GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: vandermolen on June 01, 2007, 06:44:07 AM

Title: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: 71 dB 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...  ::)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Brewski 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

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/41FAMP6MWNL._AA240_.jpg)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: val 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.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen 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
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: springrite 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

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/41FAMP6MWNL._AA240_.jpg)

--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.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Grazioso on June 03, 2007, 03:05:23 AM
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51hkh0W+GYL._AA240_.jpg)

Lady Godiva is a beautiful work with an unforgettable main melody and a bit near the end that sounds startlingly like Mahler.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Kurkikohtaus 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).
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Hector 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

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/41FAMP6MWNL._AA240_.jpg)

--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.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Grazioso on June 07, 2007, 02:39:37 AM
OOP but worth finding:
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Q6GQMEHHL._AA240_.jpg)

Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on June 07, 2007, 03:52:46 AM
OOP but worth finding:
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Q6GQMEHHL._AA240_.jpg)



great cd and piano version too
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: schweitzeralan 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.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Daverz 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.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: schweitzeralan 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.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: DFO 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
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: snyprrr 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...
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: snyprrr on May 29, 2009, 02:27:37 PM
I'm always scared of Czech composers known for their tone poems... scared of ZZZZzzzzz...seriously!
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: DFO 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.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Dundonnell on May 29, 2009, 05:05:29 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...

I have no wish to appear rude but you really do need some geography lessons ;D Not so long ago it was the Netherlands and Belgium which seemed to be confusing you and now this. Why don't you invest in an atlas?

Bohemia was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1918 when the Empire collapsed at the end of the First World War. It then became part of Czechoslovakia until 1992 and of the Czech Republic since 1993. The capital of Bohemia is Prague but the city is, obviously, better known as the capital of first Czechoslovakia and now the Czech republic.

Most well-known Czech composers were born in Bohemia, eg Dvorak, Fibich, Foerster, Suk, Novak, Martinu. Janacek is an exception however. He was born in Moravia, capital Brno. When Czechoslovakia was created in 1919 the new country was made up of Bohemia and Moravia(both Czech-speaking), Slovakia(Slovak speaking) and one or two other areas where there were substantial minorities(Germans for example). Slovakia has been an independent country since 1993.

Dohnanyi, Seiber, Bela Bartok, Kodaly were all Hungarians. Completely different nationality, different country etc, etc.

Hope this is of some help to you, friend :)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: snyprrr on May 29, 2009, 09:18:01 PM
Yes, professor. :-[ :-X ;D
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: snyprrr on May 29, 2009, 09:20:56 PM
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.

LP...ahhh...is the 3rd (30 years later) more advanced, or more conservative?
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: schweitzeralan on May 30, 2009, 03:29:09 AM
I have no wish to appear rude but you really do need some geography lessons ;D Not so long ago it was the Netherlands and Belgium which seemed to be confusing you and now this. Why don't you invest in an atlas?

Bohemia was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1918 when the Empire collapsed at the end of the First World War. It then became part of Czechoslovakia until 1992 and of the Czech Republic since 1993. The capital of Bohemia is Prague but the city is, obviously, better known as the capital of first Czechoslovakia and now the Czech republic.

Most well-known Czech composers were born in Bohemia, eg Dvorak, Fibich, Foerster, Suk, Novak, Martinu. Janacek is an exception however. He was born in Moravia, capital Brno. When Czechoslovakia was created in 1919 the new country was made up of Bohemia and Moravia(both Czech-speaking), Slovakia(Slovak speaking) and one or two other areas where there were substantial minorities(Germans for example). Slovakia has been an independent country since 1993.

Dohnanyi, Seiber, Bela Bartok, Kodaly were all Hungarians. Completely different nationality, different country etc, etc.

Hope this is of some help to you, friend :)

All those Czech composers you mentioned are superb.  The Czechs (as well as other countries, to be sure) have a wonderful musical tradition.  To me, those early 20th century Czech composers are very special.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: DFO on May 30, 2009, 04:22:51 AM
LP...ahhh...is the 3rd (30 years later) more advanced, or more conservative?
IMO it's a fine mixture of both, with a strong czech flavor. And yes, LP.
I've on CD more that 200 copies of LPs, with composers, works and players never published on CD. Remember that the vynyl was the king for nearly 40 years, and there were dozen of thousends of them.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Superhorn on May 30, 2009, 05:53:55 AM
  I have the Krombholc/Czech Phil. recording of the Storm, coupled with
 Dvorak's The Spectre's Bride on Supraphon.
 I woudn't call the Storm a "potboiler"; it's a work of real substance,and I would like to hear more of this composer.
 Unfortunately, we're not likely to hear performances of this work because it's in Czech, although non-czech opera companies do perform
 Janacek and Dvorak operas in the original language. But I suppose if
 the text of the Storm could be translated, it might achieve some success outside the Czech republic.
  Dvorak's Spectre's bride is also a marvelous work, spooky and atmosheric , and also something audiences would really enjoy.
  I agree that we could use a first-rate modern recording of the Storm.
 
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Daverz on June 01, 2009, 08:59:08 PM
I'm always scared of Czech composers known for their tone poems... scared of ZZZZzzzzz...seriously!

I guess everyone else is practiced at ignoring your silliness.

Most of the great Czech composers were known for their tone poems.  Dvorak for his "Nature, Life, and Love" and Garland cycles,  Smetana for Ma Vlast, Janacek for Taras Bulba.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Daverz on June 01, 2009, 09:12:55 PM
I've been having a little Novak festival.  First with Sejna conducting Eternal Longing, In The Tatras, and the Moravian-Slovak Suite, then Vogel conducting the South Bohemian Suite.  Though it's nice performance,  there seem to have been some problems with the tape in the transferring of the Vogel recording.  I wonder how Vajnar on Suprahpon is in this.  There's a Kubelik recording, which I assume is from the 40s.  There's also a recording conducted by Bostock.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on June 01, 2009, 10:22:38 PM
I've been having a little Novak festival.  First with Sejna conducting Eternal Longing, In The Tatras, and the Moravian-Slovak Suite, then Vogel conducting the South Bohemian Suite.  Though it's nice performance,  there seem to have been some problems with the tape in the transferring of the Vogel recording.  I wonder how Vajnar on Suprahpon is in this.  There's a Kubelik recording, which I assume is from the 40s.  There's also a recording conducted by Bostock.

The great thing about the Bostock recording, if you can find it, is that it also features the Eight Nocturnes for Voice and Orchestra. The Christchild's Lullaby from this is absolutely beautiful - one of the most beautiful and consoling pieces I know. Do try to hear it.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: schweitzeralan on June 02, 2009, 03:50:04 AM
The great thing about the Bostock recording, if you can find it, is that it also features the Eight Nocturnes for Voice and Orchestra. The Christchild's Lullaby from this is absolutely beautiful - one of the most beautiful and consoling pieces I know. Do try to hear it.

Finally getting to know "Pan." Fine work ideed.  Quite romantic work  interlaced with impressionistic color. Gives or suggests an ongoing drama of sorts.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on June 02, 2009, 04:37:59 AM
Finally getting to know "Pan." Fine work ideed.  Quite romantic work  interlaced with impressionistic color. Gives or suggests an ongoing drama of sorts.

There is a good piano version (Chandos) as well as the orchestral version on Marco Polo.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on June 02, 2009, 04:54:08 AM
Hi Robert,

Thanks for the interesting articles.  I would love to hear the 'Autumn Symphony' (unrecorded I think). I like the CD below. The wartime De Profundis written during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia is a deeply moving work (+interesting cover art  :o). You must hear Novak's cantata 'The Storm' at some point - his greatest achivement in my opinion.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: robnewman on June 02, 2009, 04:59:42 AM

Thank you for this Vandermolen,

I will make a point of hearing these works. The fact that Novak was deeply interested in music of Moravia is itself very interesting.

Regards



Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: robnewman on June 02, 2009, 05:06:21 AM

My first hearing of Novak ! Remarkable !!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcuV1KDe_sE&feature=related

Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on June 02, 2009, 06:43:39 AM
My first hearing of Novak ! Remarkable !!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcuV1KDe_sE&feature=related



Robert,  I just got a blank Youtube screen.

