7 School String Orchestra Titles from Czech Composers

Czechia has been home to many famous composers, like the Stamitzes, Smetana, Janáček, Dvořák and Suk. Tempo Press has a wide selection of both easy and intermediate arrangements of Czech works for your string orchestra.

Canon

This work is melodically compelling and detailed in timbre, dynamics and articulation, with rich lyricism between the first violin and cello.

Country Wedding from The Moldau

From Smetana’s tone poem, this arrangement does not need to be played at too fast a tempo. An easy work for this grade level, it offers depth and color by preserving the composer’s first and second cello parts. The result is a rich and charming piece. 

Largo from Symphony No. 9 - “New World”

This passage from Dvorak’s famous New World Symphony has been expertly arranged for school orchestras by Sandra Dackow. This easy arrangement remains entirely in first position. It requires some double stops and some divisi playing. As with all Sandra Dackow Editions, the parts have been carefully fingered and bowed for best musical effect. This piece is sure to be popular with students and teachers alike.

Legend, Op. 59, No. 6

Adhering closely to the original four-hand piano version, this arrangement retains the beautifully lyrical lines which offer the student orchestra the opportunity to concentrate on bow control and the development of left-hand tonal warmth. The split cello part adds lush sonorities while all parts remain interestingly involved in the primary melodic material.

 

Song to the Moon from Rusalka

Dvorak’s most famous aria has been arranged for the intermediate string orchestra. Extensive divisi passages give young orchestras a rich, full sound.

Symphony in D Major, Op. 5 No. 2: Presto

Introduce your students to Johann Stamitz and the early-classical period with this great title from renowned arranger Robert McCashin.

 

Symphony No. 8 In G Major, Op. 88 Finale

While perhaps not as widely recognized as his “New World” Symphony, Dvorák’s 8th is also loved. In this arrangement of the final movement, the entire orchestra gets a workout. The simplification and adjustment of the movement’s form compliment the original work.

New Music Friday

New Music Friday: Tango Americana

The Tango is a study in syncopation and accent. This original piece uses two themes, one in the key of F major and another in the relative minor. You can augment the overall Tango feel by using the included percussion parts for claves, bongo drums, and maracas.

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New Music Friday

New Music Friday: Personent Hodie

The tune used in this carol is believed to have originated in Germany, possibly around 1360. This arrangement stays relatively faithful to the melody, which is presented in groups of upper strings and lower strings. All parts can be played in first position, although the cello has several measures of divisi. At the marked tempo, the piece runs about two and a half minutes.

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New Music Friday

New Music Friday: The Changing Timepiece

This work is a set of brief variations based on the theme from the slow movement of Franz Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 101. This symphony is nicknamed “The Clock” due to the “tick-tock” effect that you will hear accompanying the theme. This work was created to be a teaching tool. Depending on what the students already were exposed to, this piece offers a chance to deal with changing time signatures, changing key signatures, changing tempi, col legno technique, subito, Grand Pause, tremolo, what are variations, what an old-fashioned mechanical clock sounds like, as well as historical information about Haydn and his symphonies.

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New Music Friday

New Music Friday: Slavonic Dance Op. 46, No. 2

Antonín Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances were originally composed to be played on the piano by two performers. The composer then created orchestrations for full orchestra, bringing him much recognition as a composer. This string orchestra arrangement increases the opportunities for even more performers and audiences to enjoy it.

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