Author Topic: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)  (Read 75386 times)

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Offline kyjo

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1020 on: January 10, 2018, 09:50:43 AM »
Yes, that repeated motif in Martinu’s music is a signature and you’re not going crazy Kyle! Oh wait....never mind about the going crazy part, you’re already crazy as is everyone that frequents GMG. :D

You got me there! :laugh:

Offline Brian

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1021 on: January 18, 2018, 12:30:36 PM »
Many thanks for the welcome.  I've posted here before, though not often, and was very happy to see the Martinů thread so active upon my return.  I will update everyone here by letting you know that score and parts for a projected Volume 4 are in the final stages of preparation.  They are for the astonishing early ballet Noc ('Night').  Although a one-acter, the score is extremely demanding of resources - it calls for three harps, keyed glockenspiel, celesta, xylophone, piano, and a female choir behind the scenes (in addition to all the instruments you would expect).  Metrically, it is extraordinarily complex.  A fascinating piece with some exceptionally bold effects!

Since January 2017, I have been the chairman of the International Martinů Circle.  If anyone here is interested in joining, feel free to email me at michael.crump@sky.com.

Meanwhile, after midnight vanishes tonight, it will be a New Year - a happy one for all, I hope!
Michael,

I never responded to your posts before but I'm so very happy to see you on here and hope you stick around to talk Martinů with us. I just (2:45 ago) put the new disc on streaming and am very excited by the hour ahead!

Offline relm1

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1022 on: January 19, 2018, 04:53:12 PM »
I was pleased to see this recording getting some pre-release attention on this forum, having been responsible for producing the score and orchestral parts for the main work Vanishing Midnight.  I was also present at the recording sessions in January and can promise you an enthralling addition to the CD series of early orchestral works.  Vanishing midnight has never been recorded - indeed, only the central movement has ever been performed, and that just twice in the 1920s.  In this work Martinů seems to be summing up his achievements to date, before moving on to new territory in his next ballet Who is the Most Powerful in the World?.  The first movement begins with suggestions of his recent ballet Istar, but for the most part is an elaborate symphonic waltz gaining steadily in speed, rhythmic vitality until a dramatic collapse brings back the sounds of the opening.

The central movement has two distinct sections - the first is slow, unveiling an innocuous theme which will inflate to terrifying proportions when it reappears in the finale.  The textures are very complex, with the strings often divided into nine parts - but Martinů's characteristic luminosity of sound is present throughout.  The faster section brings rhythms reminiscent of Debussy - e.g. Fetes from his Nocturnes - stirring brass fanfares and dazzlingly bright orchestration.  Once more the music seems to collapse under its own momentum - the movement ends on a chilling note as two solo violins spiral upwards over eerie bitonal harmonies.

Despite the riches of the first two movements, I feel it is the finale ('Shadows') which will be the main talking point of this CD.  It depicts the disquiet that can arise in the human soul in the hours after midnight and sounds like nothing else Martinů ever wrote (with the possible exception of The Angel of Death, but we are a long way from being able to hear that  early symphonic poem).   Frantically billowing strings, sinister chromatic motives and tangled contrapuntal lines jostle for attention - like the soundtracks of horror films yet to be produced.  At the centre of the movement, harp and pizzicato violins suggest the ticking of a clock counting down to some unspecified disaster - and for me, one of the most impressive sections follows, as this material is developed and accelerated at length, opening out into a restatement of earlier material.  The conclusion is, unusually for Martinů, brutally pessimistic.

The release date is now January 5th 2018.  Having found this thread and started my post after 1am, I'm writing while too tired to describe Vanishing Midnight with the eloquence it deserves.  But I hope I've done enough to intrigue some of you to investigate it!

Michael Crump

I really enjoyed this release and found "Vanishing Midnight" to feel far shorter than its duration.  Is it possible to get the full score for study purposes?

Online Baron Scarpia

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1023 on: January 19, 2018, 05:02:15 PM »
This upcoming release from Toccata Classics (Vol. 3 in their series of his early orchestral works) sounds very intriguing, to say the least:


Seems like this disc is not distributed in the U.S., and must be purchased from overseas. Am I mistaken? Or is it just not out yet?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 05:05:05 PM by Baron Scarpia »

Offline relm1

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1024 on: January 19, 2018, 05:15:52 PM »
Seems like this disc is not distributed in the U.S., and must be purchased from overseas. Am I mistaken? Or is it just not out yet?

You are mistaken.  I am in the US and heard it today on Spotify.  It was just released today here.

Online Baron Scarpia

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1025 on: January 19, 2018, 05:23:35 PM »
You are mistaken.  I am in the US and heard it today on Spotify.  It was just released today here.

I'm referring to the CD. The link supplied above only shows it shipped from locations in the U.K.

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1026 on: January 19, 2018, 06:51:01 PM »
Arkiv music shows it in their New Releaes thread as of today.

Offline jidlomonster

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1027 on: January 20, 2018, 01:51:46 AM »
I really enjoyed this release and found "Vanishing Midnight" to feel far shorter than its duration.  Is it possible to get the full score for study purposes?

I'm very pleased at the response to Vanishing Midnight on this forum.  Sorry to say, though, that the score and parts are only available through the Scott Hire Library (this is the case also with the ballets Stín, which we did on Volume Two, and Noc, which we hope will be the main work on Volume 4.

Offline jidlomonster

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1028 on: January 20, 2018, 01:54:43 AM »
Michael,

I never responded to your posts before but I'm so very happy to see you on here and hope you stick around to talk Martinů with us. I just (2:45 ago) put the new disc on streaming and am very excited by the hour ahead!
Thank you for the welcome Brian.  I hope the remainder of that hour fulfilled your expectations.  It has been gratifying for me to see not only a warm welcome to our new CD, but that the Martinů thread seems to be one of the longest composer threads on this forum.  That's just how it should be, of course!

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