejSf a nejCestSjSt dflo vydal u SImrocka v BerlfnS pouze s nSmeck-m textern, toho ml prSvS bylo nejvfce ITto, I Fekl jsem mu na tomto mfstS, jak znSmo, otevFenS a zpFIma, 2e Cesk6 obecenstvo zasluhovalo si v§t5f pozornostl s jeho strany, 2e Sesk^ skladatel pFedevSIm komponovatl must pro CeskS obecenstvo. Co by nSm by I DvoFSk platen, kdyby n£m ds I a jeho nebyla pFIstupna? A pouze s nSmsck^m textem vydfina stala by se obecenstvu naSemu nepFIstupn^mi. PFesvSdCII jsem se v5ak, 2e DvoF5k neuClnil tak zfimysInS; nebol^ dovldcim se prLvS, 2e SImrock vydfi pro naSe obecenstvo nov6 vydLns tSchLe znamenit^ch pssns s Sesk^m textem, a pFIStS, 2e ka2dS vokL I n s prLce DvoFLkova vydLna bude v2dy s Sesk^m textem vedle nSmeckLho pFekladu. Jsme za to povdSLnI naSemu skladatelI, nebot^ tsm odpadne nebezpeCf, 2e by skladby Jeho mohly b^tl odclzeny na§s hudebns IIteratuFe.

31. Even after DvoFSk and SImrock had reconciled the various differences that had created a gulf between them, the composer still felt compelled to advise his publisher that all titles should be printed In Czech as well as German. See his letter dated 3 October 1895 quoted In Sourek, Antonin DvoFSk in Briefen und._Erlnnerungen . 200, or, In English translation, In Antonin Dvorak; Letters and Reminiscences, trans. Roberta Finlayson Samsour (Prague: StStns nakladatelstvl, 1954), 185.

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issue of Divadelnl llsty, for example, included this telling statement: "At DvoFSk’s insistence the piano arrangement also

will be printed with Czech text."^ The other Important aspect of DvoFSk’s nationalistic outlook that manifested Itself In artistic expression—besides his acute

pro-Czech sensitivity—was his keen Interest in the histories and cultures of all Slavic peoples, Including those outside the

circle encompassing the Czechs, Moravians, and Slovaks.


interest led first of all to such compositions as the PSt sboru

pro mu2sk§ hissy, op. 27 (Five partsongs for male chorus, 1878),

which are settings of Lithuanian folk poems in Czech translation; the arrangements of Russian folk songs for two voices and piano

entitled, simply, RuskS pfsn5 (Russian songs, 1883?); the CtvFi Plsn$ na slova srbskS IidovS poesie. op. 6 (Four songs on Serbian

folk poems, 1872?); then, of course, the Slavonic Dances, op. 46 and op. 72 (1878 and 1886-1887) and the Slavonic Rhapsodies, op. 56 (1880).

More Importantly, DvoFSk seems to have been especially susceptible to Polish influences.

It was to be expected that he

should fall under the spell of Chopin and compose a set of

32. "ZprSvy," Divadelnf Iisty 2, no. 15 (25 May 1881):136. "Klavfrnf dprava bude k nalShLnl DvoFSkovu vyti§t3na tSL s Lesk-m textern."

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30 mazurkas for piano.33

But his list of works also includes the

Mazurek for violin and orchestra, op. 49, a Polonaise in E-flat

for orchestra, and the Polonaise in A Major for violoncello and piano, all dating from 1879.

The ambience of Polish dance music additionally crops up

where one might not expect it.

A magnificent stately polonaise

may be found in the ballroom scene in the second act of Rusaika. The fourth number in the second of the Two Minuets, op. 28, which

Dvorak most likely composed during the first part of 1876, shortly after completing Vanda, bears all the characteristics of

a mazurka.


John Clapham correctly has pointed out that this

also Is the case with regard to the scherzo of the String Quartet

In A minor, op. 16 (1874) and the third movement of the Czech

LUtZ, op. 39 (1879).35

33. Gerald Abraham has detected Chopin’s Influence in the third movement (tempo di valse) of DvoFSk’s String Quartet in F minor, op. 9 (1873) as well. See his "DvoFSk’s Musical Personality,” In Antonin OvoFSk: His Achievement, ed. Viktor Fisch I (London: Lindsay Drummond, [1943]), 201; reprinted in Gerald Abraham, .Slavonic and Romantic Music: Essays and Studies (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1968), 45. 34. These minuets are DvoFSk’s first significant works for the piano. Each one is constructed after the fashion of the Viennese waltz, wherein several dances in different keys are strung together and lead to a coda containing material drawn from the first number.

