four romantic pieces op 75 no.1
by anton dvorak 1841-1904
Anton Dvořák composed his cycle of four Romantic Pieces, Op. 75, B. 150, for violin and piano in January 1887. These four pieces are arranged from his previous composition, a trio for two violins and viola, known as Miniatures, Op. 75.
Dvořák left the musical content of the arrangement for violin and piano almost unchanged; he only slightly altered the harmonic foundations in the first movement (bars 30–36) and extended the end of the third movement with an additional four bars. He also renamed the second and third movements.
i. Allegro moderato, B♭ major
ii. Allegro maestoso, D minor
iii. Allegro appassionato, B♭ major
iv. Larghetto, G minor
The first performance of the Romantic Pieces took place on 30 March 1887 at the chamber concert at the Umělecká Beseda in Prague. The violin part was played by Karel Ondříček, at that time leader of the orchestra of the National Theatre, with Dvořák at the piano.
Dvořák later completely forgot about the existence of the trio he composed earlier, and years later in 1901 explained to Simrock that “…what is supposed to be a trio…cannot be the Romantic Pieces”. Dvořák’s original manuscript of the trio version was only rediscovered in 1938, and it was proven that he himself was mistaken.
The trio version was premiered by members of the Prague Quartet on 24 February 1938 at a concert of Dvořák’s chamber music at the Prague City Library.