Phillip Littlemore has created a new arrangement of this exciting and highly spirited dance, which gets a regular outing on Classic fm, which makes it popular with brass band audiences too.
Antonin Dvorak composed his first set of eight Slavonic Dances in 1878. Originally written for piano duet, the dances were inspired by Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, and were orchestrated soon after composition at his publisher’s request. The music is lively and overtly nationalistic, although the tunes themselves are all original and not taken from any Slavic folk dances. It was indeed these first set of Slavonic Dances that launched Dvorak beyond his native Bohemia. Such were their popularity Dvorak wrote a further set of dances in 1886. Slavonic Dance No.1 is a highly spirited and cheerful furiant in 3/4, but is filled with cross-rhythms throughout that suggest duple time—an important feature of the dance.