35. John Clapham, Antonin DvoFLk, Musician and Craftsman (London: Faber and Faber, 1966), 148, 165.

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Curiously enough, the third movement of the Piano Trio in B-fiat, op. 21, composed a couple of months before Vanda, was reported In Dal ibor to have carried the heading **A 11 a polacca s trlem v rytmu pochodovSm" (Alla polacca with a trio in march


but the music as it exists today is essentially a

polka with the tempo indication Allegretto scherzando.


once must have been a different version of the work, or at least of this movement, antedating that found in the existing autograph

score, which probably dates from the year 1880 and itself Is

fraught with substantial alterations.^? It is In two operas and a string quartet, however, where

DvoFSk expressed his fascination for Polish culture and history most fully and, coincidentally, where he also was able to make

his strongest pro-Czech and pro-Slavic statements.


importance he must have placed on Vanda and Dimitri] can be

gathered from the fact that he considered opera to be the art

form best suited for the expression of the national aspirations of a people.

Just two months before his death in 1904, DvoFSk

clarified his views on this matter in an Interview printed In a

36. "ZprSvy z Prahy a z venkova," Da 11 bor 3, no. 22 (29 May 1875):177.

37. Concerning the autograph material, see Cubr’s commentary In the modern critical edition: Antonin DvofSk, Trio in B-flat Major, op. 21, ed. Antonin Cubr (Prague: StStnl nakladatelstvl, 1958), 57-62.

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Viennese paper.

Attempting to explain why he had concentrated

his efforts exclusively on the genre of opera during the previous

five years, he said: I wanted to devote all my energy, as long as the good Lord gives me the health, to the creation of opera. Not out of any conceited craze for glory, but because I consider opera to be the most beneficial genre for the Nation. People from many social strata listen to this music. ... My publishers know by now that I no longer will write just for them. — People harass me with questions why I do not compose this or that; I do not care for these genres anymore. They regard me as a symphonist, yet I demonstrated a long time ago my preponderant inclination towards dramatic creation.38

38. "Sei Meister Dvorzak," Die Reichswehr, no. 3612 (1 March 1904):7; reprinted in ZgrSvy komise pro koordinaci dvoFSkovskSho dZdSnl, no. 4 (Prague: LeskL hudebnf spoleinost, 1984), 21. I oh wo IIte mich mlt alien Kraften, so lange mir der liebe Gott noch Gesundheit gibt, dem Opernschaffen wldmen. Nicht etwa aus eitler Ruhmsucht, sondern aus dem Grunde, well ich die Oper auch fur die Nation fur die vortheiIhafteste Schopfung halte. Dlese Muslk horen brelte Schichten. . . . Meine Verleger wlssen jetzt schon, dass Ich nlchts mehr fur sie schreiben werde. — Man bedrangt mich mlt Fragen, warum Ich dies und jenes nicht componlere; ich habe keine Lust mehr fur dlese Genres. Man erbllckt in mir den Symphoniker, und doch habe Ich schon vor langen Jahren meine Oberwlegende Neigung zum dramatischen Schaffen bewiesen. In his article "DvoFSkovy opery," V5stnfk pSveckft 10, no. 5 (30 April 1905):120, Karel Hoffmelster recounts a conversation with DvoFSk in which, when asked why he felt drawn so strongly to the theatre, the composer responded with the same kind of argument.

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Another interesting manifestation of DvoFSk’s Slavophilism in general and his pro-Polish bias In particular may be seen In

his String Quartet In D Major, B. 18, which he most likely composed during the spring of 1869.

By defiantly Incorporating

the patriotic song "Hej, SlovanSI" Into the third movement, he managed to make a veiled but effective political statement.


tune was very popular at the time both In Poland, where it

eventually came to be used for the national anthem with the title

"Jeszcze Polska nie zgin§ta" (Poland has not yet been lost; generally known In a freer translation as "The People United Will

Never Be Defeated"), and in Bohemia.

