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Vítězslav Novák

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Author Topic: Vítězslav Novák  (Read 257 times)
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)

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« on: July 03, 2022, 05:21:34 pm »

It is a profoundly moving work, bravely composed during the Nazi occupation. The South Bohemian Suite is another such work with a defiant political sub-text. I don't agree with the widely held belief that all Novak's greatest works were composed early in his musical career. My favourites come from towards the end of his life. Although not a tone poem we badly need a new recording of his masterpiece 'The Storm' (which is an earlier work).

Novak is not a composer that I know at all (my knowledge of Czech music is pretty much limited to Smetana, Dvorak, Fibich and Martinu). Where should I begin, and is there at least a decent recording of The Storm?

Only two recordings of The Storm AFAIK - both on Supraphon. You could start with the engaging and moving South Bohemian Suite, or the better known Slovak Suite or the gloomy war-time tone poem De Profundis (which has a powerfully redemptive ending). I also like the tone poem 'In The Tatras' and there is some fine chamber music including a piano quintet.

Great, thanks very much!

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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)

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