We talked about Antonín Dvořák back in April 2009. He was a Czech composer (born 1841, died 1904).
In the summer of 1894, Dvořák wrote a collection of "humoresques" (pronounced HEW-more-ESKS) for piano. A "humoresque" was a popular style in the late 1800s. It meant that the piece was happy or funny (humorous). The collection that he wrote contains eight short pieces. It's the seventh piece that we'll be listening to today.
The seventh humoresque is marked poco lento e grazioso, which means "a little slow and graceful". It was written in a major key, so it has a happy sound to it. But it does have a section in the middle that changes to a minor key, and sounds a little sad. But then it goes right back to a happy major.
As I mentioned, this was originally written for piano, but when the publisher saw how popular the seventh humoresque was, arrangements for violin and other instruments were made as well.
Jon's Introduction to This Piece:
I have no idea when I first heard this piece. This is frequently found in cartoons, TV & movies, so I likely heard it there first. I don't remember a time when I didn't know it.
Here's Humoresque No. 7 in G-flat Major by Antonín Dvořák. Enjoy!