DvoFSk used only the first

two phrases of the song, the Czech version of which has the text "Hej, SlovanS, jeZtS na5e slovanskS FeC LIje, pokud naSe vSrnS

srdce pro nSS nSrod bije" (Hey, Slavs, our Slavonic language still will

live on as long as our faithful hearts beat for our

nation). In his brilliant study of this quartet, Miroslav Cern^ recognizes the mazur-like character of the music In this third

movement and points out that during the 1860s "Hej, SlovanS!" became a popular call-to-arms among the Czech and Polish national

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Increasing support for the movement toward

self-government and national rights was demonstrated by the singing of this song L0. masse at the ever-growing number of

political rallies/ mass demonstrations called "people's camps," and workers' meetings.

It even was sung in the theatres as a

prelude to an evening’s entertainment.

Not surprisingly, in 1867

the authorities banned it from being sung at public gatherings in Prague.

Throughout the 1860s and 1870s relations between Poland and

Bohemia generally remained friendly, although as usual seldom on a perfectly even keel.


Many Czechs admired the spirit of

abandonment and determination with which their neighbors

continued to fight for the Ideal of freedom that had fueled the Ill-fated Insurrection of 1830-1831.

In 1863 the events in

Russian Poland and the subsequent over-reaction on the part of

39. ^Miroslav Cern^, "SmyCcov? kvartet 0 dur Antonina DvofSka," in LI_vL hlldba (Prague: StStnl pedagoglckS nakladatelstvf, 1959), 116—17, 119, 121-22, 129-30, 154. See also Cerna's preface to the critical edition of the work: Antonin DvoFSk, Quartett III in D major for 2 violins, viola, and violoncello (Prague: Supraphon, 1982), v-ix. 40. The best source of Information on this subject is the following collection of essays by various authors, even though the discussion of political developments suffers occasionally from the overly doctrinaire application of a Marxist bias: VSc lav ZSCek, ed.» CeSi a PolSci v minulostl~I I: Obdobl kaoitallsmu a ■Dnp.er i a 11 srnu (Prague: Nakladatelstvf Ceskoslovensk6 akademie vSd, 1967), 195-428.

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the Austrian government in Galicia drew from them even greater sympathy.

The Poles reciprocated by supporting the Czechs In

whatever grievances they harbored against the government.


1867, for example, the Polish SmlgrS Josef Zu Iirisk I, wisely using the pseudonym Dr. Zefl, published In ZDrich a pamphlet

entitled Prawa Koronv CzeskleJ, skeSlone I przedstawlone D.os lorn Lwowsk I ego se /mu arguing for the historic rights of the

Czech Crown.

The pamphlet created a sensation but was promptly

banned throughout the Empire.

Most of the copies—fewer than 150

had been printed—were confiscated and destroyed. This feeling of mutuality began to erode somewhat as a

result of certain political and economic developments within the Habsburg Empire that affected the two domains in unequal measure.

When several substantial concessions were granted only

to Galicia during the years 1866-1869, the Czechs grew envious.

Furthermore, the Ausqleich of 1867 left them particularly bitter, for, quite apart from the fact that.they had not achieved parity

with the Hungarians, it appeared to them that the Galician Poles had become the most-favored of the Austro-Slavs.

On the other

side, the "p 11 gr I mage1’ made by Palack^ and Rieger to Moscow In

1867 proved to be ill-advised. ' The fervor with which they

41. See VSc lav ZSGek, CeZi a PolSci v minulcsti I I (Prague: Nakladatelstvf CeskoslovenskS akademle vtzd, 1967), 268-73 and 111 us. no. 27.

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espoused their pan-SlavIc Ideas created a reactionary backlash in Vienna and at the same time caused resentment among the Poles

because it involved an exaggerated admiration for the Russians. During subsequent years, the bickering between the Young

Czechs and the Old Czechs adversely affected not only the Internal politics within Bohemia but also relations with


As the national revival movements progressed In both

countries during the 1870s, however, a new feeling of solidarity

arose, especially within me artistic community.

This was due in

part to the fact that several Polish actors, singers, writers, and painters permanently moved to Prague or visited for extended periods of time and actively encouraged reciprocity of artistic

and political


Paris 1890).

One such person was Ludwlk Grabowski

An ardent champion of Polish culture and

revolutionary politics, this Polish patriot and pan-51 avid st

visited Bohemia very often during the 1870s and 1880s for the

purpose of spreading his Ideas and of establishing an artistic link between Warsaw and Prague. In 1879, for example, Grabowski donated 20,000 zlat^ch to

the Maclerz polska, a Polish cultural society In Prague, for the

purpose of disseminating the best Polish literature in Bohemia. The following year he announced that a prize of 2,000 Polish

zlatfch would be awarded to the Czech playwright who could create

the best new drama treating a Slavonic subject and glorifying the

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pan-SlavIc Idea.

