Author Topic: Czech Composers post Martinu  (Read 11931 times)

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DieNacht

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2011, 10:54:37 AM »
At least two more should be mentioned:

Lubos Fiser (1935-1999): "The 15 Pictures after Dürer" for orchestra quickly became a modern classic in the 60s; but he tends to repeat himself in his works. He wrote a lot of music to interesting Czechoslovak films as well.

Jan Klusak (1934-  ): he has only written a small amount of works, including the great "Mahler Variations" for orchestra (based on the "Adagietto") and 5 string quartets.






snyprrr

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2011, 01:33:31 PM »
I accidentally just destroyed my whole post :-[ :-\ :(
...haha, so now I will punish you with this, haha...

ok...

I've been listening to Husa's Pulitzer Prize winning SQ No.3 from 1969. I had been waiting quite a while to finally hear this missing piece of the '60s US SQ puzzle. Shapey, Carter, Perle, Kirchner, Druckman, Brown, Shifrin,... you know, the usual suspects.

I had built this piece up in my head (much like I did with R. Murray Schafer), but what finally hit my ears was quite a relevatory disappointment. So, apparently Husa was the inventor of the 1980s SQ! What I thought was going to be THE '60s cool-experimental SQ turned out to be what I call the Iron Curtain Sound, that dreary, un-tonally-descript debressing, boring, noisy amalgam of sounds so typical of Polish and East German, etc..., composers of the '60s and '70s. A more "musical" Penderecki come to mind here, but not in the good way, for me. Husa's SQ sounds like improv on post-Bartok night music, but, really, the special effects here are more "note" based than "sound" based,...uh... Terry Riley's raga-grind-folk ritual-brutality-Kronos sound comes to mind.

In other words, the kind of "avant garde" I don't like. That it won the Pulitzer obviously... well, it WAS the '60s, ok, and Kirchner's SQ No.3 w/tape, quite a hoot!, won in 1967...so,...

I could really go on about the depressing qualities of this music. Ha, obviously I muuust like something about this grey-grimey music. The funny thing is, the notes state how the musicians are playing these great, rare, instruments, and yet with the close recording, and the grating qualities of the music, the instruments sound absolutely aweful!!! :o

Now I got it. If you like Gorecki's SQ style, but without the minimalism, and with more straight '60s goofy semi-improv sounding noise/Penderecki, but without the charm of Kagel, then Husa is for you. The Jacob Druckman SQ No.2, from 1966, is more of what I would have be looking for here (now therrre's an SQ that brims with '60s experimental exhuberance).

Perhaps Nancy Van de Vate's 1969 SQ sounds similar, too? I am being drawn to dreary SQs from 1967-73, I don't know why. Perhaps a Vanilla Fudge moment.

I think my point is, is that this type of SQ became de rigeur in the '80s, when inspiration was certainly flagging (right before the big tech boom of the '90s). It has that quasi-improv sound that makes me think of composers slumming. Segerstam almost comes to mind, but then again, Schnittke specialized in this kind of dreary sound; as a matter of fact, Schnittke's SQ No.1, from 1966, has similarities.

Anyhow,... this waaas the last of the GreatUnknown SQs of the ExperimentalEra that I hadn't heard, so, let me tell ya, it's nooot the last word in anything! I have noticed that certain composer hype precedes them. And, the recording is deliciously bad, in that great '60s way! ;D



Other than that, I did enjoy Music for Prague, but then, who hasn't?

Aha, the good'ole days! ::) ::) ::)

Offline some guy

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2011, 02:26:35 PM »
Fiser and Klusak would be two of my picks, too. That variations of Klusak's has long been a favorite of mine.

I'm sadly uninformed about newer Czech music. I have a lot of 20th century Czech music, even fairly recent stuff. But I haven't run across anyone along the lines of Lachenmann or Neumann (Andrea, not Vaclav) or Yoshihide.

There is a new festival in Prague, though. Echofluxx. I have high hopes for that one. (I wasn't able to attend the first one in July of this year, and getting to the second one, in April of next year, is going to be a bit of a struggle. But I do have a DVD of the first one. I just pop that into the machine, huh?)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2013, 07:06:43 AM »
Thought I'd place this here rather than start up a Kalabis thread, which would probably suffer the same tragic fate as my 'Lopes-Graca thread'  ???

