Dvorak and America (2000)

Genres - History, Music  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Music History  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - United States   |  
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In 1892, the Czech-born composer Antonin Dvorak traveled to America, searching for the true music of its people. It was not long after his arrival that he attributed much of America's greatest folk music to the Native-American and African-American communities. While in the United States, Dvorak encouraged his students to use the music of their roots as a base for their own compositions and he also composed, incorporating America's folk music into his own work. This documentary features Dvorak's unpublished letters, period photographs, journalistic accounts, and commentary by modern experts. The Czech Philharmonic performs on the soundtrack with music by Dvorak and by Bedrich Smetana. Also on the soundtrack, there are plantation songs by Harry T. Burleigh, segments from Will Marion Cook's Broadway musical In Dahomy, and old wax-cylinder recordings of Dvorak's music that, until this documentary, had never been heard outside the Czech Republic. The film concludes with the 1893 premier of the New World Symphony at Carnegie Hall.

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Keywords

America, classical-music, music, composer, Czechoslovakia