In the Initial announcement of this competition

that appeared In DivadelnT listy. he made a special point of

expressing his delight that one of his country’s national

heroines, Wanda, already had appeared on the Czech operatic



He was personally acquainted with FrantiSek ZSkrejs,

one of the people Involved In preparing the libretto of Vanda, so

he may have come In contact with Dvorak as well.43

In spite of the rather substantial prize, no one responded Immediately.

Four and a half months after the first

announcement, another longer and more prominently-placed article appeared In the same journal.


Even though technically the

specific topic of the new drama was left open, Grabowski strongly

suggested the story of Przemysf II (1257-1296), who strove to create a united Polish kingdom and, as Grabowski explained, was strongly In favor of consolidating the Slavs Into a federation

for protection against German domination.

42. Hovorka, "Rozhledy v divadle, literature a umSnl," Dlvadelnl listy 1, no. 16 (27 November 1880):260. 43. ZSkrejs occasionally mentioned Grabowski In his correspondence, usually in connection with plans for translating Polish literature Into Czech, as is the case In his letter dated 25 November 1875 now In the holdings of the LlterSrnl archfv PamStnlku NSrodnfho pfsemnictvf, Prague, Inv. no. 01/67/110. The Identity of the addressee Is not certain, but presumably it is ZSkrejs’s cousin Fr. Lad. Popelka.44

44. "Polska cena na LeskS drama," Dlvadelnl lig+y 2, no. 11 (15 April 1881):102.

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Grabowski also alluded to the fact that the Bohemian King

VSclav II had married PrzemysPs daughter, Ryksa 51 zbieta (Ryxa Elizabeth), In the effort to legitimize his political and

military gains in Poland.

During his short-lived reign most of

Poland was, in fact, united once again, albeit under Bohemian


Prior to this, PrzemysPs relations with VSclav in

actuality were not cordial.

Rather than entering into an

alliance, both kings distrusted each other and were primarily concerned about maintaining their own political advantages vis-a-vis the Brandenburgers, the Habsburgs, and the Pope at Rome.

Przemysl II had reigned as King of Great Poland and

Pomerania for only seven months when he was assassinated, most

likely by someone working for the margraves of Brandenburg.


rumor circulating at the time that VSclav II himself had a hand

in arranging the murder even today cannot be discounted, however.

In light of these circumstances it seems unlikely that

any Czech playwright would have wished to follow Grabowski’s suggestion and try to untangle this web of Intrigue on the

theatrical stage.


45. Information concerning Przemysl II and his relations with VSclav II was gathered from the following sources: Aleksander Gieysztor et al., History of Poland (Warsaw: PWN, 1968), 106, 115; W. F. Reddaway et al., eds.. The Cambridge History of Poland to .1696 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1950), 102-4, 110-14; Josef Macurek, ed., Ce§i a PolSci v minulosti I (Prague: Nakladatelstvf CeskosIovenskS akademle vSd, 1964), 83-85.

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As much as Grabowski’s efforts were appreciated In Prague, perhaps the most popular and influential of the Polish SmigrSs

was the mezzo-soprano Helena Zawlszanka.46* She had sung In

Warsaw, Lwfiw, and Hamburg before coming to Prague, where, during the period from April 1862 to April 1865, she was engaged first

at the German Theatre then at the Czech Provisional Theatre.


ail accounts Zawiszanka had an extraordinary voice, an engaging personality, and a fiery temperament.

She openly declared her

allegiance to the revolutionary cause in her homeland, so the story goes, by singing "Hej, Slovanfi!" during her operatic

performances, and she was a close friend and staunch supporter of

the famous freedom—fighter Henryka Pustowojtdwna. Pustowojtfiwna had been forced to flee Poland along with her lover, Maryan Langlewlcz, the leader of the Ill-fated January 1863 Insurrection.

For a time she settled in Prague, where she

and Helena Zawlszanka became the darlings of society, even to the point of dictating fashion.

Pustowojtfiwna, who had donned men’s

clothes so that she could fight alongside Langiewlcz in the

barricaded streets of Warsaw, now caught the fancy of all the

Prague women by dressing In what apparently was an outrageously modern mode.