The Slovak Suite is one of Novak's best known (or least unknown!) pieces.  Oddly enough I prefer the less highly regarded South Bohemian Suite and would stronly recommend that - the Piano Quintet is a lovely work.  I feel that Novak was a genuinely great composer.

Jeffrey
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: schweitzeralan on June 02, 2009, 07:46:50 AM
There is a good piano version (Chandos) as well as the orchestral version on Marco Polo.

What do you think of any piano works by Novak?  I'll check online.  I've always appreciated his varied orchestral works, of which I own several.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: robnewman on June 02, 2009, 10:55:42 AM
Thanks, here's the Cantata 'The Storm'. A really remarkable composer, for sure !!

Parts 1-3

1. Tempesto, ma non troppo allegro
2. Andante rubato, com molta passione
3. Piu mosso

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Zdeněk Košler

Czech Philharmonic Chorus
Chorus master: Josef Veselka
Soprano: Jarmila Žilková

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv1EUNdibVs


Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Daverz on June 02, 2009, 11:53:09 AM
Thanks, here's the Cantata 'The Storm'. A really remarkable composer, for sure !!

Giving the Kosler CD its first outing in many years.   It's a fine recording.  After the description of the text given below, do I really want to know what they are singing?

I think my "potboiler" description came from memories of just the "Tempestoso" sections.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on June 02, 2009, 02:52:32 PM
Thanks, here's the Cantata 'The Storm'. A really remarkable composer, for sure !!

Parts 1-3

1. Tempesto, ma non troppo allegro
2. Andante rubato, com molta passione
3. Piu mosso

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Zdeněk Košler

Czech Philharmonic Chorus
Chorus master: Josef Veselka
Soprano: Jarmila Žilková

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv1EUNdibVs




Thanks for the great link.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: snyprrr on October 05, 2009, 10:58:32 AM
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...

Well, my friend here sent me a copy of Novak's SQ No.3 (from LP, I believe), and, ha, it's quite the winner. From the first notes we are in Janacek/Szymanowski territory (with a slab of that ole Martinu mystery music a la SymNo.6). Really, it just sounds a lot like what you would want it to sound like, very earthy and mysterious and scurrying and melodic.

Apparently, it is cast in two mvmts. (like his earlier No.2?). The second mvmt, haha, begins with yer typical minor third AmericanIndian sound, very obvious, and continues for the mvmt. It's not cheesy, though, and Novak works through it very interestingly. Still, there's no getting over that NativeAmerican sound... straight out of Dvorak!

So, this piece, which is not available on cd, definitely deserves to be heard by all. Here's your hidden minor masterpiece!
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Grazioso on October 07, 2009, 03:26:19 AM
So, this piece, which is not available on cd, definitely deserves to be heard by all. Here's your hidden minor masterpiece!

That seems to pretty much sum up the Novak situation. His well-crafted, tuneful work could easily appeal to a broad audience, but so little of it has been recorded or is in print :(
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: DFO on October 07, 2009, 05:59:45 AM
Say, Snyprrr, have the Vlach's recording? That's the one I've.
A magnificent work, and a splendid playing.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: The new erato on October 07, 2009, 09:06:34 AM
Anybody know his Piano Quintet?
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on October 07, 2009, 09:12:12 AM
Anybody know his Piano Quintet?

Yes, a beautiful work - especially the opening.  I wish that we had a new digital recording of 'The Storm' - one of my all-time favourite works.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: snyprrr on October 07, 2009, 10:09:39 AM
Say, Snyprrr, have the Vlach's recording? That's the one I've.
A magnificent work, and a splendid playing.

Yes! I was just listening to it again. Yes, it has shot straight into my "winner's circle." From now on, when I think of the cream of this type of stuff, I will haaave to refer to Szymanowski, Janacek, AND Novak (of course, there's a healthy dose of Dvorak in there, too)! Why this SQ hasn't seen the light of day on cd is, as classical nerds like to say, astonishing (or, staggering, haha). It's such a perfect make-weight. I was just groovin on that "american indian" mvmt: it really is a perfect application of that old minor third "riff"... very meditative and compelling. The first mvmt., too, weaves all the best "fantasy" elements of the Szymanowski/Janacek/late Martinu sound into a typically beatiful Czech misterioso forest music.

What IS Novak's chamber masterpiece if not this instant classic?
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on February 13, 2010, 05:23:18 PM
Just found this great old (1948) recording of Novak's 'South Bohemian Suite' - actually a work I prefer to the more highly regarded and better known 'Slovak Suite'. The South Bohemian Suite (1937) is a great work - an assertion of Czech national identity at a time when Czech independence was threatened by Nazi Germany (no idle threat as it turned out). Kubelik's wonderful performance is the best I know - although the recording is more than sixty years old.  The performance is from 1948 - the year of the communist coup in Czechoslovakia - perhaps Kubelik was making a point before his self-imposed exile from Czechoslovakia.  The third movement ('Once Upon a Time - March of the Taborites') is especially powerful and moving in this version - as is the short epilogue ('Good Health my Native Land), which quotes the Czech national anthem. In general, this is a performance of enormous integrity and conviction. I increasingly think that the South Bohemian Suite is, along with 'The Storm', Novak's greatest work - a true masterpiece. If you listen to only one work by Novak - this is the one.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: madaboutmahler on December 18, 2011, 03:30:24 PM
Listening to Lady Godiva at the moment - a work I have only known in full for around two days now. I have to thank I think it was Grazioso (forgive me if I'm wrong) for introducing me to Novak here on GMG, through a short excerpt of Lady Godiva on the 'name the piece' game.
This piece is absolutely beautiful - extremely poetic, romantic and magical. I have ordered the Chandos recording and am looking forward to exploring more of Novak's work. After this recording, where should I go? There are not many recordings of Novak's work available, as Sara and I were discussing on the Purchases thread.... I know there is a recording of 'Pan' which looks interesting, plus some of his other orchestral music (some at ridiculous prices) and a bit of piano/chamber music.

Good to see Novak has a thread here on GMG! :)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Dundonnell on December 18, 2011, 07:01:17 PM
I have sent you an offer via Facebook, Daniel :D :D
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on December 19, 2011, 01:51:11 AM
Listening to Lady Godiva at the moment - a work I have only known in full for around two days now. I have to thank I think it was Grazioso (forgive me if I'm wrong) for introducing me to Novak here on GMG, through a short excerpt of Lady Godiva on the 'name the piece' game.
This piece is absolutely beautiful - extremely poetic, romantic and magical. I have ordered the Chandos recording and am looking forward to exploring more of Novak's work. After this recording, where should I go? There are not many recordings of Novak's work available, as Sara and I were discussing on the Purchases thread.... I know there is a recording of 'Pan' which looks interesting, plus some of his other orchestral music (some at ridiculous prices) and a bit of piano/chamber music.

Good to see Novak has a thread here on GMG! :)

My recommendation must include 'The Storm' - a masterpiece IMHO, the South Bohemian Suite, De Profundis (written during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia), Pan in the piano and orchestral versions and the 'Eight Nocturnes for Voice and Orchestra', the last of which - 'Christchild's Lullaby' is one of the most beautiful pieces I know - deeply affecting - I play it over and over again. I'm pestering Alto (who recently issued a nice CD of Novak's piano music) to reissue the old Classico release with the Nocturnes on.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: madaboutmahler on December 19, 2011, 03:47:29 AM
I have sent you an offer via Facebook, Daniel :D :D

Yes, just recieved that. Thank you very much, Colin! :D

My recommendation must include 'The Storm' - a masterpiece IMHO, the South Bohemian Suite, De Profundis (written during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia), Pan in the piano and orchestral versions and the 'Eight Nocturnes for Voice and Orchestra', the last of which - 'Christchild's Lullaby' is one of the most beautiful pieces I know n- deeply affecting - I play it over and over again. I'm pestering Alto (who recently issued a nice CD of Novak's piano music) to reissue the old Classico release with the Nocturnes on.

