Page:The music of Bohemia.djvu/45

This page has been validated.

THE MUSIC OF BOHEMIA

31

Czech composer, was a son of a village butcher. From his early childhood his only passion was music. In spite of many struggles and much suffering, he did not cease to study and work. Music was his consolation, his life. In just praise it may be said that the high position of this composer in the musical world is due chiefly to his unparalleled perseverance under his own criticism. To take a full orchestra score of a completed opera and destroy it and then rewrite it, was characteristic of Dvořák's method of attaining perfection. This self-teaching explains his temporary experimenting and uncertainty in form.

The number of Dvořák's compositions is vast, covering almost all forms of music. His fame began with Slavic Dances, brilliantly instrumented, which appealed to the larger public. Of his five symphonies the last one, From the New World, was composed while Dvořák was teacher of composition at the National Conservatory of Music in New York, in 1892. To this American period belongs the popular