ANTONIN DVORAK AND FRANCE
The study of newspapers from the 1878-1914 period shows the origin of French ignorance of Dvorak. Very few of his works were then played in France. Their appreciation was varied. Slavonic Dances were esteemed, chamber music raised problems, symphonic works remained practically unknown. The best defenders of Dvorak were foreigners and mainly the Czechs. The French musical circles were however conscious of the composer's importance. A Dumka and his article about Schubert were published in Paris. Dvorak was proposed as foreign correspondent by the Academie des Beaux-Arts, invited to conduct his works in the capital, requested for an exhibition of autographs in 1900 and decorated with the Gold Medal of the City of Paris. In 1906, the 9th symphony conducted by Camille Chevillard strongly divided the critics. In 1913, Pablo Casals refused to play the Cello Concerto under the leadership of Gabriel Pierne, scorning the score. A nationalist and anti-German opinion, hindered by the prejudices and colonialism could explain the difficulties encountered by Dvorak in France, in spite of the constant interest of the public.
Alain Chotil-Fani, Hudebni veda, redakce, Etnologicky ustav AV CR, v.v.i., Puskinovo nam. 9, 160 00 Praha 6, Czech Republic
Publication order reference
CEJSH db identifier