Overview

Bohuslav Jan Martinů (Czech: [ˈboɦuslafˈ ˈja:n ˈmarcɪnuː]; December 8, 1890 – August 28, 1959) was a Czech composer of modern classical music. Martinů wrote 6 symphonies, 15 operas, 14 ballet scores and a large body of orchestral, chamber, vocal etc.

Biography

Bohuslav Jan Martinů (Czech: [ˈboɦuslafˈ ˈja:n ˈmarcɪnuː]; December 8, 1890 – August 28, 1959) was a Czech composer of modern classical music. Martinů wrote 6 symphonies, 15 operas, 14 ballet scores and a large body of orchestral, chamber, vocal and instrumental works. Martinů became a violinist in the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and taught music in his home town. In 1923 Martinů left Czechoslovakia for Paris, and deliberately withdrew from the Romantic style in which he had been trained. In the 1930s he experimented with expressionism and constructivism, and became an admirer of current European technical developments, exemplified by his orchestral works Half-time and La Bagarre. He also adopted jazz idioms, for instance in his La revue de cuisine ("Kitchen Revue").

In the early 1930s he found his main fount for compositional style, the neoclassicism as developed by Stravinsky. With this, he expanded to become a prolific composer, quickly composing chamber, orchestral, choral and instrumental works. His use of the piano obbligato became his signature. His Concerto Grosso and the Double Concerto for Two String Orchestras, Piano and Timpani are among his best known works from this period. Among his operas, Julietta and The Greek Passion are considered the finest. He is compared with Prokofiev and Bartók in his innovative incorporation of Central European ethnomusicology into his music. He continued to use Bohemian and Moravian folk melodies throughout his oeuvre, usually nursery rhymes—for instance in Otvírání studánek ("The Opening of the Wells").

His symphonic career began when he emigrated to the United States in 1941, fleeing the German invasion of France, to compose his six symphonies, which were performed by all the major US orchestras. Eventually Bohuslav Martinů returned to live in Europe for two years starting in 1953, then was back in New York until returning to Europe for good in May 1956. He died in Switzerland in August 1959.

Music

Martinů was a prolific composer who wrote almost 400 pieces. Many of his works are regularly performed or recorded, among them his choral work The Epic of Gilgamesh (1955); his six symphonies; his concertos, including those for violoncello, viola, violin, oboe and five for the piano; his anti-war opera Comedy on the Bridge; his chamber music, including eight string quartets, three piano quintets a piano quartet, a flute sonata, a clarinet sonatina and another for trumpet, both from his 1956.

A characteristic feature of his orchestral writing is the near-omnipresent piano; many of his orchestral works include a prominent part for piano, including his small Concerto for harpsichord and chamber orchestra. The bulk of his writing from the 1930s into the 1950s was in a neoclassical vein, but with his last works he opened up his style to include more rhapsodic gestures and a looser, more spontaneous sense of form. This is easiest to hear by comparing his sixth symphony, titled "Fantaisies symphoniques", with its five predecessors, all from the 1940s.[citation needed]

One of Martinů's lesser known works features the theremin. Martinů started working on his Fantasia for theremin, oboe, string quartet and piano in the summer of 1944 and finished it on October 1.[citation needed] He dedicated it to Lucie Bigelow Rosen, who had commissioned it and was the theremin soloist at its premiere at New York's Town Hall on 3 November 1945, joined by the Koutzen Quartet, Robert Bloom (oboe), and Carlos Salzedo (piano).

His opera The Greek Passion is based on the novel of the same name by Nikos Kazantzakis, and his orchestral work Memorial to Lidice (Památník Lidicím) was written in remembrance of the village of Lidice that was destroyed by the Nazis in reprisal for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in the late spring of 1942. It was completed in August 1943 whilst he was in New York and premiered there in October of that year.

Martinů
Information
Info: Czech composer
Index: 8.2
Type: Person Male
Period: 1890.12.8 - 1959.8.28
Age: aged 68
Area :Czech
Occupation :Composer
Periods :Modernist Music

Artist

Update Time:2017-11-09 18:50 / 6 years, 3 months ago.