Biblical Songs were composed in just 21 days in 1894. They were one of the few pieces of religious music that Dvorak composed, and are believed to have been stimulated by the recent death of a number of his close friends, including Tchaikovsky.
The expressive text is partnered by a relatively simple musical setting: the beauty of the work is the way in which the composer articulates such a broad range of emotions while remaining quiet and contemplative in nature. The cycle of 10 songs is known for blatant and unexpected key changes, as well as their pentatonic influences.
Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) was best known for his New World Symphony, composed in the short time he spent in America – the rest of his career was spent in his native Bohemia and the rest of Europe.