Joseph Haydn

Antonín Dvořák

Trio No. 4 Op. 90 B. 166 in E minor



The "Dumky" trio is one of the composer's best known works. "Dumky", the plural of "dumka", is a term introduced into Slavic languages from Ukrainian. Originally, it is a diminutive form of the term douma(doumi in the plural), which refers to the epic ballad, specifically the laments of captive characters. In the XIXe century, composers in other Slavic countries began to use the term douma to describe dark, introspective musical pieces interspersed with light, happy movements. Dvořák employed the dumka form in several other works, including the Dumka for Solo Piano, Op. 35, the Slavonic Dances, the String Sextet, and the Piano Quintet, Op. 81. 

Composed between November 1890 and February 1891, it was premiered on April 11, 1891 in Prague by Ferdinand Lachner on violin, Hanuš Wihan on cello, and the composer on piano. The work was so well received that Dvořák decided to perform it during his farewell tour of forty concerts in Moravia and Bohemia before his departure for the United States, where he would direct the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York. Published while the composer was in America, the trio was reviewed by his friend Johannes Brahms

The piece is divided into six rather short pieces:

  • Dumka I Lento maestoso (Allegro quasi doppio movimiendo - in E minor, then major)
  • Dumka II Poco adagio (Vivace non troppo/Vivace - in C sharp minor)
  • Dumka III Andante (Vivace non troppo/Allegretto - in A major )
  • Dumka IV Andante moderato (Allegro scherzando, Quasi tempo di marci - in D minor, then major)
  • Dumka V Allegro (in E flat major)
  • Dumka VI Lento maestoso (in C minor, then major)

It is composed of six dumky in total. The first three follow one another without interruption and are written in harmonically similar keys, creating the effect of a long first movement. The last three are presented in different keys, giving the impression of three more movements, and thus of a four-movement work.

Source :řák


Paul Cézanne (1839 - 1906), Madame Cézanne in the greenhouse (1891), oil on canvas, 92 x 73 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manhattan, New York City, USA, North America.