Thank you for the suggestions. I'll probably listen to De Profundis, and the South Bohemian Suite next. And then pick up 'The Storm' and 'Pan' a little later. Yes, continue pestering them! ;) There are too few recordings of Novak's music available. I might start requesting to labels such as Naxos that they record Novak's music. It really does deserve to be heard a lot more!
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: madaboutmahler on December 23, 2011, 10:49:10 AM
Nice day of Novak listening today:



Lady Godiva (again)
Toman and the Wood Nymph


Eight Nocturnes for Voice and Orchestra

Well, I am sure I have made my love for the Lady Godiva clear in above posts. It was the first time I had listened to Toman and the Wood Nymph, what a brilliant piece it is! Absolutely thrilling! The Eight Nocturnes for Voice and Orchestra were absolutely beautiful, delightful pieces. The last two of the eight in particular, really stunning pieces. I am really fascinated by Novak's imaginative, excellent orchestration as well as the beautiful melodic sensitivity. A great composer who I am very quickly coming to admire a lot!
Tommorow, I imagine I will listen to De Profundis from the Chandos cd and South Bohemian Suite from the other disc for the first time.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on December 23, 2011, 03:51:00 PM
Nice day of Novak listening today:



Lady Godiva (again)
Toman and the Wood Nymph


Eight Nocturnes for Voice and Orchestra

Well, I am sure I have made my love for the Lady Godiva clear in above posts. It was the first time I had listened to Toman and the Wood Nymph, what a brilliant piece it is! Absolutely thrilling! The Eight Nocturnes for Voice and Orchestra were absolutely beautiful, delightful pieces. The last two of the eight in particular, really stunning pieces. I am really fascinated by Novak's imaginative, excellent orchestration as well as the beautiful melodic sensitivity. A great composer who I am very quickly coming to admire a lot!
Tommorow, I imagine I will listen to De Profundis from the Chandos cd and South Bohemian Suite from the other disc for the first time.

I'm listening to Lady Godiva too (Chandos) I did not realise how good it is - so than's for the recommendation. Let us know what you make of the South Bohemian Suite, which I prefer to the better known Slovak Suite. I especially like the section involving the March of the Taborites (movement 3) and the ending 'Once Upon a Time' is moving too.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: madaboutmahler on March 31, 2012, 07:12:47 AM
I finally got around to listening to the South Bohemian Suite and De Profundis! I should have listened to them a lot earlier, both works are absolutely excellent.

The South Bohemian Suite is beautiful! A delightful work which I enjoyed very very much. Thank you again Jeffrey for sending me that cd, I loved both of the works. :)

De Profundis....  :o
These were my initial thoughts copied from the listening thread:
First Listen


Novak De Profundis

Listened to Lady Godiva and Toman and the Wood Nymph a few months ago, and have finally come to this work. De Profundis..............  :o Wow. What an absolutely amazing, deeply moving piece. Written in 1943 during the German occupation, you can just hear the anger and the sinister tension. And how that turns to absolute beautiful glory at the end, bringing so much hope, is extremely moving and, indeed, profound.

All three of the works on this disc have become absolute favourites of mine, and Novak a favourite composer of mine too now. He certainly deserves far more attention. A master!

So, De Profundis moved me deeply, at more than one point to tears! An extremely beautiful, powerful, amazing work.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on April 04, 2012, 02:15:57 AM
I finally got around to listening to the South Bohemian Suite and De Profundis! I should have listened to them a lot earlier, both works are absolutely excellent.

The South Bohemian Suite is beautiful! A delightful work which I enjoyed very very much. Thank you again Jeffrey for sending me that cd, I loved both of the works. :)

De Profundis....  :o
These were my initial thoughts copied from the listening thread:
So, De Profundis moved me deeply, at more than one point to tears! An extremely beautiful, powerful, amazing work.

A great pleasure Daniel.  Delighted that you liked De Profundis and the South Bohemian Suite. Now you must listen to 'The Storm', Novak's masterpiece!
Jeffrey
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: madaboutmahler on April 04, 2012, 02:21:04 AM
A great pleasure Daniel.  Delighted that you liked De Profundis and the South Bohemian Suite. Now you must listen to 'The Storm', Novak's masterpiece!
Jeffrey

:) Thank you, Jeffrey. Yes - I must! I am very keen to hear it, and much more of Novak's output. There has not been a single second of his music that I heard so far that I have not enjoyed. Such a great composer! :)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on July 14, 2012, 01:22:55 AM
I have just discovered 'In the Tatras' or 'In the Tatra Mountains', Symphonic Poem Op. 26 (1902/revised 1907) - a wonderful (IMHO) depiction of the Tatra Mountains before, during and after a storm and infused with Novak's characteristic depth of feeling.  I especially love the opening hymn-like section.  Can't understand why I didn't appreciate this work before as I'm a great fan on Novak.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJL0e71AwQs
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 14, 2012, 03:05:59 AM
I have just discovered 'In the Tatras' or 'In the Tatra Mountains', Symphonic Poem Op. 26 (1902/revised 1907)

I ordered the Ančerl/Czech Phil performance (Supraphon Gold Edition coupled with two works by Klement Slavický...whoever he is  ;D ) I'll let you know what I think after it arrives.

Sarge
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on July 14, 2012, 03:46:09 AM
I ordered the Ančerl/Czech Phil performance (Supraphon Gold Edition coupled with two works by Klement Slavický...whoever he is  ;D ) I'll let you know what I think after it arrives.

Sarge

Hi Sarge,

I have an Ancerl version on an EMI 'Great Conductors' double album - I have heard at leat three recordings of the work and the Ancerl is definitely the most compelling. Yes, let us know what you think.

Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on September 30, 2012, 12:48:08 AM
New release (actually a re-issue of material from two earlier ClassicO CDs).

The Christchild's Lullaby from the Eight Nocturnes (only recording available) is absolutely beautiful - ideal late night listening. I am biased towards this issue as I suggested it to Alto but am very happy to plug it - all three works are excellent IMHO. In the Tatras is a very powerful and moving monothematic work and the South Bohemian Suite, written in the shadow of the Nazi threat to Czechoslovakia has a great 'March of the Hussites' section - a little reminiscent of the Roman legions on the Appian Way from Respighi's 'Pines of Rome'. I don't know why it is being sold for £12 on Amazon UK - it should be about £5.

Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 01, 2012, 09:36:20 AM
New release (actually a re-issue of material from two earlier ClassicO CDs).

The Christchild's Lullaby from the Eight Nocturnes (only recording available) is absolutely beautiful - ideal late night listening. I am biased towards this issue as I suggested it to Alto but am very happy to plug it - all three works are excellent IMHO. In the Tatras is a very powerful and moving monothematic work and the South Bohemian Suite, written in the shadow of the Nazi threat to Czechoslovakia has a great 'March of the Hussites' section - a little reminiscent of the Roman legions on the Appian Way from Respighi's 'Pines of Rome'. I don't know why it is being sold for £12 on Amazon UK - it should be about £5.



Didn't know this recording existed, Jeffrey. Thanks for mentioning it! 8)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: madaboutmahler on October 01, 2012, 09:49:23 AM
I can't remember whether I've asked before or not, John.... what do you think of Novak? He's a composer whose music I love very much! :)

The Christchild's Lullaby from the Eight Nocturnes
I really share your enthusiasm for that little piece, Jeffrey. So beautiful! :)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 01, 2012, 06:33:35 PM
I can't remember whether I've asked before or not, John.... what do you think of Novak? He's a composer whose music I love very much! :)

I like Novak a good bit. He's not a favorite, but he wrote some good music. I only own two recordings of his music both with Pesek conducting.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on October 01, 2012, 10:44:12 PM
Didn't know this recording existed, Jeffrey. Thanks for mentioning it! 8)

My pleasure John - the CD would be a great introduction to Novak - all three works are very good and Christchild's Lullaby, as Daniel says, is quite beautiful.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: madaboutmahler on October 02, 2012, 10:06:23 AM
I like Novak a good bit. He's not a favorite, but he wrote some good music. I only own two recordings of his music both with Pesek conducting.

