Anton Dvorak

To Christine Walewska

Have I had something to say?
Have I had something to give?

Fabio Uccelli – Anton Dvorak’s Farewell (translated by John Denton)

This short study was written to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of Anton Dvorak’s B minor Cello Concerto Op. 104. This deeply meaningful masterpiece occupies a particularly significant place in late 19th. century music.

The reader’s attention is drawn to the fact that the analysis presented here is of a psychological, archetypal kind. This is why an appendix has been added, where the musical language used for this analysis is illustrated, together with the general historical context. Readers are advised to consult the appendix before turning to the part concerning the concerto and its performances.

Both players and conductors will find here detailed points which could contribute to their ideas about performance. Music lovers will be able to find deep rooted explanations for their feelings when listening to the work. Musicologists, music historians and psychologists, and neurophysiologists will be able, each according to his/her needs, to examine the “unifying” archetypal hypothesis, foreground its basic aspects and go deeper into them. Limits may be noticed and the methodology required to use the hypothesis productively developed.

An orchestral score of the concerto should be used together with this study as an aid to better understanding of detailed points. Listening to the two recorded performances discussed would contribute greatly to appreciation of the analysis presented here.

Fabio Uccelli