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Czech Music


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Author Topic: Czech Music  (Read 7451 times)
jowcol
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« on: August 17, 2012, 02:16:50 pm »

Symphony by Pavel Blatny (1984)


Prague Symphony Orchestra
Vladimir Valek, Conductor
Private recording of a live performance

From the collection of Karl Miller

I've sorry I've not been able to dig up more about Blatny-- maybe some of you can, but he's one of these more recent composers that studied serialism and then moved to a much simpler (and emotionally satisfying) idiom.  He's dabbled, at one time or another with Neoclassicism, Jazz, Rock, serialism, and neoromanticism.

 I'd consider this to be a very melodic and approachable work, barring some occasional unexpected jumps that make more sense the second time around. And  unlike the products of  some "polystylists" , this work seems to hold together well. The Third movement is one of those classic elegaic, yet brooding, third movements that a Shostakovich or Myaskovsky would write, and I've been listening several times. Anyway--  your mileage may vary.


Here is some more  about Blatny (who is not to be confused with the Chess Champion of the same name):




Biography

Pavel Blatny hails from a musical family (his father, composer Josef Blatny studied with Leos Janacek). Having graduated from the Brno University (Musicology) and Conservatory, where he studied piano, conducting and composition, he started to study composition with Pavel Borkovec. The studies accented Blatny's inclination to neoclassicism which prefigured his first compositional period. It is characterized by Blatny's admiration for Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Martinu; he absorbed their artistic legacy and remelted it into an individual expression, featuring, among other things, independent application of two differing sound layers, which alternate in the course of the composition as two interlocutors (it is also denoted "the dialogue principle").

At the end of the '50s the neoclassical period was replaced by composer's interest in contemporary compositional techniques. Pavel Blatny was one of the first Czech explorers in twelve-tone system composition, but he was also one of the first who realized its limits and shortcomings. His individual way of composition arose from the effort to relax the rigor of dodecaphonic combustion and it is characterized by the aspiration to achieve a synthesis of the rational composition system and the spontaneity of direct musical expression, a synthesis of classical music and jazz, often described as "the third stream". Of all his compositions of this character, Concerto for Jazz Orchestra and 0:10:30 for symphony orchestra are especially notable. Thanks to that creative concept, Pavel Blatny's name gained quick popularity at home and abroad. He appeared in eighth place in the American jazz critics' charts for Down Beat magazine in 1966, in 1967 in fifth place, although he has never been a jazz musician per se.

In his third stream works Pavel Blatny was above all seeking a way to the listener. As in the course of the '60s it was becoming ever more apparent that compositions respecting the tonal feeling are most comprehensible to listeners, Blatny returned to tonality (for the first time in the composition called D-E-F-G-A-H-C in 1967). His third stream works underwent a specific development; while at the beginning of the '60s we could characterize it as an amalgamation of approaches used then by New Music and jazz, at the end of the '60s and in the '70s we must speak of a synthesis of jazz and neoclassical or neorenaissance elements.

At the beginning of the '80s Blatny's composition style developped from the third stream to classical genres, tonality, trim form, deliberately archaizing and simplified expression. This period began with The Willow, a cantata setting of K. J. Erben's popular poem which was awarded in 1981 the Czech Composers and Concert Artists' Union Prize, then followed the symphonic movement Bells and another two Erbenian cantatas Christmas Eve and The Noonday Witch.

Importation and comprehensibility of contemporary music has been Pavel Blatny's aim in his creative endeavor so far. Spontaneous response to his extensive works (more than 500 compositions) that widespread and encompasses almost all kinds of music is a testimony to the success of his endeavor.

The synthesis of New music, jazz from the sixties, and the rock innovations by his son Marek (Confrontation, Play, Meditation) is characteristic for Pavel Blatny's more recent works which he wrote in the 1990s and in the first decade of the 21th century. Some of his late works are also inspired by his own earlier compositions (Erbeniade), and even by the works of his father Josef Blatny (Luhačovice Melancholy and others). Above all it is the method of polystylism which triumphs in his late works, e.g. Antivariation on the timbre of Antonin Dvořák, lately An Old Chant.

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jowcol
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2012, 02:12:20 pm »

Music of Miloslav Istvan


Zaklinani Casu
Rozhlasu Symphony Orchestra
Frantisek Jilek, Conductor

Six Studies
Brno State Philharmonic Orchestra
Jiri Waldhans, Conductor

Dissonance Alert
In case any of you are wondering why most of my new posts have been more modernist, it's because I've been accumulating a backlog of works I was reluctant to post on UC.  

