The preference of English audiences for large-scale vocal works led to Dvorák being commissioned in November 1883 to write a cantata for solo voices, chorus and orchestra for the 1885 Birmingham Musical Festival.

As the basis for his composition, Dvorák chose the ballad text “Svatební košile” (literally “The Bridal Gowns”) from the collection “Kytice z povestí národních” (“A Garland of Folk Tales”) by the Czech poet Karel Jaromír Erben (1811–1870).

Dvorák stipulated that the premiere take place in Bohemia. The work was then taken up in England with great enthusiasm.

- Separate edition from the “New Complete Dvorák Edition”, vol. II/2
- New foreword by Daniela Philippi (Cz/Eng/Ger)
- Underlayed singing text in three languages (Cz/Eng/Ger)