Dissertation Index

Author: Kinton, Leslie

Title: A Documentary Study and Schenkerian Analysis of Dvořák’s Symphony in D minor, op. 70

Institution: University of Toronto

Begun: September 2004

Completed: November 2008


This dissertation is a detailed examination of Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony in D Minor, op. 70. The first chapter argues that much of the reception history of both Dvořák and the Symphony in D Minor has more to do with biographical misinformation and stereotypical assumptions regarding the composer’s national origin than with his actual music; because of the focus on Dvořák’s so-called “nationalist” output at the expense of works like op. 70, this chapter also proposes that the history of the nineteenth-century symphony as it is presently taught is critically flawed.

Chapter 2 examines the primary sources of op. 70, including the holograph, the sketches, and cuts which Dvořák made to the 2nd movement after the 1885 premiere. This examination is not an exhaustive description of the documents, but rather a discussion of the work’s genesis as it pertains directly to an analysis of the finished score. Based on the cuts to the 2nd movement (all of which have been preserved), a hypothetical reconstruction of the movement’s genesis is detailed. A complete transcription of the sketches is also included to give the discussion context.

The last four chapters constitute the main part of the dissertation, and consist of a Schenkerian analysis of the entire symphony, including complete foreground and middleground sketches, as well as commentary on the more salient features of the analysis. Both the analysis and the documents should help put to rest the common picture of Dvořák as a “naive nationalist” who wrote mainly from instinct and whose music is attractive but without much intellectual depth. As an ultimate goal, this dissertation seeks to contribute to the process of Dvořák’s taking his proper place as one of the musical and intellectual giants of nineteenth-century romanticism.

Keywords: Dvořák, Schenker, analysis, source study, sketchbook, holograph, reception, affect


List of Figures

1 Purpose and Goal
Dvořák the “Naive Nationalist”
Secondary Sources
Overall Plan

2 The Primary Sources
The Sketches
Physical Description
1st Movement
2nd Movement
3rd Movement
4th Movement
Cuts to the 2nd Movement
The Holograph
Physical Description
Transcription of Dvořák’s Sketches for op. 70

3 The First Movement
Foreground Sketch of the First Movement

4 The Second Movement
Foreground Sketch of the Second Movement

5 The Third Movement
Foreground Sketch of the Third Movement

6 The Fourth Movement
Foreground Sketch of the Fourth Movement



Leslie Kinton
15d-20 Prince Arthur Ave.,
Toronto, Ont.,
M5R 1B1,

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