Anyway, I was delighted to see this release as it includes the first CD release of the old Supraphon version of 'Sinfonia Pacis' (mentioned above), far superior to the Smetacek version which appeared some years ago on Praga. The Sinfonia Pacis (Symphony No 2) is in my opinion a very fine work - certainly Kalabis's masterpiece as far as I'm concerned. It ends with a wonderful tolling bell type sequence, juxtaposed against a simple child-like theme, which I find very moving. In the Smetacek version it is played much too fast but here (Kosler) it is just right and far more affecting. Of course I wish it had been issued on a single CD but this inexpensive three CD set at least allows me to explore some other works by Kalabis. I guess that his style might appear to admirers of Honegger, Kabelac or Kokkonen. The accompanying booklet is interesting and includes a number of photos of Kalabis.  I was interested to hear that an a time of increasing anti-semitism in post-war Czecholovakia he married a Holocaust survivor. Do look out for Sinfonia Pacis, especially in this recording.  It is one of the key works I have been waiting for reissue on CD. Looking forward to being inundated with replies.  8)

« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 07:11:53 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline San Antone

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2013, 08:00:43 AM »
There is a series of Contemporary Czech Music, I've seen many volumes:

This is Vol. III - String Quartets



The other volumes focus on other genres.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2013, 08:37:29 AM »
The apparent oddity of the Liturgy of Saint Jn Chrysostom and pure chamber music on the same CD aside, all this of Giorgio's is very good.

Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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http://www.karlhenning.com/
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Catison

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2019, 10:55:01 AM »
Anyone heard anything else by Jan Novak.  He is a dead ringer for Martinu.  He studied with him up until Martinu died, so it makes sense.

-Brett

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2019, 01:23:47 PM »
Anyone heard anything else by Jan Novak.  He is a dead ringer for Martinu.  He studied with him up until Martinu died, so it makes sense.



He sounds peculiar, I like his style. The rhythmic vivacity, even the influences by his namesake, or better, his last-name-sake, Vitezslav Novak. Just a bit less-interesting good than Martinu, but equally a formidable Czech gentleman.

Offline Rinaldo

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2019, 05:06:47 AM »
If microtonal music is your cup of intervals, Hába is a must.

Kabeláč.. well, witness the love he gets in his own thread – and rightfully so. Mystery of Time is a masterpiece. In a recent national 'best of the 20th century' poll, it came second (after Janáček's Glagolitic Mass).

I wish Petr Eben was more prominent, at least in the organ circles. His works for the instrument are soul crushing. Don't believe me? Check out this movement from Job.

I'm not very familiar with Martin Smolka's music but he has a bunch of devoted fans over here and seems to be a keen experimentalist.

Miroslav Srnka keeps fooling me with his boyish looks. Probably the most accomplished current Czech composer. His opera South Pole premiered in the Bayerische Staatsoper under Petrenko's baton and got some good reviews back in 2016. I like some of Srnka's chamber music.

Petr Kotík is a swell guy who fled the country during the Prague Spring in 1968, settled in New York and befriended folks like Cage & Feldman. I don't find his music style interesting but he's an unyielding organizer, promoter and performer of new music with both his S.E.M. Ensemble in the States and Ostravská banda here in Czech Republic.

And then there's Petr Cígler, a biochemist by day and a composer by night. Performance of his Entropic Symphony blew my socks off few years ago but he's got a lot of chemistry to do so he's not very prolific. Part of a different performance can be heard in this video.

Online Irons

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2019, 07:51:53 AM »
Thought I'd place this here rather than start up a Kalabis thread, which would probably suffer the same tragic fate as my 'Lopes-Graca thread'  ???

Anyway, I was delighted to see this release as it includes the first CD release of the old Supraphon version of 'Sinfonia Pacis' (mentioned above), far superior to the Smetacek version which appeared some years ago on Praga. The Sinfonia Pacis (Symphony No 2) is in my opinion a very fine work - certainly Kalabis's masterpiece as far as I'm concerned. It ends with a wonderful tolling bell type sequence, juxtaposed against a simple child-like theme, which I find very moving. In the Smetacek version it is played much too fast but here (Kosler) it is just right and far more affecting. Of course I wish it had been issued on a single CD but this inexpensive three CD set at least allows me to explore some other works by Kalabis. I guess that his style might appear to admirers of Honegger, Kabelac or Kokkonen. The accompanying booklet is interesting and includes a number of photos of Kalabis.  I was interested to hear that an a time of increasing anti-semitism in post-war Czecholovakia he married a Holocaust survivor. Do look out for Sinfonia Pacis, especially in this recording.  It is one of the key works I have been waiting for reissue on CD. Looking forward to being inundated with replies.  8)



