The String Quartet No. 12 in
F, Op. 96, B. 179, by Antonín Dvořák is nicknamed the
American and is one of his most popular pieces of chamber
There are four movements - Allegro
ma non troppo, Lento, Molto Vivace and Finale - vivace ma non troppo.
The work lasts around 30
Dvořák composed the Quartet in 1893 during a summer
retreat from his teaching work in New York. He spent his vacation in
Spillville, Iowa, which was home to a Czech immigrant community. Like the
New World Symphony, the Quartet is said to be inspired by local
American melodies but these themes are never directly quoted. On New
Year's Day, 1894, the quartet received its premiere performance in Boston.
The spirited third movement imitates the song of an
American bird. According to Dvořák, this birdsong is quoted by the first
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