Glad to hear that, John. The Chandos Pesek disc is a highly cherished disc in my collection! :)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 02, 2012, 11:48:44 AM
Glad to hear that, John. The Chandos Pesek disc is a highly cherished disc in my collection! :)

You should hear this one, Daniel:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HBBY0SFBL._SL500_SS500_.jpg)

An excellent recording and my introduction to Novak's music.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: madaboutmahler on October 02, 2012, 11:55:54 AM
I would, John! I'm sure it would be great. Unfortunately, it seems to be selling for a terrible price on amazon.... if I see it for a reasonable price, I would be very keen to get it! :)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 02, 2012, 11:58:58 AM
I would, John! I'm sure it would be great. Unfortunately, it seems to be selling for a terrible price on amazon.... if I see it for a reasonable price, I would be very keen to get it! :)

Yeah, it's a good one, Daniel, but, you're right, it's going for some incredibly high prices now.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Lisztianwagner on October 02, 2012, 12:05:47 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HBBY0SFBL._SL500_SS500_.jpg)

An excellent recording and my introduction to Novak's music.

It looks beautiful, indeed; Pesek is a great interpreter of this music, at least thinking about his recordings of Lady Godiva, Toman and the Wood Nymph and De Profundis. I really need to get more Novak's music!
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 02, 2012, 12:20:49 PM
It looks beautiful, indeed; Pesek is a great interpreter of this music, at least thinking about his recordings of Lady Godiva, Toman and the Wood Nymph and De Profundis. I really need to get more Novak's music!

As I wrote above, Novak wrote some good music I think but he's not a favorite of mine. The reality is I love music that has a more of an edge to it, which is why I have started getting back into Honegger and explains how my Delius phase has quickly faded out. I'll be back into Shostakovich again before the year is out. :D You can't escape what you truly love.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on October 02, 2012, 12:43:53 PM
As I wrote above, Novak wrote some good music I think but he's not a favorite of mine. The reality is I love music that has a more of an edge to it, which is why I have started getting back into Honegger and explains how my Delius phase has quickly faded out. I'll be back into Shostakovich again before the year is out. :D You can't escape what you truly love.

Do you know Novak's 'The Storm' John?  His masterpiece I think and I believe that it does have an edge to it.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Lisztianwagner on October 02, 2012, 12:54:48 PM
As I wrote above, Novak wrote some good music I think but he's not a favorite of mine. The reality is I love music that has a more of an edge to it, which is why I have started getting back into Honegger and explains how my Delius phase has quickly faded out. I'll be back into Shostakovich again before the year is out. :D You can't escape what you truly love.

I share the feeling, it inevitably attracts us and we could never do without it. :) Although I haven't listened to many of his compositions, I may certainly include Novak among my favourite composers, because I absolutely love what I've heard so far; such impressive, thrilling and hauntingly beautiful music! Apart from Lady Godiva, Toman and the Wood Nymph and De Profundis that I mentioned before, my favourite Novak's works are Autumn Symphony, Eternal Longing, Pan and the Slovak Suite.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Daverz on October 02, 2012, 04:09:04 PM



Here's another CD with the South Bohemian Suite.  Good sound.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51hQRVtgzYL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Slovak-Suite-Op-South-Bohemian/dp/B000GIT9OE)
Title: Re: Vítězslav Novák (1870-1949)
Post by: Fafner on March 05, 2013, 02:39:45 PM
Vítězslav Novák - Slovácko Suite
Czech PO & Choir
Václav Talich
(http://cdn-images.deezer.com/images/cover/d2e157537bf01f81ef9e652941bf69a6/315x315-000000-80-0-0.jpg)

This is the first time I listened to Novák since my school years. The music is beautiful. I must definitely find and listen to more of his works.
Title: Re: Vítězslav Novák (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on March 06, 2013, 01:57:54 PM
This is the first time I listened to Novák since my school years. The music is beautiful. I must definitely find and listen to more of his works.

Try 'In the Tatras' and the South Bohemian Suite - both fine works.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Scion7 on July 30, 2014, 01:29:51 PM
Any other admirers of this great Czech composer?

Yes.   :)  He was a decent composer of Chamber music:

Sonata, d, vn, pf, 1891;
Pf Trio, g, op.1, 1892;
Pf Qt, c, op.7, 1894, rev.1899;
Pf Qnt, a, op.12, 1896, rev. 1897;
Str Qt, G, op.22, 1899;
Pf Trio quasi una ballata, d, op.27, 1902;
Str Qt, D, op.35, 1905;
Str Qt, G, op.66, 1938;
Sonata, op.68, vc, pf, 1941
Pf: Variace na Schumannovo téma, 1893;
Balada, e, op.2, after Byron: Manfred, 1893;
Vzpomínky [Reminiscences], op.6, 1894;
Serenády, op.9, 1895;
Barkaroly, op.10, 1896;
Eklogy, op.11, 1896; Za soumraku [At Dusk], op.13, 4 pieces, 1896;
Muj máj [My May], op.20, 4 pieces, 1899;
Sonata eroica, op.24, 1900;
Písne zimních nocí [Songs of a Winter Night], op.30, 4 pieces, 1903;
2 valasské tance [2 Valassko dances], op.34, 1904;
Pan, op.43, tone poem, 5 movts, 1910;
Exoticon, op.45, short suite, 1911;
6 Sonatinas, op.54, 1919–20;
Mládí [Youth], op.55, 2 vols., 1920
Short pf pieces, pf duets, 1 early org work, kbd arrs. orch works

He went thru various phases (like most composers do) and went from conservative to modernist in the early-middle period, then reactionary due to being attacked by critics.  So his music usually has "an edge" to it - especially during the late 19th century when his blood-feud with rivals and arch-critics was going on.  I wish more of this was available, either on record/CD or radio broadcasts.

Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on July 30, 2014, 09:50:22 PM
I think that his masterpiece is 'The Storm' - I wish there was a new recording of it. It is an oratorio which arrives at a great spiritual catharsis after epic tribulations and is one of my favourite works. There are two older recordings on Supraphon, but they are now absurdly priced on Amazon.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: relm1 on August 02, 2014, 03:04:42 AM
I think that his masterpiece is 'The Storm' - I wish there was a new recording of it. It is an oratorio which arrives at a great spiritual catharsis after epic tribulations and is one of my favourite works. There are two older recordings on Supraphon, but they are now absurdly priced on Amazon.

Agreed, a wonderful work much like Vaughan Williams's contemporaneous sea symphony.  Really wonderful music full of spirit and gusto!
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on August 02, 2014, 05:10:43 AM
Agreed, a wonderful work much like Vaughan Williams's contemporaneous sea symphony.  Really wonderful music full of spirit and gusto!

Glad you like it too. Although I am a huge admirer of VW I think that Novak's 'The Storm' is a superior work to a 'Sea Symphony' although I recently come to appreciate the latter. The best music is definitely in the last movement.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 02, 2014, 09:29:30 AM
Well, I was reading through this thread in the morning and decided to join!  :)

I had nothing by this composer (but recently added Fibich CDs to my collection of Czech composers), so just did a MP3 DL and burned a CD-R of one of his String Quartets and the Piano Quintet; in addition just put in an Amazon order (one Prime & two from the MP w/ one being used) of the other discs shown below; also wanted the Slovak Suite but the pricing was ridiculous.  Dave

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-5q7z3XF/0/O/Novak_SQ_PQnt.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-TSGLKGp/0/O/Novak_Piano.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-CPHP8Gw/0/O/Novak_Profundis.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-wDp44n6/0/O/Novak_Serenades.jpg)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on August 03, 2014, 12:03:53 AM
Well, I was reading through this thread in the morning and decided to join!  :)

I had nothing by this composer (but recently added Fibich CDs to my collection of Czech composers), so just did a MP3 DL and burned a CD-R of one of his String Quartets and the Piano Quintet; in addition just put in an Amazon order (one Prime & two from the MP w/ one being used) of the other discs shown below; also wanted the Slovak Suite but the pricing was ridiculous.  Dave

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-5q7z3XF/0/O/Novak_SQ_PQnt.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-TSGLKGp/0/O/Novak_Piano.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-CPHP8Gw/0/O/Novak_Profundis.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-wDp44n6/0/O/Novak_Serenades.jpg)

All great choices. I especially like the Piano Quintet and De Profundis written during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia and moving from despair to hope - a wonderful work. You would, I think, also like the tone poem 'In the Tatras' which reflects a spiritual journey as well as depicting the Tatra Mountains in their various moods (Novak was a keen mountain climber). The South Bohemian Suite is another favourite which I prefer to the more famous Slovak Suite. Let us know what you think.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on March 28, 2017, 12:03:32 AM
Looks like an interesting new release from one of my favourite composers:


The powerful 'In the Tatras' is a fine tone poem conveying a spiritual journey as much as a physical one (Novak was a keen mountain climber).
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: cilgwyn on May 11, 2017, 10:16:34 AM
It took me a while,but I'm really starting to like Pan,now. Lovely,nature painting on a truly epic scale. A bit of a Czech equivalent of Bax's Spring Fire in some ways. I like those East European horns,too. Some people have observed that it goes on a bit too long for it's own good;but I'm starting to think it's fine just the way it is!  :) :) :) :)

(http://i.imgur.com/ma4EeJy.jpg)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: cilgwyn on May 11, 2017, 10:17:40 AM
This is going on,next!