One here!  8) The Kalabis works I have do not match up with yours unfortunately so we are unable to share comments. I have three LPs featuring him, the 4th Symphony with Kosler conducting the Czech Phil, Piano Concerto (Emil Leichner) and the Piano Trio with the Suk Trio plus two works featuring the Holocaust survivor you mention, his wife Zuzana Ruzickova, Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord with Josef Suk and Six Two-part Canonic Inventions for Harpsichord. I see no reason why Kalabis should not have his own thread. His life was most interesting and as for his wife........
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2019, 01:36:04 PM »
One here!  8) The Kalabis works I have do not match up with yours unfortunately so we are unable to share comments. I have three LPs featuring him, the 4th Symphony with Kosler conducting the Czech Phil, Piano Concerto (Emil Leichner) and the Piano Trio with the Suk Trio plus two works featuring the Holocaust survivor you mention, his wife Zuzana Ruzickova, Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord with Josef Suk and Six Two-part Canonic Inventions for Harpsichord. I see no reason why Kalabis should not have his own thread. His life was most interesting and as for his wife........
Thank you  :) (only took six years for a response  8)). Do look out for 'Sinfonia Pacis' in the above recording. I rate it as highly as Kabelac's 'Mystery of Time' and regard both of them as 'modern' music with a soul.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Rinaldo

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #31 on: February 21, 2019, 01:53:43 PM »
Speaking of Kalabis, this wonderful recording was released last September:


Online Irons

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2019, 12:34:32 AM »
Thank you  :) (only took six years for a response  8)). Do look out for 'Sinfonia Pacis' in the above recording. I rate it as highly as Kabelac's 'Mystery of Time' and regard both of them as 'modern' music with a soul.

Stone me! I didn't check the date. Czech music not exactly a hot-bed of activity then.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2019, 03:30:34 AM »
Stone me! I didn't check the date. Czech music not exactly a hot-bed of activity then.
OT

'Stone me!' is a very Tony Hancock phrase - one of my comedy heroes.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline kyjo

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #34 on: June 30, 2019, 07:39:08 PM »
Just discovered a work that Jeffrey has been raving about for a while - Kalabis' Symphony no. 2 Sinfonia Pacis. It's a strongly individualistic work with only the passing suggestion of Shostakovich. It charts a compelling journey from a mysterious, uncertain opening (with high bell tones a la Nielsen 6) through a malicious scherzo (great horn writing!) to a triumphant ending. Kalabis definitely seems like a composer worth exploring further!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #35 on: June 30, 2019, 09:39:00 PM »
If microtonal music is your cup of intervals, Hába is a must.

Kabeláč.. well, witness the love he gets in his own thread – and rightfully so. Mystery of Time is a masterpiece. In a recent national 'best of the 20th century' poll, it came second (after Janáček's Glagolitic Mass).

I wish Petr Eben was more prominent, at least in the organ circles. His works for the instrument are soul crushing. Don't believe me? Check out this movement from Job.

I'm not very familiar with Martin Smolka's music but he has a bunch of devoted fans over here and seems to be a keen experimentalist.

Miroslav Srnka keeps fooling me with his boyish looks. Probably the most accomplished current Czech composer. His opera South Pole premiered in the Bayerische Staatsoper under Petrenko's baton and got some good reviews back in 2016. I like some of Srnka's chamber music.

Petr Kotík is a swell guy who fled the country during the Prague Spring in 1968, settled in New York and befriended folks like Cage & Feldman. I don't find his music style interesting but he's an unyielding organizer, promoter and performer of new music with both his S.E.M. Ensemble in the States and Ostravská banda here in Czech Republic.

And then there's Petr Cígler, a biochemist by day and a composer by night. Performance of his Entropic Symphony blew my socks off few years ago but he's got a lot of chemistry to do so he's not very prolific. Part of a different performance can be heard in this video.
You've done me a big favour here. I've had the Petr Eben 'Job' on CD for years but hardly ever played it. The extract that you linked to above is a real incentive to do so. Thanks!  :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Czech Composers post Martinu
« Reply #36 on: June 30, 2019, 09:43:07 PM »
Just discovered a work that Jeffrey has been raving about for a while - Kalabis' Symphony no. 2 Sinfonia Pacis. It's a strongly individualistic work with only the passing suggestion of Shostakovich. It charts a compelling journey from a mysterious, uncertain opening (with high bell tones a la Nielsen 6) through a malicious scherzo (great horn writing!) to a triumphant ending. Kalabis definitely seems like a composer worth exploring further!
Excellent Kyle! Glad you enjoyed it. I find that end sequence very inspiriting and moving. I find that if I drone on and on about a work eventually a kindred spirit will respond to it.
 8)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).