From the collection of Karl Miller


Wikipedia Bio

Miloslav Ištvan
(2 September 1928 in Olomouc – 20 January 1990, aged 61) was a Czech composer whose work was inspired by the works of Béla Bartók and by the orientation of the modal style of folk songs. He studied Romanian and African folklore. He also attempted a synthesis of classical and pop music genres.
In 1947 he graduated at the gymnasium in Brno-Žabovřesky, and later he pursued his studies at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno.[1] He studied composition as a pupil of Jaroslav Kvapil.[1]



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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2012, 02:16:50 pm »

Karel Jirak Symphony #3  (1938)


Ostrava Symphony Orchestra
Josef Hrncir, Conductor
Private Recording(?), Date Unknown.
Unable to find a commercial digital release.

From the collection of Karl Miller

If you like 20th century Late Romantic with a touch of modern to it, you will be right at home with this work.


Wikipedia Bio:
Karel Boleslav Jirák (Karel Bohuslav Jirák) (*January 28, 1891 in Prague, Bohemia - †January 30, 1972 in Chicago, Illinois, USA) was a Czechoslovak composer and conductor.

Jirák was born in Prague and became a pupil of Josef Bohuslav Foerster and Vítězslav Novák at the Charles University and at music academy in Prague .
From 1915 to 1918 he was the Kapellmeister at the Hamburg Opera and worked from 1918 to 1919 as a conductor at the National Theatre in Brno and Ostrava. From 1920 to 1930, he was a composition teacher at the Prague Conservatory, and principal conductor of the Czechoslovak Radio Orchestra until 1945.
In 1947, he emigrated to the USA, where from 1948 to 1967 a professor at Roosevelt University, Chicago and in 1967 a composition teacher at the Conservatory college in Chicago. He remained in this position until 1971.

Jirák's opera was Apolonius z Tyany (Apollonius of Tyana, 1912–1913), which was initially ignored by Prague's National Theatre and later accepted under the title Žena a Bůh (The woman and the god, 1936). He wrote six symphonies and several symphonic variations. In 1952 he wrote a Symphonic Scherzo for volume. He also wrote many suites and overtures, numerous pieces of chamber music, many preludes and a Suite for organ, a Requiem, choruses, and song cycles. He was a popular and renowned musical theorist.


Bio from the Wind Repertory Project:
Karel B. Jirak (born in Prague, Czech Republic, 28 January 1891; died in Chicago, IL, 30 January 1972), was a Czech composer. He studied with Vitezslav Novak and Joseph B. Foerster at Charles University and the Academy of Music in Prague. Following his studies, he was appointed conductor of the Hamburg Opera in 1915 and from 1918-19, was the conductor of the National Theater in Brno. From 1920-1930, he became professor of composition at Prague Conservatory after which time, he became music director of the Czechoslovak Radio from 1930-1945.

In 1947, he was invited to Chicago to deliver some lectures at Roosevelt University, but after the communist take-over in 1948, he decided to stay in the USA. From 1948 until 1967, he was Chairman of the Theory Department at Roosevelt University. And following that, from 1967 to 1971, he served as Professor of Composition at Chicago Conservatory College.

Karel Jirak composed over 90 works among which are 1 opera, 6 symphonies, 7 string quartets, Symphonic Variation (1941), Piano Concerto, Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orcehstra (1957), Violin Sonata, Viola Sonata, Flute Sonata, Wind Quintet (1928), Clarinet Sonata (1947), and Requiem for solo quartet, chorus, organ and orchestra (1952). He is the author of a textbook on musical form (1924) and between 1945-46 while still in Prague, wrote monographs on W. A. Mozart, Zdenek Fibich and Jan Herman, the Czech piano virtuoso. Later on, while in the USA, he wrote a small study about Antonin Dvorak for a SVU presentation.


Interesting tidbit:
In searching for material about Jirak, I found this in a short bio for Elizabeth Maconchy:
Quote
As a composer, however, Maconchy was less attracted by the music of Vaughan Williams and the English pastoralists than by the central European modernism of Bartók, Janácek. Traveling to Prague, she studied with the Czech composer Karel Jirak, expanding her knowledge of this form of modernism and being particularly influenced by Bartók’s use of counterpoint.







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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2012, 05:08:25 pm »

Ctriad Kohoutek- Festivals of Light



Vaclav Halir, bass; Alena Vesela, Organ
Brno State Philharmonic Orcherstra
Otakar Trhlik, conductor
Source LP: Supraphon 1110 2487

From the collection of Karl Miller

Some dissonant moments, but the end is quite tonal.  Your mileage may vary...



