Author Topic: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)  (Read 181788 times)

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Offline Biffo

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1220 on: May 12, 2020, 07:41:45 AM »
For some reason or another, I was thinking that The Spectre's Bride was an opera rather than a piece from another.  By the way (and don't tell me the opera plot please!), what does Špalìček mean?  I tried using google translate and it said "Block".  Or is it a name?

PD

The Spectre's Bride is a cantata or ballad; it is the same text set by Dvorak though lasts less than half the time (Martinu makes a few cuts to the text but not many). Spalicek is hard to translate (it says in the booklet); for the French edition Martinu used the word Bouquin - easier if you look it up yourself!

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1221 on: May 12, 2020, 07:46:13 AM »
It means ‘The Chap-Book’. It’s a folk-inspired ballet.
Ah, I was mistaken--again!   ::)

Thank you!

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1222 on: May 12, 2020, 07:54:11 AM »
Ah, I was mistaken--again!   ::)

Thank you!

My pleasure. This ballet is like Martinů’s answer to Stravinsky’s Les noces.
“My music is best understood by children and animals.” - Igor Stravinsky

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1223 on: June 13, 2020, 05:33:55 PM »
This might be of some interest:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/CUuach6qLhI" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/CUuach6qLhI</a>

« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 05:41:16 PM by Mirror Image »
“My music is best understood by children and animals.” - Igor Stravinsky

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1224 on: June 04, 2021, 02:41:01 PM »
A little but quite interesting interview with Martinu. It's the first time I hear his voice:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/YritqHoV_zQ" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/YritqHoV_zQ</a>
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1225 on: June 11, 2021, 03:43:54 AM »
I am just starting to explore this symphonic cycle by Thompson





Cross post from the Listening Thread:

Martinu: Symphony No. 1 [Thomson]

What a wonderful sound world this work is and Thomson probes and explores it very well. The musical language of the first movement is dramatic and its presentation is very exciting. The Scherzo is filled with unbridled energy and vitality and is a powerful presentation. The drive and forward momentum is terrific. The Trio section is somewhat an oasis of relatively  reduced calm but, effectively, not very much so as the intensity does not reduce very much. The conclusion is terrifically exciting. The third movement, Largo, is a total contrast to what has preceded it. It is quite dark and desolate in its musical language and this is a powerful presentation of that musical message. The energy, drive and vitality of the first two movements is resumed here. This is powerful and exciting music given a very fine airing here which is well driven to a very fine conclusion.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1226 on: June 11, 2021, 10:14:24 AM »
I am just starting to explore this symphonic cycle by Thompson





Cross post from the Listening Thread:

Martinu: Symphony No. 1 [Thomson]

What a wonderful sound world this work is and Thomson probes and explores it very well. The musical language of the first movement is dramatic and its presentation is very exciting. The Scherzo is filled with unbridled energy and vitality and is a powerful presentation. The drive and forward momentum is terrific. The Trio section is somewhat an oasis of relatively  reduced calm but, effectively, not very much so as the intensity does not reduce very much. The conclusion is terrifically exciting. The third movement, Largo, is a total contrast to what has preceded it. It is quite dark and desolate in its musical language and this is a powerful presentation of that musical message. The energy, drive and vitality of the first two movements is resumed here. This is powerful and exciting music given a very fine airing here which is well driven to a very fine conclusion.

Nice! I do enjoy the Thomson cycle.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1227 on: June 11, 2021, 01:28:39 PM »
Nice! I do enjoy the Thomson cycle.

Cheers Karl. I look forward to continuing to listen to this cycle.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline kyjo

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1228 on: June 11, 2021, 03:13:27 PM »
I am just starting to explore this symphonic cycle by Thompson





Cross post from the Listening Thread:

Martinu: Symphony No. 1 [Thomson]

What a wonderful sound world this work is and Thomson probes and explores it very well. The musical language of the first movement is dramatic and its presentation is very exciting. The Scherzo is filled with unbridled energy and vitality and is a powerful presentation. The drive and forward momentum is terrific. The Trio section is somewhat an oasis of relatively  reduced calm but, effectively, not very much so as the intensity does not reduce very much. The conclusion is terrifically exciting. The third movement, Largo, is a total contrast to what has preceded it. It is quite dark and desolate in its musical language and this is a powerful presentation of that musical message. The energy, drive and vitality of the first two movements is resumed here. This is powerful and exciting music given a very fine airing here which is well driven to a very fine conclusion.

Excellent! Much as I enjoy the other Martinu symphonies (particularly 4 and 6), the 1st remains my favorite. Maybe because it’s one of the first Martinu works I seriously listened to and I’ll never forget that joy of discovery I had upon hearing such a kaleidoscopically colorful work for the first time.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1229 on: June 12, 2021, 10:49:43 AM »
Excellent! Much as I enjoy the other Martinu symphonies (particularly 4 and 6), the 1st remains my favorite. Maybe because it’s one of the first Martinu works I seriously listened to and I’ll never forget that joy of discovery I had upon hearing such a kaleidoscopically colorful work for the first time.

