The ten “Biblical Songs” op. 99 are the culmination of Antonín Dvorák’s song output. This unique cycle, based on Czech Psalm texts from the Kralice Bible, was composed in the United States in 1894. Although Dvorák had already set a number of biblical texts to music, his versions for solo voice with piano accompaniment are the first of their kind in his oeuvre. All the songs share a deep empathy with the meaning of the words and a meticulous declamation of the Czech language.
The principal source for this new edition is the Simrock first print of 1895, which contains a separate music staff with altered notation for the German and English translations. This solution, sanctioned by the composer himself, reflects Dvorák’s essential view of linguistic declamation.
In our previous edition there was only one music staff and the translation attempted to imitate the Czech declamation. In contrast, our new edition has language-specific alternatives directly in the notation, as in the Simrock print.