Dvorak's string serenade is a mirror of his blissful years

The Kampa Lovers by Jakub Schikaneder
The Kampa Lovers by Jakub Schikaneder

For Antonin Dvořák, 1875 was a grand time for both creative productivity and wholesome family life. The birth of his first son was followed by the offering of a generous stipend from Vienna for his winning a prestigious competition.

For the first time in his life, he was being recognized as a composer and could finally live and create without the fear of poverty. This new financial stability allowed him to focus on composing his future body of work: the Fifth Symphony, 2nd String Quintet, Piano Trio, the opera Vanda, and the Moravian Duets collection.  

In the midst of this creative outpouring, the Serenade for string orchestra in E major was conceived and completed in less than a fortnight. The work is a charming and joyful piece, infused with profound happiness and optimism pervading his life at the time. 

Here is the Serenade's distinctive waltz movement performed by Munich Philharmonic:


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