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  • Writer's pictureMusic for Christ

String Quartet No. 12 - Dvorak

Dvorak wrote this quartet with the intention of capturing, or creating, a sound for America. Though the piece is beautiful, I think Dvorak failed in his intent. To me, an American, the piece doesn’t fit the bill. Pieces by Sousa expressly created for American ceremonies certainly sound American. Gershwin and Rodgers & Hammerstein sound American to me, especially the early years of American musical theater. The flavors used in Dvorak’s quartet sound foreign rather than familiar.

But it’s okay! We all have times where we set out to do something, with the best of intentions, and fail miserably. The consolation is that we know that G-d judges on our intentions, not just our outcomes. See here:

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword—piercing right through to a separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 TLV)

The same way G-d absolves us when our righteous deeds miss the mark, we can pardon Dvorak for his unfamiliar-sounding piece. It’s still a pretty cool music, anyway.

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