(http://i.imgur.com/OkcxsAU.jpg)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: cilgwyn on May 11, 2017, 10:55:41 AM
I've just been listening to Karel Šejna conducting Eternal Longing. I was thinking parts of it reminded me of Bax;then near the end it struck me that a closser comparison was D'indy,when he's evoking nature! I can't recall which specific work by D'indy,though. Interesting! Novak's his own man,though. Lovely music. It's taken a while for him to click with me. Can't think why?! ::) ;D
The next Novak cd will be the one with our very own vandermolen's notes. This Sejna cd is wonderful,though,and the 1966/68 recordings sound superb.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on May 11, 2017, 09:34:35 PM
I like the historic CD below very much. cilgwyn do you know the 'South Bohemian Suite' which I prefer to the better known Slovak Suite? I hope that you like the Alto CD - the last of the Eight Nocturnes is absolutely beautiful and ideal late-night listening.
If the picture appears below the CD is available for under £2.00 on Amazon UK.
The doom-laden though ultimately redemptive De Profundis was written during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia - quite a brave thing to do in the circumstances.


PS you know there's a fine piano version of 'Pan' on Chandos.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: cilgwyn on May 12, 2017, 12:43:29 AM
I have to say,this is a superb cd. You get that 'authentic' sound from those Czech orchestras you had at the time,and the sound is very good. I understand Karel Šejna is unrivalled in this kind of repertoire,and the sound quality is very good for it's time. At least I though so. Some of Šejna's recordings are in mono,and I would like to investigate him more when I have the money!! :( ;D
The artwork could be better. It's quite pretty,I suppose;but sweeping vistas of mountains or an appropriate landcape (particularly mountains) would surely sell more copies. Yes,I will certainly keep that cd in mind;but I haven't to keep off the old cd buying for a bit. I recently stocked up on some dvds and books,as well. Yes,I like 'historic' recordings. I've always fancied Karel Ančerl's Martinu recordings,for example;but I've had to resist.....and managed to so fa!! I'm listening to the alto cd of Novak now. I'm not a big fan of people warbling songs with orchestral accompaniment. German lieder.......NOOOOOOOOO!!! ??? ::) But this is allot nicer than most. I 'm listening on cordless headphones,now!

(http://i.imgur.com/OkcxsAU.jpg)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: 71 dB on May 12, 2017, 01:03:42 AM
I have to say,this is a superb cd.

At Amazon.co.uk marketplace they ask £19.50 for it so it better be superb.  0:)

As a composer Novak is interesting (The Piano Trio I have on Naxos is very nice), but I have very little interest exploring these "OOP" -composers. There's simply so much great music to explore for a fraction of the price.

What is 'authentic' sound of Czech orchestras?
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on May 12, 2017, 05:33:46 AM
I have to say,this is a superb cd. You get that 'authentic' sound from those Czech orchestras you had at the time,and the sound is very good. I understand Karel Šejna is unrivalled in this kind of repertoire,and the sound quality is very good for it's time. At least I though so. Some of Šejna's recordings are in mono,and I would like to investigate him more when I have the money!! :( ;D
The artwork could be better. It's quite pretty,I suppose;but sweeping vistas of mountains or an appropriate landcape (particularly mountains) would surely sell more copies. Yes,I will certainly keep that cd in mind;but I haven't to keep off the old cd buying for a bit. I recently stocked up on some dvds and books,as well. Yes,I like 'historic' recordings. I've always fancied Karel Ančerl's Martinu recordings,for example;but I've had to resist.....and managed to so fa!! I'm listening to the alto cd of Novak now. I'm not a big fan of people warbling songs with orchestral accompaniment. German lieder.......NOOOOOOOOO!!! ??? ::) But this is allot nicer than most. I 'm listening on cordless headphones,now!

(http://i.imgur.com/OkcxsAU.jpg)
Listen to 'Christchild's Lullaby' if nothing else.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: cilgwyn on May 12, 2017, 08:28:10 AM
At Amazon.co.uk marketplace they ask £19.50 for it so it better be superb.  0:)

As a composer Novak is interesting (The Piano Trio I have on Naxos is very nice), but I have very little interest exploring these "OOP" -composers. There's simply so much great music to explore for a fraction of the price.

What is 'authentic' sound of Czech orchestras?
;D Keep looking. I shouldn't advertise;but I got my copy very cheaply from Music Magpie. Have you looked at their website? They're always getting new stock. Mine certainly didn't cost that much! As to the 'aunthentic sound'. I'm referring to those old Czech recordings from the early to mid sixties,and earlier than that. I'm not a musician,but I know it when I hear it. Karel Ančerl's recording of Dvorak's Ninth,for example. The sound of the woodwind in particular. The horns.It just has a very distinctive sound,which seems to seems to disappear from later recordings,good as they undoubtedly are. Soviet orchestra's had that raspy brass. French orchestras again had a distinctive sound. All I can say is I know it when I hear it!! I think the Karel Šejna has the edge,to my ears in the Novak. Unlike Bostock he was obviously steeped in this music,being Czech. The Bostock is very good,though.I'm going to have to listen to Šejna's Dvorak when I can.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: cilgwyn on May 13, 2017, 01:10:30 AM
The alto cd IS very good,though,and cheaper! Also,vandermolen wrote the booklet notes! Let's face it,when did anyone ask me to write any booklet notes? Or even the back of a cornflakes packet? I can dream,though! ::) :( Buy the alto,then the Supraphon,if you like what you've heard. As to Music Magpie? Other purveyors of cds are available,as they say! ;D
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: cilgwyn on May 13, 2017, 01:27:42 AM
Regarding an 'authentic' Czech sound and the distinctive sound orchestras from various countries had many years ago,as opposed to the more homogenised sound you get these days. Here is a good example,imho. The recording here of Dvorak's Ninth has a very distinctive sound indeed. The woodwind has a bucolic,chirrupy sound to it which really grabs your attention throughout. It just sounds so Czech. It also happens to be simply one of the best recordings of Dvorak's Ninth. His recording of the Sixth is equally superb. I only wish he could have recorded the lot! It is available in a Gold (remastered) Edition,as well. I've heard both,and unless you have supersonic hearing,this one sounds fine! It also has more attractive artwork,imo!

(http://i.imgur.com/qpb3lid.jpg)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on May 13, 2017, 01:29:17 AM
The alto cd IS very good,though,and cheaper! Also,vandermolen wrote the booklet notes! Let's face it,when did anyone ask me to write any booklet notes? Or even the back of a cornflakes packet? I can dream,though! ::) :( Buy the alto,then the Supraphon,if you like what you've heard. As to Music Magpie? Other purveyors of cds are available,as they say! ;D
And I suggested the release to them.  0:)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Daverz on May 13, 2017, 01:56:51 AM
Regarding an 'authentic' Czech sound and the distinctive sound orchestras from various countries had many years ago,as opposed to the more homogenised sound you get these days. Here is a good example,imho. The recording here of Dvorak's Ninth has a very distinctive sound indeed. The woodwind has a bucolic,chirrupy sound to it which really grabs your attention throughout. It just sounds so Czech. It also happens to be simply one of the best recordings of Dvorak's Ninth. His recording of the Sixth is equally superb. I only wish he could have recorded the lot! It is available in a Gold (remastered) Edition,as well. I've heard both,and unless you have supersonic hearing,this one sounds fine! It also has more attractive artwork,imo!

