He orchestrated it in two parts more than a year after his return to
the United States and immediately before his departure for Europe. The
piano version was performed soon after its composition, but the
orchestral version waited some years. The orchestral version of the American Suite was first played in concert in 1910 and not published until 1911, seven years after Dvořák’s death in 1904.
- Andante con moto
- Moderato (alla pollacca)
Analysis and receptionEdit
As often is the case with
Dvořák, the orchestral version gives the work a new breadth. The cyclic
aspects of Dvořák’s composition are apparent, in that the principal
theme of the first movement recurs during the conclusion of the work.
This opening theme is marked by his American-influenced style. It is difficult to determine whether it comes from the typical folk music of the New World or simply from the music of the Czech emigrants, to which the Dvořák liked to listen during his stay in the United States.
This mix of American influence with Slavic tradition is also
perceptible in the rhythm of the “alla Polacca” third movement, and in
the last movement’s themes native to the Far East, played by flute and oboe in unison, where the orchestra passes easily from the minor theme to the major one.
Far from any exoticism, the art of Dvořák’s orchestral work is in the field of pure music, and it is undoubtedly for this reason that Brahms
appreciated it. Even in New York, when Dvořák encouraged his pupils to
work on their own folk melodies, it was authentic recreation of the
popular folk musics that he called for.
Appearances in popular cultureEdit
The allegro was used in the trailer for The Elder Scrolls II Daggerfall.