I agree. It is a strong sonic treat for a first symphony.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1230 on: June 12, 2021, 01:18:40 PM »
Nice! I do enjoy the Thomson cycle.
+1, as I do his VW and Bax cycles.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Offline Maestro267

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1231 on: June 13, 2021, 10:43:01 PM »
No. 1 definitely has one of the most magical openings in the repertoire, that B minor chord, the chromatic rising in the woodwinds and piano etc. to B major.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1232 on: June 14, 2021, 05:20:18 AM »
Of the chamber works, I’d say that the String Sextet is one of his best. For those that haven’t heard it, drop what you’re doing and give it a listen. I actually prefer it to any of his SQs. This is Martinů in brooding mode a la his Concerto for Double String Orchestra, Piano and Timpani.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1233 on: June 15, 2021, 03:32:50 AM »
Martinu: Symphony No. 2 [Thomson]





The first movement is terrifically exciting, light hearted and joyous. The Andante essentially carries the same tone forward but in a less exuberant way and there is an interesting underlying element of tension there. The string writing is excellent. The Scherzo is suitably quirky, exciting and energetic and it is well driven. The final movement is ardent and ebullient in its display of energy and drive and it reaches a very fine conclusion. Although the performance is powerful and driven it is not an overly intense one; it rather has more electricity than intensity to it. I thought, however, that it was terrific.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1234 on: June 15, 2021, 06:08:07 AM »
Martinu: Symphony No. 2 [Thomson]





The first movement is terrifically exciting, light hearted and joyous. The Andante essentially carries the same tone forward but in a less exuberant way and there is an interesting underlying element of tension there. The string writing is excellent. The Scherzo is suitably quirky, exciting and energetic and it is well driven. The final movement is ardent and ebullient in its display of energy and drive and it reaches a very fine conclusion. Although the performance is powerful and driven it is not an overly intense one; it rather has more electricity than intensity to it. I thought, however, that it was terrific.

Excellent to read, Fergus. I love the 2nd --- in a way it could be considered Martinů’s ‘pastoral symphony’ of sorts. The beginning of the second movement Andante is truly haunting. It has a feeling of longing, which would be understandable at this juncture as he was in exile and didn’t want to return to war-torn Europe.
“My music is best understood by children and animals.” - Igor Stravinsky

Offline aligreto

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1235 on: June 19, 2021, 11:26:12 AM »
Martinu: Symphony No. 3 [Thomson]





I find this to be an intriguing work. Its musical language and sound world are both unique creations. The first movement is a dramatic and atmospheric piece of writing and is powerfully presented here. There is also great drama and tension in the slow movement. This is wonderfully juxtaposed with some very fine lyrical writing for the woodwinds. The final movement is wonderfully expansive with some very fine orchestral writing which, once again, is wonderfully presented here.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1236 on: June 22, 2021, 04:22:08 PM »
Upon revisitation of the Thomson cycle, I think I was sadly mistaken in my previous criticism. While I do think Thomson drives the music a bit too hard, I think the interpretation is completely singular and unique to him. I may prefer Bělohlávek or Järvi, but this is truly a fascinating cycle of performances from Thomson and I can certainly understand its high praise. He’s certainly leagues better than Neumann, Meister, Fagen and Válek. Looking forward to digging into the rest of the Thomson set.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2021, 04:23:45 PM by Mirror Image »
“My music is best understood by children and animals.” - Igor Stravinsky

Offline aligreto

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1237 on: June 25, 2021, 01:31:18 AM »
Upon revisitation of the Thomson cycle, I think I was sadly mistaken in my previous criticism. While I do think Thomson drives the music a bit too hard, I think the interpretation is completely singular and unique to him. I may prefer Bělohlávek or Järvi, but this is truly a fascinating cycle of performances from Thomson and I can certainly understand its high praise. He’s certainly leagues better than Neumann, Meister, Fagen and Válek. Looking forward to digging into the rest of the Thomson set.

Good for you John; that is big of you. A reassessment can oftentimes surprise us.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1238 on: June 25, 2021, 06:36:17 AM »
Good for you John; that is big of you. A reassessment can oftentimes surprise us.

Thanks and I shouldn’t have said anything negative about this Thomson set anyway, because I do still have some sentimental attachment to it --- it was my first Martinů symphony cycle. I will say this and please excuse my profanity, but the Scots play the s*** out of this music! :D
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
« Reply #1239 on: June 26, 2021, 01:24:42 AM »
Thanks and I shouldn’t have said anything negative about this Thomson set anyway, because I do still have some sentimental attachment to it --- it was my first Martinů symphony cycle. I will say this and please excuse my profanity, but the Scots play the s*** out of this music! :D

 ;D

That is a good point for me  8)
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.