Whenever she attended performances at the theatre

46. Much later, during the 1880s, another Polish theatrical personality, the stage actress Helena Modrzejewska, similarly captured the hearts of the people of Prague.

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she attracted more attention than the players and her presence was acknowledged with applause.

The society pages of the

newspapers reported practically nothing else aside from her activities and those of the operatic star.

The authorities

briefly Imprisoned Pustowojtfiwna, during which time the public

most certainly was kept abreast of her situation by Zawiszanka.47 During these exciting times in Prague DvoFSk was playing In

the orchestra of the Provisional Theatre.

As Jarmil Burghauser

has observed, he must have been greatly Influenced by this volatile atmosphere and by those who made it so, especially the

47. The Polish Insurrection, reaction to it in Bohemia, and specifically Pustowojtowna's role are discussed with particular flare In Boleslav Kalensky, "Antonfn DvoFSk, jeho mlLds, pFThody a vfvoj k usamostatnSnf," in Antonin DvoFSk: SbornTk stats o seho dfle a Pivots (Prague: UmSleckS beseda, 1912), 53-54, and in Adolf Srb, Z du I stoletf (Prague: F. SimfiCek, 1913), 48-54. For more details concerning Pustowojtdwna’s friendship with Zawiszanka, see Oscar Teuber, Geschlchte des Prager Theaters von dfiD-Anfanaen des. Schauspielwesens bis auf die neueste Ze it (Prague: A. Haase, 1838), 3:545-46. Zawiszanka’s activities as a singer are discussed at length In Josef BartoS, Pro-atlmnl 4-i-Y.ad 10 a Jtehg-opera (Prague: Sbor pro zFfzenf druhSho NSrodnfho divadla, 1938), 32-34, 67, 77, 82-83, 87-88.48 48. Jarmii Burghauser, ed., Dimitri J. by Marie CervinkovSRlegrovS (Prague: StStnf hudebnf vydavatelstvf, 1961), 8. In the first fourteen pages of his Introduction to this critical edition of the libretto, Burghauser presents a first-rate detailed discussion of DvoFSk’s Slavophilism, recounting relevant contemporary events and focusing on those acquaintances who may have Influenced his thinking. With regard to Vanda specifically, see pp. 12 and 17. See also the same author's AntonTn DvoFAk. trans. Jean Layton-EisIerovS (Prague: StStns hudebnf vydavatelstvf, 1967), 19.

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firebrand Zawiszanka.

He also must have noticed the many

reports concerning Polish music and theatre that appeared in


During the two or three years prior to the composition

of Vanda* for example, considerable space was devoted In this

journal to Chopin and his music.

Details of his life were

revealed and performances and publications of his compositions were noted.


Characteristically, a premium was placed on the

pieces that were perceived as having a specifically Slavonic

flavor, especially those In which the composer was able to

transform one or another national folk dance into art music. Native composers’ works then were gauged according to what extent

they exhibited these same features.


49. The following biographical anecdotes are especially entertaining: ’E. J.’» "SmSs. Ze LIvota BedFIcha Chop Ina," DaiIbor 1, no. 49 (5 December 1873):403; and «E.», "Feullleton. Ze zaSl^ch dnu: Vzpomfnky ze 21 vota BedNcha Chop Ina,” Dal Ibor 2, no. 1 (3 January 1874):2—4; 2 (9 January 1874):10-11. In 1875 an extensive monograph on the Polish composer appeared entitled ”B. Chopin a jeho dfla,” Dalibor 3, no. 39 (25 September 1875): 309-11; 41 (9 October 1875):325-26; 42 (16 October 1875):333-35; 43 (23 October 1875):341-43; 44 (30 October 18751:349-51; 45 (6 November 18755:357=58; 50 (11 December 1875):397-99; 51 (18 December 1875):405-7; 52 (31 December 1875):414-16. A slightly later article also is very Interesting: 0. Hostinsk-, "Feullleton. Chopin v Praze v roku 1829,” Dalibor 1, no. 6 (20 February 1879):46-48.

50. For an excellent example of how other composers’ music often was compared in this way to that of Chopin, see the discussion of the third movement of ZdenSk Flbich’s String Quartet In A In "ZprZvy z Prahy a z venkova," DalIbor 2, no. 13 (28 March 1874); 103.

