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President:
Jakub Hrůša
 
Patron:
Graham Melville-Mason
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Journal “Czech Music” Volume 9 (Abstract)

Contents of this page

Slovak Music: A Introduction (1)
Robert Hopkins
[Czech Music: Journal of the Dvořák Society, Vol. 9, No. 1 (1983), pp. 7-16]

      In contrast to the outburst of Czech nationalist music in the nineteenth century, Slovak music essentially a twentieth century phenomenon. The first identifiable figure in the rebirth of Slovak music was Bella (1843-1936). The first to discover the riches of Slovak music we Vítězslav Novák and significantly his pupils included Moyzes, Suchoň and Cikker, the three most eminent Slovak composers of the early twentieth century. In most of their works are Slovak stylistic features, though not necessarily using folk material directly. All composed successfully in a wide range of musical genres. Apart from Ferenczy, the most distinguished of the second generation of Slovak composers were pupils of Moyzes or Suchoň. These included Holoubek, Kardoš, Očenaš and Zimmer. Zimmer was the last to reach maturity during this nationalistic era of Slovak music. From the 1960s Czechslovakia became more open to western influences, and a new period in the region’s music began.

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Slovak Music: A Introduction (2)
Robert Hopkins
[Czech Music: Journal of the Dvořák Society, Vol. 9, No. 3 (1983), pp. 6-14]

      From the late 1950s there was a cultural thaw in communist eastern Europe which led to composers in the region radically modifying their approach to musical composition, in response, for example, to western serial techniques, electronic methods, and others. Folklore and nationalistic elements were increasingly regarded as anachronistic. Affected were composers of the earlier generation such as Cikker, as reflected in his finest opera, Resurrection, thoroughly post-Bergian in character, and Suchoň, though less so Moyzes who found it more difficult to adapt his musical style to the new influences. Kardoš, Holoubek, Kowalski, Ferenczy and Zimmer found it easier to convert to serialism. A third generation of composers varied in their responses. Pupils of Moyzes such as Burlas, Popišil, and Martiček tended towards conservatism. At the other extreme were more radical experimental voices such as Kupkovič, Malovec and the prolific Zeljenka. During the 1970s there was some return to older influences, with a revival of the nationalistic spirit in works by Cikker and Suchoň, and in some of the second generation composers such as Kardoš, Očenaš and Ferenczy. Others, such as Berger, Malovec and Zeljenka have maintained their allegiance to the more international influences. The introduction of a new Slovak record label, OPUS, from the late 1960s had advantages in the recording more Slovak music, but the negative impact that Supraphon deleted most of its recordings of Slovak music, making it more difficult to purchase this music in the west.

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Dvořák’s Australian Success
John Clapham
[Czech Music: Journal of the Dvořák Society, Vol. 9, No. 4 (1983), pp. 5-8]

      Following other successes abroad, and particularly in England, Dvořák’s music reached Australia in the mid-1880s, a performance of the Stabat Mater in Melbourne in September 1885 arousing great enthusiasm and aspirations to hear more of the composer‘s music. This was followed by a performance of the D major Symphony, again in Melbourne, which confirmed the local judgement that Dvořák was in the front rank of contemporary composers. The success of The Spectre’s Bride in Birmingham led to demands for a Melbourne performance which took place in October 1886. The enterprise was so much appreciated that to cater for the excess of demand a repeat performnce was arranged. Notably the work received twenty-four performances by the end of the 1886 season, of which not one was in Europe, outside the Czech lands and Britain.

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