SILENT WOODS / KLID, Op.68 Nº5 ……………………… Antonin DVORAK
arrangement for Six Cellos prepared by DAVID JOHNSTONE
Silent Woods (Czech: Klid) is the translated title of the composition by Antonín Dvořák initially published under the German title Waldesruhe. It is the fifth part of the cycle for piano four-hands, Ze Šumavy (From the Bohemian Forest) Op. 68, B. 133, composed in 1883. The work is also transcribed by the composer for cello and piano (B. 173) and for cello and orchestra (B.182).
The original piano cycle Op. 68 was composed in 1883 on demand of Fritz Simrock. As it was popular in the late nineteenth century to make arrangements of popular works for other instruments, on 28th December 1891 Dvořák made an arrangement for cello and piano of the fifth piece, for a farewell concert tour he gave with violinist Ferdinand Lachner and cellist Hanuš Wihan in the first months of 1892 before embarking for the New World. The arrangement became so popular that Dvořák then made a new arrangement for cello and orchestra on 28th October 1893. The arrangements were first published in the fall of 1894 by Fritz Simrock, who changed the German title given by Dvořák – Die Ruhe (The Silence), a literal translation from the Czech Klid – to Waldesruhe (and in English ‘Silent Woods’).
Like the other pieces in Op.68, Silent Woods is a lyrical character piece, bearing the tempo marking Lento e molto cantabile for the main, dreamy theme in D♭ major, which is reprised (Lento. Tempo I) after a light intermezzo (Un pochettino più mosso) in C♯ minor.
The version for six cellos by David Johnstone is half-way between the piano and orchestral versions; liberty may be taken, for example employing more pizzicato accompanying parts which perhaps more resemble the tutti cellos and double basses of the orchestra. Of course, this may be also performed with a cello soloist accompanied by a full cello orchestra!
Enjoy the music!
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