(http://i.imgur.com/qpb3lid.jpg)

There's also a live 8th with the Concertgebouw that is worth tracking down.  I have it on this set:


Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: cilgwyn on May 13, 2017, 03:02:24 AM
Indeed,but the Supraphon is the one with that Czech sound 71dB was asking me about! I must admit I'm not a fan of live recordings,with a few exceptions. Audience noise and concert hall ambience is okay at a concert,but not something I want to endure repeatedly at home!! ??? ::)  Also,the sound on the Orfeo is poor. Stick to the studio recording,I say. That's what studios are for!! And you get that Czech sound!! ;D
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on May 13, 2017, 03:10:30 AM
Indeed,but the Supraphon is the one with that Czech sound 71dB was asking me about! I must admit I'm not a fan of live recordings,with a few exceptions. Audience noise and concert hall ambience is okay at a concert,but not something I want to endure repeatedly at home!! ??? ::)  Also,the sound on the Orfeo is poor. Stick to the studio recording,I say. That's what studios are for!! And you get that Czech sound!! ;D
I recall that Ancerl's performance of 'In the Tatras' was excellent in the EMI set.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: cilgwyn on May 13, 2017, 03:38:40 AM
I'd like to hear his Martinu. Everytime I click on the buy button,I've said,NO! There are the Supraphon cds and another cd set of radio recordings. Usually quite cheap,but I can't buy everything I want! I have to pay boring old bills!!Another reason why the Atterberg symphonies are,and probably will remain,as Donald Rumsfeld might say,unknown unknowns!! ::) :( ;D I have enjoyed the 1928 recording of the,so called,Dollar Symphony however,conducted by Kurt Atterberg,no less!

And back to Novak. I will listen to Christ Childs Lullaby again,later!
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on May 13, 2017, 04:13:04 AM
I'd like to hear his Martinu. Everytime I click on the buy button,I've said,NO! There are the Supraphon cds and another cd set of radio recordings. Usually quite cheap,but I can't buy everything I want! I have to pay boring old bills!!Another reason why the Atterberg symphonies are,and probably will remain,as Donald Rumsfeld might say,unknown unknowns!! ::) :( ;D I have enjoyed the 1928 recording of the,so called,Dollar Symphony however,conducted by Kurt Atterberg,no less!

And back to Novak. I will listen to Christ Childs Lullaby again,later!

Excellent! Hope you enjoy it.  :)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949) MORE SHAME THAN ONE CAN BARE
Post by: snyprrr on September 19, 2017, 06:28:17 AM
Really, people. >:(


Such a great Piano Quintet,... and, did my buddy send me that SQ3 a while back?,... let's see...
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949) MORE SHAME THAN ONE CAN BARE
Post by: kyjo on September 19, 2017, 10:56:54 AM
Such a great Piano Quintet

+1 I found the theme-and-variations slow movement to be particularly moving.

Also, here's hoping for commercial recordings of the Autumn and May symphonies in the near future!
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949) MORE SHAME THAN ONE CAN BARE
Post by: vandermolen on September 19, 2017, 11:50:54 AM
+1 I found the theme-and-variations slow movement to be particularly moving.

Also, here's hoping for commercial recordings of the Autumn and May symphonies in the near future!
+2
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 19, 2017, 12:20:25 PM
It took me a while,but I'm really starting to like Pan,now. Lovely,nature painting on a truly epic scale. A bit of a Czech equivalent of Bax's Spring Fire in some ways. I like those East European horns,too. Some people have observed that it goes on a bit too long for it's own good;but I'm starting to think it's fine just the way it is!  :) :) :) :)

(http://i.imgur.com/ma4EeJy.jpg)

Yesterday I played Pan, what an amazing music! I perceived a notorious Impressionist influence, echoes of Ravel and especially of Debussy. It's an interesting blending of post-romanticism and French chromatic touches.

I also hope a decent recording of both symphonies  :)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on September 19, 2017, 09:42:51 PM
Yesterday I played Pan, what an amazing music! I perceived a notorious Impressionist influence, echoes of Ravel and especially of Debussy. It's an interesting blending of post-romanticism and French chromatic touches.

I also hope a decent recording of both symphonies  :)
Do you know the original piano version Caesar?
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 20, 2017, 10:04:47 AM
Do you know the original piano version Caesar?

Yes, I have it. I'm not sure if would have been better to listen to the piano version first, though. Currently, I'm listening to the orchestral works, and today I'm gonna play Lady Godiva and Toman and the Wood Nymph from the excellent Chandos recording, which is a desert island disc. I'll play the piano version of Pan when I finish the orchestral, or perhaps I'll play both versions the same day to compare them.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on September 20, 2017, 10:13:45 AM
Yes, I have it. I'm not sure if would have been better to listen to the piano version first, though. Currently, I'm listening to the orchestral works, and today I'm gonna play Lady Godiva and Toman and the Wood Nymph from the excellent Chandos recording, which is a desert island disc. I'll play the piano version of Pan when I finish the orchestral, or perhaps I'll play both versions the same day to compare them.

I love both versions. I think that I knew the orchestral version first.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: cilgwyn on October 15, 2018, 03:12:40 AM
I have been trying to get a,reasonably priced,copy of Zdenĕk Košler's Supraphon recording of Novak's The Storm,for a few years,now,without success! Last night,I went on the internet,for something else. I had my usual look for sought for s/h cd'd (dvd's) and there it was! I bought it,of course! Courtesy of a certain,ubiquitous,purveyor of cd's,dvd's and books,I should have a copy soon! Not long ago,I acquired the Virgin cd of Novak orchestral works,from the same source. Also,a very hard to get s/h copy of Hollreiser's emi recording of Der Zigeunerbaron by Johann Strauss. And very recently,the emi cd of Fricker/Simpson/Orr symphonies! I just wonder what nuggets this seller will bring up next?!! Their customer service has always been very good,too,when required. At least,in my experience.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Roasted Swan on October 15, 2018, 03:26:10 AM
Novak's "The Storm" is a very fine work and the Kosler recording is excellent too - so happy listening!
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on October 15, 2018, 03:59:29 AM
Yes, it's an out-and-out masterpiece as far as I'm concerned - one of the greatest choral works if the 20th Century. That Supraphon recording (there's an older one as well) is terrific, although it would be great to have a more modern recording.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on October 16, 2018, 06:20:17 PM
Having so many new releases of music that probably would never have seen the light of day if it had not been possible by advocate labels like Naxos, cpo, Chandos, etc, will we have the proper recordings of the Novák's two symphonies? I keep hoping that it will be possible in the near future, perhaps next year. The recordings on YouTube of them sound somewhat tortuous to appreciate with no a decent sound.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on October 17, 2018, 12:31:19 PM
Having so many new releases of music that probably would never have seen the light of day if it had not been possible by advocate labels like Naxos, cpo, Chandos, etc, will we have the proper recordings of the Novák's two symphonies? I keep hoping that it will be possible in the near future, perhaps next year. The recordings on YouTube of them sound somewhat tortuous to appreciate with no a decent sound.
+1
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: cilgwyn on October 18, 2018, 03:38:30 AM
On,now. This arrived today. I finally managed to acquire a copy at a reasonable price! I have the old mono recording,and,just listening to this;you really do need to hear this in a good,stereo recording! This is the first time I have really enjoyed this colourful,dramatic music. I am really enjoying this;and I can quite see what vandermolen sees (hears) in it. A new recording would be welcome;but,in lieu of that,Supraphon really should have the sense to reissue this fine recording. Instantly approachable music. If you like choral music,Czech voices and sumptuous late,romantic music,with a dash of nationalism,you need to hear this! I'm impressed. And I like the artwork,too! :) :) :)

(https://i.imgur.com/EHlHr49.jpg)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on October 18, 2018, 05:44:50 AM
On,now. This arrived today. I finally managed to acquire a copy at a reasonable price! I have the old mono recording,and,just listening to this;you really do need to hear this in a good,stereo recording! This is the first time I have really enjoyed this colourful,dramatic music. I am really enjoying this;and I can quite see what vandermolen sees (hears) in it. A new recording would be welcome;but,in lieu of that,Supraphon really should have the sense to reissue this fine recording. Instantly approachable music. If you like choral music,Czech voices and sumptuous late,romantic music,with a dash of nationalism,you need to hear this! I'm impressed. And I like the artwork,too! :) :) :)

(https://i.imgur.com/EHlHr49.jpg)
Yes, it's a fabulous release in all respects.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: relm1 on October 18, 2018, 06:20:43 AM
Agree with all of you about this work and this recording.  I've heard other recordings that are more modern than they lack the sense of joy, grandeur, lyricism, beauty, and adventure to this recording.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on October 18, 2018, 06:49:48 AM
Agree with all of you about this work and this recording.  I've heard other recordings that are more modern than they lack the sense of joy, grandeur, lyricism, beauty, and adventure to this recording.

