Author Topic: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)  (Read 28335 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« on: June 01, 2007, 06:44:07 AM »
Any other admirers of this great Czech composer? He lived long enough to see the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia and wrote a defiant response "De Profundis" (1941), in which despair turns to hope and defiance (something I love in music).

His masterpiece is the choral/orchestral "The Storm" (1908-1910) written for the town of Brno (ironically, considering that the work is about a storm at sea, Brno is apparently further from the sea than anywhere else in Europe!) . There are two fine Suppraphon recordings but it cries out for a modern version (Chandos?).

Do yourself a favour and look out for his "Christchild's Lullaby", the last of his Eight Nocturnes for Voice and Orchestra (Classico CD 191) which is one of the most consoling and beautiful works I know and which would be much better known if performed in concert or on radio. It is `with his South Bohemian Suite, a very atmospheric, late romantic work.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline 71 dB

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2007, 07:18:29 AM »
I remember having heard something interesting from him on radio years ago. I wonder what it was...  ::)
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2007, 07:23:46 AM »
I just discovered him a couple of years ago and don't have much, but I do like this recording of the Slovak Suite



--Bruce
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Offline val

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2007, 02:50:45 AM »
I only have two works of Novak: At the Tatra Mountains, a tone poem conducted by Ancerl and the beautiful 2nd string Quartet (in two movements, A Fugue and a Fantasia): the quartet is a masterpiece and, at least to me, superior to those of Janacek. The version I have, played by the Janacek Quartet seems perfect.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2007, 02:45:34 AM »
I only have two works of Novak: At the Tatra Mountains, a tone poem conducted by Ancerl and the beautiful 2nd string Quartet (in two movements, A Fugue and a Fantasia): the quartet is a masterpiece and, at least to me, superior to those of Janacek. The version I have, played by the Janacek Quartet seems perfect.

Thanks Val, I must search out the Quartet.

The Piano Quintet is a beautiful work:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Novak-Piano-Quintet-V%C3%ADtezslav-Nov%C3%A1k/dp/B0000063CR/ref=sr_1_9/202
« Last Edit: June 03, 2007, 02:49:15 AM by Captain Haddock »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

springrite

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2007, 02:56:03 AM »
I just discovered him a couple of years ago and don't have much, but I do like this recording of the Slovak Suite



--Bruce

This was my introduction to Novak as well, followed a year later by a couple of chamber recordings coupled with Suk. Very enjoyable works. I regret not getting more of his works before I left the States.

Offline Grazioso

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2007, 03:05:23 AM »


Lady Godiva is a beautiful work with an unforgettable main melody and a bit near the end that sounds startlingly like Mahler.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Kurkikohtaus

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2007, 12:18:51 PM »
In the Czech Republic, honestly, Novak is not played very much.  The one piece that does come up with regularity is the Slovácká Suita... BTW, "Slovak Suite" is a mistranslation, it implies the country Slovakia, while the correct "Slovácká" refers to "Slovácko", which is a region in Moravia, in the east of the Czech Republic.

The other piece that big orchestras sometimes play is "O věčné touze" (Of Eternal Longing), which sounds somewhat like La Mer with its whole-tone-scales and sea hymns.

In conclusion, Novak is fine, but one must never assume that just because he is recorded, that he is played as well.

Also, the correct spelling of his first name is Vítěslav (Viteslav).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2007, 10:54:45 PM »
In the Czech Republic, honestly, Novak is not played very much.  The one piece that does come up with regularity is the Slovácká Suita... BTW, "Slovak Suite" is a mistranslation, it implies the country Slovakia, while the correct "Slovácká" refers to "Slovácko", which is a region in Moravia, in the east of the Czech Republic.

The other piece that big orchestras sometimes play is "O věčné touze" (Of Eternal Longing), which sounds somewhat like La Mer with its whole-tone-scales and sea hymns.

In conclusion, Novak is fine, but one must never assume that just because he is recorded, that he is played as well.

Also, the correct spelling of his first name is Vítěslav (Viteslav).

Thank you for that. V interesting to hear.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2007, 05:22:17 AM »
I just discovered him a couple of years ago and don't have much, but I do like this recording of the Slovak Suite



--Bruce

This is the only recording I have, bought because he is never played or relayed and I wanted to explore his music.

I am still exploring.

The comments above make the Chandos recording tantalising, though.

Offline Grazioso

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2007, 02:39:37 AM »
OOP but worth finding:


There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2007, 03:52:46 AM »
OOP but worth finding:




great cd and piano version too
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2009, 06:29:04 AM »
great cd and piano version too

Just acquired this CD.  I have and do appreciate many of Novakian orchestral works.  I've only listened to "Pan" once, so I couldn't offer a detailed comment.  What I can surmise on first listening is that the symphonic poem appears to be a hybrid of Czech and French characteristics.  Baxian and Debussyian elements are highly suggestive. Will give it further listening.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2009, 07:51:02 AM »
Just acquired this CD.  I have and do appreciate many of Novakian orchestral works.  I've only listened to "Pan" once, so I couldn't offer a detailed comment.  What I can surmise on first listening is that the symphonic poem appears to be a hybrid of Czech and French characteristics.  Baxian and Debussyian elements are highly suggestive. Will give it further listening.

Bax and Debussy do come to mind in this work. I like the piano version (Chandos) too. Do you know 'The Storm' ? It is one of my favourite works of all time - an absolute masterpiece.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Daverz

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2009, 09:03:59 AM »
My introduction to the composer was the Sejna recordings of his lovely suites.

http://www.amazon.com/Novak-Orchestral-Eternal-Longing-Moravian-Slovak/dp/B00008FTZZ

These are recorded in good stereo sound.

And then the exciting potboiler The Storm in a good mono recording on Supraphon.

Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2009, 10:04:56 AM »
Bax and Debussy do come to mind in this work. I like the piano version (Chandos) too. Do you know 'The Storm' ? It is one of my favourite works of all time - an absolute masterpiece.

I do have it.  It is a masterpiece to be sure.  There are some "Sukian" moments.  Good composer; I should have owned this long ago.

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2009, 10:15:21 AM »
I've his second and third SQ, the quintet, the Piano Trio "Quasi una Ballata" and a cello sonata. All magnificent works IMO. :D

snyprrr

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2009, 02:25:19 PM »
I can't find Novak's SQ No.3 anywhere. Who, what, where, when, and how???

Novak, Suk, Dohnanyi, Fibich, Bella, Seiber,...I just can't keep 'em straight.

Is there a "Bohemian composers" thread...Dun?...hint hint...

snyprrr

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2009, 02:27:37 PM »
I'm always scared of Czech composers known for their tone poems... scared of ZZZZzzzzz...seriously!

DFO

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Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2009, 03:53:05 PM »
I can't find Novak's SQ No.3 anywhere. Who, what, where, when, and how??

No.1 op.22, No.2 op.35 and No.3 op.66. I've the last 2, the third by
the old Vlach SQ. A marvelous version.Copied from an old Supraphon LP.