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Other articles appearing in DalIbor that may have Influenced DvoFSk include an extensive study tracing the history of Polish music and drama in which Countess Tekla tubiefiska’s play Wanda

Kr6lowna PQlska is mentioned.


An article written In 1875 is

devoted to Stanislaw Monluszko, whose Ha Ika» regarded as the first important Polish national opera, had been performed at the

Provisional Theatre In Prague seven years earlier, In February



Although the troupe did their best to produce the work

as well as possible at that time, it was coolly received because

the political climate In Prague was, as noted earlier, not

particularly conducive to such an undertaking.53* Since Its premiere in 1848, performances of Halka in its various versions had been dutifully noted In the Prague

newspapers and music journals.

Indeed, all of the developments

51. "DSjiny hudby a dlvadla v Pol see," Da Ii bor 1, no. 44 (31 October 1873)-359-60; 45 (7 November 1873):367-68; 46 (14 November 1873):376-77; 47 (21 November 1873):384; 48 (28 November 1873):392-94; 50 (12 December 1873):405-6; 52 (27 December 1873):421-22. The reference to tubieAska’s treatment of the Wanda legend appears In the last installment on p. 421. 52. ’Z.’; "Feu 11 I eton. Stanislav Monluszko," Dalibor 3. no. 50 (11 November 1875):399-400.

53. An adequate discussion of the reception accorded Halka in Prague may be found in J. BeSka# "Styky a vztahy v oblasti kultury druh§ poloviny 19. a zaLStku 20. stoletf," in CeSi a PQ-lfcl y-jninulosti JI; Obdob.f kapitaljsmu a imperial isrnu, ed. Vaclav ZLLek (Prague: Nakladatelstvf CeskoslovenskS akademie v§d, 1967), 421-22.

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leading to a Polish national operatic style were followed

enthusiastically well Into the late 1870s and 1880s, especially In the pages of DalIbor.


In addition, a comparatively large

number of lectures and readings pertaining to Polish IIterature

were given at the regular meetings of the Czech artistic society UmSleckS beseda-

Already In 1865 the matter of the development

of a national style In Polish literature was discussed by


StaSek Zeman gave four major talks on Polish poetry

and two on Polish literature.

Goll, Hostlnsk-, Hovorka, Eduard

Jelinek, Stulc, Mokr^, Fr. Kvapil, C. Fr16, and other prominent

members concentrated on the works of such writers as Zygmunt

Kraslfiski, Adam Micklewlcz, Jan Matejko, Wtadysfaw Syrokomla,

Wincenty Pol, Seweryn Goszczyfiskl, J6zef Ignacy Kraszewski,

Wfadyslaw Beiza, and Ignacy Maclejowski,55 Although DvoFSk was a member of UmSleckS beseda, there Is no

Indication that he attended any of these lectures.56

Even If he

54. See especially Fr. L. Hovorka, "Feu 111 eton. Opera v Polsku," PaUbor 1, no. 14 (10 May 1879): 109-10; 15 (20 May 1879) :119-20; 16 (1 June 1879):125-26; 18 (20 June 1379):143; 19 (1 July 1879): 150-51; 20 (10 July 1879):159-60; 22 (1 August 1879):174-75; 24 (20 August 1879):190-91; 28 (1 October 1879):222-23; 31 (1 November 1879):246-47; 34 (1 December 18791:270-71; 2, no. 3 (20 January 1880): 21-22. 55. Information on the proceedings of UmSleckL beseda may be found In Hanu§ Jelinek, comp., PadesZt let UmSlacks haaady ■1.863-°1913 (Prague: UmSleckS beseda, 1913), XX11 —XXIII. 56. Concerning DvoFSk’s activities In this society, see §2.3.

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may not have, he could not have escaped being touched In some way by the enthusiasm with which his acquaintances read and analyzed

Polish literature.

This intellectual milieu surely provided

fertile ground for him as he was developing a mature style of

composition and as he sought to express his patriotic feelings in music.

Incidentally, the genuine interest shown by most Czechs in

Polish culture was not reciprocated in equal measure.


translations of Czech Iiterature, for example, fell far below the reverse In number and extent, as BeCka has demonstrated: in his fifteen-page study of the interchange of literature during the

1870s and 1880s, he was able


discuss the reception of Czech

works in Poland In only one short paragraph. Another indication of the comparative indifference

registered in Poland toward cultural developments in Bohemia is

the fact that, of the twenty Poles who were sent formal

invitations to the ceremonies connected with the laying of the foundation stone of the Czech National Theatre In May 1868, only

one attended.