'Other recordings that are more modern...'! I thought that the Kosler was the most recent. I'd be most interested to find a more recent recording. However, I suspect that I'd always come back to the Kosler.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Irons on October 18, 2018, 07:07:39 AM
Yes, I have it. I'm not sure if would have been better to listen to the piano version first, though. Currently, I'm listening to the orchestral works, and today I'm gonna play Lady Godiva and Toman and the Wood Nymph from the excellent Chandos recording, which is a desert island disc. I'll play the piano version of Pan when I finish the orchestral, or perhaps I'll play both versions the same day to compare them.

I do not have a recording of the orchestral version - I need to find one. For piano, I have.

(https://i.imgur.com/wKXTbY6.jpg)

Brilliant that Novak is discussed in such depth on this forum. If I may throw in my two penny worth, I searched long and hard for a Supraphon recording of "In the Tatras" only to find the coupling, "About the Eternal Longing" is even finer!
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on October 18, 2018, 09:07:19 AM
I do not have a recording of the orchestral version - I need to find one. For piano, I have.

(https://i.imgur.com/wKXTbY6.jpg)

Brilliant that Novak is discussed in such depth on this forum. If I may throw in my two penny worth, I searched long and hard for a Supraphon recording of "In the Tatras" only to find the coupling, "About the Eternal Longing" is even finer!

Please do throw in your views! I like 'In the Tatras' very much. Novak himself was a mountain climber.

My five favourite works:

The Storm
De Profundis
South Bohemian Suite
In the Tatras
Pan (Piano and orchestral versions)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on October 18, 2018, 11:01:41 AM
On,now. This arrived today. I finally managed to acquire a copy at a reasonable price! I have the old mono recording,and,just listening to this;you really do need to hear this in a good,stereo recording! This is the first time I have really enjoyed this colourful,dramatic music. I am really enjoying this;and I can quite see what vandermolen sees (hears) in it. A new recording would be welcome;but,in lieu of that,Supraphon really should have the sense to reissue this fine recording. Instantly approachable music. If you like choral music,Czech voices and sumptuous late,romantic music,with a dash of nationalism,you need to hear this! I'm impressed. And I like the artwork,too! :) :) :)

(https://i.imgur.com/EHlHr49.jpg)

This work was a real eye-opener (or better, an ear-opener!) to me in the Novák's world sound.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on October 18, 2018, 11:51:05 AM
I should have added 'Christ Child's Lullabye' from 'Eight Nocturnes' - one of the most beautiful songs that I know.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: relm1 on October 18, 2018, 03:50:42 PM
This work was a real eye-opener (or better, an ear-opener!) to me in the Novák's world sound.

There is a lot of great Novak.  This disc is excellent too:
https://www.amazon.com/Lady-Godiva-Profundis-Toman-Nymph/dp/B00004TD53

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51D0WXGeb8L._SY355_.jpg)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on October 18, 2018, 04:14:22 PM
There is a lot of great Novak.  This disc is excellent too:
https://www.amazon.com/Lady-Godiva-Profundis-Toman-Nymph/dp/B00004TD53

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51D0WXGeb8L._SY355_.jpg)

I have it, and it's one of the best ones I know. The 3 works in there are superbly well recorded and performed.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: relm1 on October 18, 2018, 04:19:45 PM
I have it, and it's one of the best ones I know. The 3 works in there are superbly well recorded and performed.

Totally agree.  Very colorful, original, and thrilling works brilliantly and vibrantly recorded.  Anyone who likes this composer must own this recording.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on October 18, 2018, 11:02:56 PM
There is a lot of great Novak.  This disc is excellent too:
https://www.amazon.com/Lady-Godiva-Profundis-Toman-Nymph/dp/B00004TD53

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51D0WXGeb8L._SY355_.jpg)
Following our discussion I fished this CD out to play yesterday and totally agree. I wish that Chandos had recorded some more Novak, not least 'The Storm'. As for the above CD it's great to have a modern recording of 'De Profundis', written under Nazi occupation - a defiantly moving work.

I also like this powerful historic recording - an excellent disc as well.


I prefer the South Bohemian Suite, another assertion of Czech independence at a difficult time, to the more famous Slovak Suite.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Irons on October 19, 2018, 07:34:29 AM
Checking out vandermolen's list of works for orchestra pretty much sums up the Novak on my shelves. Only one to add is a "Dramatic Overture, Marsa". I have a few chamber works including this one which has a good image of Novak on the cover. He looks a bit like a mad professor. ;D

(https://i.imgur.com/Qef7sq0.jpg)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on October 19, 2018, 09:53:11 AM
Checking out vandermolen's list of works for orchestra pretty much sums up the Novak on my shelves. Only one to add is a "Dramatic Overture, Marsa". I have a few chamber works including this one which has a good image of Novak on the cover. He looks a bit like a mad professor. ;D

(https://i.imgur.com/Qef7sq0.jpg)

Yes, it's a great photo!

The Piano Quintet gets the thumbs up from me too. Must investigate 'Marsa' which I don't recall.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 08, 2019, 03:44:02 PM
(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/nb/3v/t1uqd5a8l3vnb_600.jpg)

The only recording I know of the 3rd String Quartet is on this CD and it's spellbinding. As in his 2nd SQ, it's in 2 broad movements widely contrasted in moods. The 1st movement is based on or related to folk music of his native land, jolly almost festive at times, while the 2nd is a deep lament with profoundity enough to grip anyone. All the Novák's late-period mastery is displayed. Easily a masterpiece.

The Cello Sonata is very nice for both instruments. Again, the distinctive more-serious taste of his late period is perceived and always with energy enough.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on September 09, 2019, 10:44:17 AM
(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/nb/3v/t1uqd5a8l3vnb_600.jpg)

The only recording I know of the 3rd String Quartet is on this CD and it's spellbinding. As in his 2nd SQ, it's in 2 broad movements widely contrasted in moods. The 1st movement is based on or related to folk music of his native land, jolly almost festive at times, while the 2nd is a deep lament with profoundity enough to grip anyone. All the Novák's late-period mastery is displayed. Easily a masterpiece.

The Cello Sonata is very nice for both instruments. Again, the distinctive more-serious taste of his late period is perceived and always with energy enough.

Looks like a must-have CD Cesar. Thanks for alerting us to it.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 10, 2019, 11:25:23 AM
Looks like a must-have CD Cesar. Thanks for alerting us to it.

You're welcome! Just for the SQ 3 is worth getting.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Symphonic Addict on February 06, 2020, 03:50:34 PM
Since this year commemorates his 150 anniversary, it would be the most fabulous news if one or some record labels took the project of recording the two symphonies. I know Beethoven will be the focus of attention this year, but personally I expect discoveries and recordings of other noteworthy composers whose music deserves attention too, like Novák.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 06, 2020, 03:55:41 PM
Since this year commemorates his 150 anniversary, it would be the most fabulous news if one or some record labels took the project of recording the two symphonies. I know Beethoven will be the focus of attention this year, but personally I expect discoveries and recordings of other noteworthy composers whose music deserves attention too, like Novák.

Just my two cents, but I’ve heard some of Novák’s music and didn’t really think much of it. I think if one is going to write in an Impressionistic style, they need to create something new and fresh with it instead of relying on what Debussy or Ravel achieved. Novák didn’t do this and I have found pretty much everything I’ve heard from him went in one ear and out the other.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Symphonic Addict on February 06, 2020, 05:01:52 PM
Just my two cents, but I’ve heard some of Novák’s music and didn’t really think much of it. I think if one is going to write in an Impressionistic style, they need to create something new and fresh with it instead of relying on what Debussy or Ravel achieved. Novák didn’t do this and I have found pretty much everything I’ve heard from him went in one ear and out the other.

