The Water Goblin


The Water Goblin

The Water Goblin ( _cs. Vodník) is a symphonic poem, Op. 107 (B.195), written by Antonín Dvořák in 1896.

The source of inspiration for "The Water Goblin" was a poem found in a collection published by Karel Jaromír Erben under the title "Kytice"; all six of Dvořák's symphonic poems were inspired by works of poetry found in that collection.

Dvořák's symphonic piece follows Erben's written verses remarkably closely. The music tells the story of a mother and daughter conversing near the banks of a lake; despite the mother's warnings, the daughter approaches the water and is abducted by the malevolent Water Goblin who lives there and is subsequently taken as his wife. After the birth of their first child, the Water Goblin allows her to return to land briefly, using the child as insurance that she will return. However, the young woman fails to do so, and to punish her the Goblin murders the child and throws its battered body at the doorstep of the woman's hut.

The work was premiered in London on 14 November, 1896.


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