"Dvorak and Janacek"

Antonín Dvořák
Public DomainAntonín Dvořák


Leoš Janáček
Public DomainLeoš Janáček

Antonín Leopold Dvořák (1841-1904; “dvor-ZHOCK”) and Leoš Janáček (1824-1928; “YON-a-check”) are, along with Bedřich Smetana, the most important and well-known composers from Czechoslovakia.

Dvořák made use of the folk tunes of Moravia and his native Bohemia, and is best known for his Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”; it was composed in New York City during the three years he lived and worked in the United States, 1892-1895) and the Slavonic Dances. The “New World Symphony” has a simple tune in the second movement that is reminiscent of a traditional negro spiritual, so another composer set lyrics to it which he titled “Goin’ Home.” Neil Armstrong took a copy of the New World on the Apollo 11 mission, for the first moon landing.

Janáček was also inspired by Moravian and Czech folk music for much of his work, as well as influenced by Dvořák, with whom he was acquainted. His most famous works are the symphonic poem “Sinfonietta” and the rhapsody “Taras Bulba.”