That is your impression, John, and I respect it, but I don't feel that nor share it. In fact, I don't have any problems with composers that don't have a unique or recognizable voice like Ravel or Debussy, for me it's not a requirement to enjoy works by others. If music sounds good and I like it, that is what I care for. In addition, Novák not only did compose in an Impressionistic style, but he did in other styles, as can be evident in works like the 3rd String Quartet, which I rank very high. Another work I find interesting and doesn't sound impressionistic is De Profundis. IIRC, The Storm has some Impressionistic elements, but as a whole is a masterpiece of tremendous drama.

I could mention composers you like but I don't and that I don't think are great, but I think it's pointless. Anyway, it's interesting to contrast opinions about music!
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 06, 2020, 05:13:59 PM
That is your impression, John, and I respect it, but I don't feel that nor share it. In fact, I don't have any problems with composers that don't have a unique or recognizable voice like Ravel or Debussy, for me it's not a requisite to enjoy works by others. If music sounds good and I like it, that is what I care for. In addition, Novák not only did compose in an Impressionistic style, but he did in other styles, as can be evident in works like the 3rd String Quartet, which I rank very high. Another work I find interesting and doesn't sound impressionistic is De Profundis. IIRC, The Storm has some Impressionistic elements, but as a whole is a masterpiece of tremendous drama.

I could mention composers you like but I don't and that I don't think are great, but I think it's pointless. Anyway, it's interesting to contrast opinions about music!

Well it’s certainly true that we like is what we like, but for the past few years, I’ve finally started to nail down what it is I like and dislike about this or that piece or this or that composer. I think what I’m finding out and what seems to be where my mind is at in this given moment is that much of the old-fashioned music that I once enjoyed has become stale to me. Progressively I have been moving away from composers like Elgar or Vaughan Williams for example for years and I knew that something was definitely wrong when I couldn’t even sit through a performance of RVW’s A Pastoral Symphony several weeks ago. My tastes have changed for better or for worse. I think this is something that was going to happen whenever I started listening to the Second Viennese School around 7-8 years ago. This isn’t to say that what you’re listening to or what Vandermolen or whoever is listening to is bad --- that’s certainly not what I’m saying. It’s simply that I’ve matured in my listening and have become much more critical of music that simply does nothing for me or that I find to just not be very good (or whatever). I respect your own opinions and I hope you understand that I’m not singling anyone out for not listening to something that I find unenjoyable. Everyone has their opinions about music and we all gravitate towards the sounds that we’re attracted to. As a funny aside, if you had told me 9 years ago that I would like Boulez’s music, I would have laughed my ass off, because I’d deny it in a heartbeat. How wrong I would have been, too, which would certainly not be the first nor the last time I was wrong. :)
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Daverz on February 06, 2020, 08:47:28 PM
That is your impression, John

Ah, Novak has the MI seal of approval at last.   :P
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on February 07, 2020, 12:15:25 AM
I rate Novak very highly and consider him not just 'undeservedly neglected' but a great composer. I consider 'The Storm' one of the greatest choral works of the 20th Century. Oddly enough Novak lived about as far as the sea as you could get. Must add this work to relm1's 'catharsis' thread! De Profundis, In the Tatras, the South Bohemian Suite and the Nocturnes for Voice and Orchestra all move me greatly as does some of the chamber music. I'm less keen on the Slovak Suite.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: kyjo on February 09, 2020, 01:04:49 PM
Just my two cents, but I’ve heard some of Novák’s music and didn’t really think much of it. I think if one is going to write in an Impressionistic style, they need to create something new and fresh with it instead of relying on what Debussy or Ravel achieved. Novák didn’t do this and I have found pretty much everything I’ve heard from him went in one ear and out the other.

Am I the only person getting really tired of you butting in and expressing your dislike for a composer’s music whenever someone else expresses their admiration for it? I’m not the greatest fan of most of Debussy’s music, for example, but I - nor anyone else on this forum - don’t butt in and say something negative about it whenever you express admiration for it or anything else. In case you’re wondering, John, this is the reason why I don’t have much interest in communicating with you on this forum anymore. And, for what it’s worth, I don’t think most of Novák’s music sounds one bit like Debussy or Ravel. I do wonder what’s happened to your ears recently...
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Christo on February 09, 2020, 09:51:41 PM
I rate Novak very highly and consider him not just 'undeservedly neglected' but a great composer. I consider 'The Storm' one of the greatest choral works of the 20th Century. Oddly enough Novak lived about as far as the sea as you could get. Must add this work to relm1's 'catharsis' thread! De Profundis, In the Tatras, the South Bohemian Suite and the Nocturnes for Voice and Orchestra all move me greatly as does some of the chamber music. I'm less keen on the Slovak Suite.
I don’t think most of Novák’s music sounds one bit like Debussy or Ravel. I do wonder what’s happened to your ears recently...

This - the two of you - settle the deal, isn't it? What I heard from Novák is still not enough to be able to join the club, but certainly enough to be curious for much more. He's an original composer, one of the Czech 'great', and there are so many, from Smetana, Dvořák, Suk, Janáček and Martinů, to Schulhoff and Kabeláč, to mention only the better known.

BTW, and something for John here to ponder: isn't Martinů - the later Martinů I mean, since he was exiled - the only "sea composer" in this row? Very good point by Jeffrey: if anything, Novák is all too obviously not among them.  ;D
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Symphonic Addict on March 01, 2020, 08:32:34 PM
(https://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/SU3050-2.jpg)

I stumbled upon this rarity, and a good rarity it is. Nikotina is a ballet whose music is highly imaginative, quirky, frolicsome, and I could say it's significantly tuneful too. It's been a pretty agreeable discovery. Something bad about it is the only track for the 52 minutes of this work. Not very helpful actually. Toman and the Wood Nymph is the another work, and I think it's a better performance than that on Chandos. This may not be the most memorable stuff out there, but I do find it voluptuous, dramatic, atmospheric with a rich orchestration and that's enough to enjoy it very much, for me anyway.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on March 01, 2020, 11:14:15 PM
(https://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/SU3050-2.jpg)

I stumbled upon this rarity, and a good rarity it is. Nikotina is a ballet whose music is highly imaginative, quirky, frolicsome, and I could say it's significantly tuneful too. It's been a pretty agreeable discovery. Something bad about it is the only track for the 52 minutes of this work. Not very helpful actually. Toman and the Wood Nymph is the another work, and I think it's a better performance than that on Chandos. This may not be the most memorable stuff out there, but I do find it voluptuous, dramatic, atmospheric with a rich orchestration and that's enough to enjoy it very much, for me anyway.
Looks like a most interesting CD Cesar. I don't know either work.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Symphonic Addict on March 02, 2020, 09:53:00 AM
Looks like a most interesting CD Cesar. I don't know either work.

You might like it, Jeffrey. Sounds great. There's another ballet called Signorina Gioventu, also on Supraphon, coupled with the tone poem Eternal Longing. I look forward to listening to it as well.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on March 02, 2020, 10:20:09 AM
You might like it, Jeffrey. Sounds great. There's another ballet called Signorina Gioventu, also on Supraphon, coupled with the tone poem Eternal Longing. I look forward to listening to it as well.
Thanks Cesar. I know 'Eternal Longing' which I like although my favourites are:
The Storm
South Bohemian Suite
Eight Nocturnes for Voice and Orchestra
In the Tatras
De Profundis.
Pan (Piano/Orchestral versions)
Piano Quintet.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: Symphonic Addict on March 02, 2020, 01:27:07 PM
Thanks Cesar. I know 'Eternal Longing' which I like although my favourites are:
The Storm
South Bohemian Suite
Eight Nocturnes for Voice and Orchestra
In the Tatras
De Profundis.

I would also add the string quartets 2 and 3, Pan (orchestral version) and the Sonata Eroica for piano.
Title: Re: Vitezslaw Novak (1870-1949)
Post by: vandermolen on March 02, 2020, 11:34:27 PM
I would also add the string quartets 2 and 3, Pan (orchestral version) and the Sonata Eroica for piano.
I should have included Pan, which I like in both piano and orchestral versions.
I also like the Piano Quintet.
I've now added Pan to my list.
(http://[img][img])[/img][/img]