DVORAK: Poetic Tone Pictures Op. 85, a concert with subtitles

Dvorak wrote : ”it is, however, a pity that probably few pianists will have sufficient courage to play them all in succession…yet only in this way can the listener obtain a proper notion of what I intended, for this time I am not just an absolute composer but also a poet”

On the first week of learning Dvorak’s Poetic Tone Pictures Op. 85, I’ve talked to a friend of mine. “I discovered that Dvorak wrote piano music, but it’s unplayable, is just too difficult”.
But then I started to want to understand it, it took three years to learn, and today I’m convinced that this piece belongs to the great piano master pieces of the 19th century.

The piece is one hour long, (it has 13 movements) and I’ve had a chance to perform it in the United States in Poland and in Bulgaria, always pleased to how the music is precieved by the audience.

For the concert in Sofia, Bulgaria an idea came up: due to the fact that the piece is relatively unknown, write subtitles and screen them during the performance. I combined facts about the piece, and quotes from Dvorak. In this way the audience learned more about the piece as they listened to it, and perhaps appreciated it more. The subtitles included different facts about the piece, with short descriptions of the structural and character of each movement.

More information about the concert in Bulgaria:

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Watch my video of the first movement from the “Poetic Tone Pictures” op. 85:


A few more movements from this live performance:

III. At the Old Castle: Lento
VI. Reverie: Andante
VII. Furiant: Allegro feroce
VIII. Goblins’ Dance: Allegretto
IX. Serenade: Moderato e molto cantabile
XI. Tittle-Tattle: Andante con moto
XIII. At Svata Hora: Poco lento

If you’re interested to host this project or if you would like to ask more details about this project please contact Mr. Reshef via the contact form.

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