I've found the same blurb in a few spots on the internet-- not sure who wrote it first.

Ctirad Kohoutek (born 18 March 1929) is a Czech composer, music theorist and pedagogue. He has served as Professor of composition at the Academy of Music Arts in Prague (1980-1990), Artistic Director of the Czech Philharmonic (1980-1987), and Senior Lecturer of composition, theory and conductor at the JAMU (1953 - 1980).

In his first creative period, Kohoutek coped with the classical and romantic heritage as well as the influence of folklore. He gradually arrived at the critical unorthodox application and synthesis of modern composition principles which, in 1957, crystallized in his own project composition method. This method consists in drawing up a composition plan in graphic form with a time axis which is realized in concrete sound form in the process of creation. Every composition is given its individual form and stratification of expression in agreement with its message. Since 1965, Ctirad Kohoutek has written most of his works in this manner. His latest period in the work is characterized by a simplification of compositional means and the effort for communicativeness of the music.


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kyjo
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2012, 10:47:05 pm »

I cannot thank you enough, MVS and Elroel, for re-posting the Czech downloads from UC here Smiley Smiley Smiley. This really means a lot to me, as I am no longer a member at UC. Again, many thanks Grin!
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2012, 03:29:44 am »

Well, thanks for the thanks!  Smiley I'm thinking there should be a deluge of stuff on its way, (and dozens of categories) as soon as some of our more prolific uploaders get some free time.   Smiley Grin
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kyjo
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2012, 02:28:27 am »

I would like to thank Dundonnell and fr8nks for their recent uploads of Jaroslav Ridky's music (I am currently catalgouing him). But I have one question: Does the Overture for Large Orchestra you uploaded by any chance have the subtitle "Predehra", as well as being op. 11, Frank? A composition with such a subtitle and opus number is included in my catalogue. If it does not have this subtitle or opus number, then I have not included it in my Ridky catalgoue and will have to add to it. Additional information would be greatly appreciated Smiley!
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2012, 03:15:51 am »

Ridky wrote only one Overture. This is the op.11 "Predehara" of 1929 and must therefore be the piece uploaded.
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Gerard
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2012, 03:37:03 am »

. . . I have one question: Does the Overture for Large Orchestra you uploaded by any chance have the subtitle "Predehra", as well as being op. 11, Frank? . . .

Actually it is not a subtitle, just a translation. Or to put it another way, the Czech word for "overture" is "předehra"; and the English word for "předehra" is "overture"!
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Appreciative, or investigatory, that is the question . . .
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2012, 04:24:04 am »

Thanks for that clarification Smiley

I was beginning to wonder since the word seems to occur a lot in Czech-language catalogues Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2012, 07:38:54 am »

Here are a few more that I personally have found useful, since most of them bear no obvious relation to words in English, French or German:

housle = violin
smyčcový = string (as in string orchestra, string quartet, etc.)
lesní roh = French horn
flétna = flute
komorní orchestr = chamber orchestra
komorní hudba = chamber music
trubka = trumpet
pozoun = trombone (i.e. German Posaune)
dechové nástroje = wind instruments
bicí nástroj = percussion instrument
hrají = performed by
řídí = conducted by
zpívat = sing
a = and
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kyjo
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« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2012, 11:54:07 am »

Thank you very much for the clarification, Gerard. Czech definitely isn't my language Grin!
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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2012, 02:50:04 pm »

Thanks to all for the clarifications. I previously owned the LP that the Overture was taken from and posted all the information that was available. However, an error was just brought to my attention by a private message concerning a previous post at UC. An astute member observed that Cello Concertos Nos.1 & 2 are identical. Concerto No.1 was sent to me by a member of UC (also a member here) and I assumed the information was correct without comparing it to No.2 and posted it with his permission on UC. Cello Concerto No.2 is labeled correctly and was taken from an LP that I had in my possession. I will try to correct the posting at UC. It was also correctly brought to my attention that I should have uploaded No.2 into a different folder designated for previous posts from UC. I am sorry for the mistakes.
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« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2012, 03:50:17 am »

Thanks for this batch of Czech music MVS, the Kucera is actually the link for the symphony of Kubicka.
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« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2012, 02:01:07 pm »

Ah!  Thanks!  How that happened I cannot imagine! 
Oh!  I see!
Now it's the right one.
(Pretty exciting ending on this one!)
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