Symphony number 9 is for most people the only work by Dvořák they know. In fact, it is so well known it made it to space: Neil Armstrong took it with him on his trip to the moon. It is mostly the second part that is known though, because it was used in many pop renditions.
I’m talking about maybe one of the best known symphonies in the world, so I’m going to add a link to Spotify, even though it is not this recording.
Dvořák wrote this when he was living in the US. They wanted some new European style music to inspire their own composers. In 1892 the US didn’t have much classical music of its own, so they invited a European composer to take the lead. Dvořák was invited as director of the National Conservatory of Music of America.
Even though he had huge successes in New York, Dvořák was never really happy in his new homeland. He suffered from homesickness, and left New York after two years to live in a Czech community in Iowa. But even that didn’t help him and in 1895 he left, going back to his homeland in Bohemia.
He did write his best works in America though. He wrote this symphony, but also his famous cello concerto, and his string quartet in F major. I guess all the sadness inspired him.