This was, Interestingly enough, Stanislaw

Moniuszko; but he may simply have felt obliged to participate

since he was in Prague anyway to watch a reprise performance of

57. J. BeCka, "Styky a vztahy v oblasti kultury,” 396. the period mentioned on pp. 391-405.

He covers

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By the time the theatre was nearing completion,

however, the Poles seem to have become more Interested In Czech cultural lite,

when the structure was consumed by fire, it was

reported in Dlvadelnf 11 sty that the Polish nation as a single

voice cried "Your misfortune Is our misfortune!"^9 A few years earlier Dvoffik had calculated that the struggle of the Poles against foreign domination pictured In Vanda would,

In like fashion, be perceived by the Czechs as their own.


spirit of nationalism that had first taken hold among the Germans paradoxically had found sympathetic vibrations among other

peoples and had eventually grown Into a force of tidal-wave proportions.


The list of credits appearing on cover and title pages of the IIbretto printed for the first performance of Vanda has the name

Surzycki In the foremost position (see Figures 3.1 and 3.2 at the

58. In fact four other Poles besides Moniuszko attended the celebrations, but none of them had any notoriety and were there as private, unofficial visitors. Stanley Buchholz Kimball, Czech NationaHsm; A Study of the National Theatre Movement. 1R45-FTS (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1964), 105-6, 157.59 * 59. ’J.’, "BratFf Polcicl a na§e NSrodnf dlvadlo, ’ DI vade Ini II stv 2t no. 29 (10 September 1881):255.

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beginning of chapter Z), and notices appearing in NSrodnT 11 sty

refer to a Professor Julian SurzyckI from Warsaw.


However, the

extent and exact nature of his contribution remains unclear.


announcements and reviews of the early performances either do not address the Issue or else they are vague or contradictory. V. J. Novotna’s report In OsvSta, for example, states only that

"the libretto Is based on a Cracowlte legend."61

The original

source material used as the basis for the libretto might have been a finished libretto In Polish or some other language; or it

could have been a play, a novel, a short story, or even a popular rendering of the well-known legend in a children’s book of tales or a reference work devoted to myths and legends. The few biographical details concerning Surzycki that can be

gleaned from encyclopedic sources provide no answers.

There was

someone named Julian Surzycki (* Lublin 1820, t 1882) living at

the time In Warsaw who was known primarily for his achievements as a civil engineer and his exploits in the Russian Caucasus, where he saw military service.

In 1858 he seems to have written

60. "Literature a umSnT. Z Lesktzho divadla," NArodnf Hsty 16, no. 105 (15 April 1876):[2]; "Literature a umSnf. Vanda," NArodnf -Li-S-t.y 16, no. 106 (16 April 1876) :L2J; "Literature a umSnf. Oprava," NSrodnT 11 sty 16 no. 107 (18 April 1876):[2]. 61. V. J. Novotny, "CeskL opera r. 1875," OsvSta 6, no. 1 (January 1876):7Z. ". . . libreto jest zpracovfino na zSkladS povSsti Krakovskfi."

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some kind of a book about the Dagestan region of Russia.6^ It hardly seems likely that DvoMk would have chosen a text

based on the work of someone completely unknown as a writer and unknown to him personally.

The possibility cannot be ruled out,

therefore, that the original source for Vanda was authored by

someone closer to him who wished for some reason to remain

anonymous and so "borrowed” the name of an obscure Polish civil


It is also conceivable that the story was taken from

a German or a French source rather than a Polish one, and that it was then translated into Czech and reworked to suit Dvorak's


The Polish heroine has appeared quite regularly In German

62• £ng.v.k..loped la Dowszechna z ilustraciaml I mapami. 14:172; 18 (Suppl. 2, 19121:96; also Bibliografia polska. 4:413 and suppl. vol. 4, p. 319.

63. Dr. Jan HavrSnek, the noted Czech historian, has suggested to me that Bernard Guldener may have been responsible for the original text. After all, Guldener already had used a pseudonym, that of Bernard J. Lobeskf, for the libretto of Dvorak’s opera K1~6I a Uhl The idea is very Intriguing, but so far no evidence has come to light to support it.

