Following the great success of the Slavonic Dances op. 46, the publisher Simrock was extremely happy when Dvorak presented him with the prospect of a new cycle for piano, four hands, the “Legends,” in October 1880. Barely a year was to pass before the new work was published. Shortly before this, Dvorak and Simrock had travelled to Karlsbad with the proofs, where the Viennese music critic Eduard Hanslick was taking the waters. They played through the work together and proofread it. Hanslick was delighted and even became the dedicatee of these ten charming pieces. Later he wrote in a review of the Legends that one felt a “sense of pleasure that feels doubly good in our pessimistic times.”
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