Bohuslav Martinu
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1890-12-08
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/a81e92aa-7580-4201-a0c3-d66b420695c4
Bohuslav Martinu

Bohuslav Martinu Biography (BBC)

Born in a church tower in the village of Polička in the Bohemian-Moravian highlands, Bohuslav Martinů began violin lessons aged 7 and was sent to the Prague Conservatory, funded by the Polička villagers.

In 1923 he moved to Paris to study, and stayed for 17 years, absorbing the avant-garde as well as jazz influences, the latter enshrined in the chamber work La revue de cuisine (1927). He fled Paris for the USA following the German invasion of 1940, taking up teaching posts at Tanglewood and at Princeton University. Settling in New York, he was championed by Serge Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Martinů's prolific output of over 400 works crosses all genres – from piano solo to opera, from chamber music to ballet and film music – and his unclassifiable style has contributed to his works falling into neglect. Among his masterpieces is the cantata The Epic of Gilgamesh (1955) and the operas Julietta (1938) and The Greek Passion (completed in 1959). After leaving Paris he felt the constant pull of his homeland, though decided not to return after Czechoslovakia came under Communist rule in 1948. Instead, he returned to Western Europe for his final years.

Profile © Edward Bhesania

Bohuslav Martinu Biography (Wikipedia)

Bohuslav Martinů (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 Kuchyňské revue ("Kitchen Revue").

In the early 1930s he found his main font for compositional style, the neo-classical as developed by Stravinsky. With this, he expanded to become a prolific composer, composing chamber, orchestral, choral and instrumental works at a fast rate. 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").

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Bohuslav Martinu Performances

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Bohuslav Martinu
Etudes and polkas - book 3 for piano
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Etudes and polkas - book 3 for piano
Bohuslav Martinu
II. Moderato (Madrigal Sonata for flute, violin and piano)
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II. Moderato (Madrigal Sonata for flute, violin and piano)
Bohuslav Martinu
Sonatina for clarinet & piano (1956)
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Sonatina for clarinet & piano (1956)
Bohuslav Martinu
Symphony No 6, 'Fantaisies Symphoniques'
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Symphony No 6, 'Fantaisies Symphoniques'
Bohuslav Martinu
3 Czech dances for piano
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3 Czech dances for piano
Bohuslav Martinu
Symphony No.6 (H.343) [1953] "Fantasies symphoniques"
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Symphony No.6 (H.343) [1953] "Fantasies symphoniques"
Bohuslav Martinu
Piano Trio No. 2 in D minor (ii. Andante)
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Piano Trio No. 2 in D minor (ii. Andante)
Bohuslav Martinu
Spalicek: The Market - dance of the bumble-bee
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Spalicek: The Market - dance of the bumble-bee
Bohuslav Martinu
Duo No 2 for Violin and viola, H331
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Duo No 2 for Violin and viola, H331
Bohuslav Martinu
Spalicek - suite no. 2: Tanec Certu (Dance of the devils)
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Spalicek - suite no. 2: Tanec Certu (Dance of the devils)
Bohuslav Martinu
Cinderella's Ball at the Palace (from Spalicek)
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Cinderella's Ball at the Palace (from Spalicek)
Bohuslav Martinu
Koleda milostna (Love carol)
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Koleda milostna (Love carol)
Bohuslav Martinu
Czech Rhapsody
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Czech Rhapsody
Bohuslav Martinu
Variations on a Slovak theme for cello and piano
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Variations on a Slovak theme for cello and piano
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