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and since 1862 an opera Wanda by Franz Doppler

(text by Theodor Bakody, 1850) In a German translation by Otto

BrechtI er had been produced successfully in a number of European cities, including Vienna, Stuttgart, Riga, and Darmstadt, though

admittedly the text bears little resemblance to the legend.65* The very nature of this legend apparently does not suit the sensibi11Hes of the French to the same degree.

There are fewer

64. At least five important German works dealing with the Wanda legend appeared during the period from the beginning of the eighteenth century up to DvoFSk’s time. See Hanna MortkowIczfiwna, Eodanle o Wandzle: Dzleje wptku literackiego (Warsaw: Skiad gtowny w ksiggarnl towarzystwa wydawniczego, 1927), 97-130. MortkowIczdwna Included In this book an extensive annotated listing of all the sources known to her that mention or deal specifically with the Wanda legend. Her annotations include details of publication as well as descriptions of plot development and philosophical implication. None of these descriptions compares closely enough with the libretto of Dvorak's opera to suggest a di rectal ink; indeed, neither it nor Surzycki’s supposed rendering are even mentioned. Of particular Interest- however, is Zacharias Werner’s Wanda KSnlgin der .Sarmaten; Eine romantische Traced Ie mit Gesang in fiinf Ac+an (1807). A few features of the legend are treated In the same way as they are in the libretto of Vanda: what Is more, LlbuSe Is mentioned. Beethoven had seriously considered making an opera out of Werner’s drama. See Rudolf PeCman, "Slawlsche Sujets In den Opernplanen L. v. Beethovens,” in Hudba slovanskftch nSrodu (Brno: CeskS hudebnl spoleLnost, 1981), 357-58. 65. The first performance of the German version of Doppler’s opera took place on 27 September 1862 at the Court Opera in Vienna (Karntnertortheater), according to Alfred Loewenberg, Apna.ls.9f Opera 1597-1940* 3d rev. ed. (Totowa, N.J.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1978), col. 925. Loewenberg gives the date 16 December 1856 for the premiSre of the original Hungarian version, but Zoltfin GSrdonyi indicates that it took place on 20 December 1850 in his article about Doppler in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980), 5:573.

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treatments of It In French IIterature, where the preferred

spelling Is Venda, and these are generally limited to a series of satirical novels dating from the eighteenth century.66 In view of the political climate created by the Czech national revival movement, It might have been especially

embarrassing for Dvorak if people had thought he had based Vanda on something written In a language other than Czech or one of the other Slavic tongues.

Precisely for this reason Josef Wenzlg and

ErvTn Spindler earlier had been careful to conceal, or at least to trivialize, the fact that the librettos for DalIbor and LibuSe

originally were written In German.67

Dvorak himself already had

composed one German opera, Alfred, and within a year after

completing Vanda he entertained the idea of writing another.68 This whole matter Is further complicated by the remark made

by Josef Srb-Debrnov in his published memoirs that Dvorak had

66. See Mortkowlczdwna’s list In Podan Ie o Wandylo. 97-130. Judging from her descriptions, none of the French works have any relation to the libretto of DvoF^k’s Vanda. 67. For a discussion of the role Spindler played In the preparation of the libretto for LlbuSe see Mirko OCadlfk, "Li.buSe"; Vznik Smetanow zpSvohry (Prague: Mel antrich, 1939), 64-76. In his definitive study of the opera, OCadlfk presents excellent analyses of the text and music and provides invaluable background material concerning the legend and Smetana’s interest In It. 68. See his letter dated 3 July 1876, presumably addressed to Pudolf IVIrsIng, quoted In Otakar Sourek, ed., Antonin Dvorak pFSteI urn doma (Prague: Melantrlch, 1941), 16.

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paid him fifty zlat^ch to prepare a German translation of



Reports appearing In NSrodnf IIstv and Divadelnl 11 sty

between March and May 1880 corroborate this assertion.


further performances of the opera that may have been planned in

Prague during these months apparently had to be postponed so that

DvoFfik could prepare the score for a production at the Court Theatre In Vienna.

He ■nade some revisions and asked Srb to

provide a suitable translation, which then had to be under Iayed In the score.

A translation of Vanda is not among the manuscript papers in

Srb-Debrnov’s estate, however.This seems especially odd because he always took great care to keep every scrap of his

69. Josef Srb-Debrnov, VLoomlnky starSho muzlkanta na Smetanu a 0.v