Dvořák - American Suite

Folk music from the old and new worlds infuse Dvorak's suite.

Dvořák initially wrote the American Suite for piano while in New York, between 19 February and 1 March 1894. He orchestrated it more than a year after his return to the United States but the orchestral version was not published until 1911, seven years after the composer's death in 1904.

While known as the American Suite, it's never quite clear whether Dvorak's themes come from the typical folk music of the New World as he experienced it, or from the music of Czech emigrants he liked to listen to during his stay in the United States.

This mix of American influence with Slavic tradition is particularly apparent in the rhythm of the third movement. It is typical of Dvořák who, even when he encouraged his pupils to work on their own folk melodies, was always after the authentic recreation of popular folk music.