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JANACEK, Leos  (1854-1928)

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Janacek, Leo, greatly significant Czech composer; b. Hukvaldy, Moravia, July 3,1854; d. Moravská Ostrava, Aug. 12, 1928. He grew up in a musical household; his father was a choirmaster. At the age of 11 he was sent to Bmo to serve as a chorister at the Augustinian Queen’s Monastery, where he was schooled under its choirmaster, Ktizkovsk~. He then went to the German College in Bmo (1869-72); subsequently occupied a teaching post and also served as choirmaster of the men’s chorus, Svatopluk (1873-77), taking an opportunity to study organ with Skuhersk~ at the Prague Organ School (1874-75). He conducted the Beseda Choral Soc. in Bmo (1876-88), and also pursued studies at the Leipzig Cons., where he took music history courses with Oskar Paul and composition courses with Leo Grill (1879-80). He continued his composition studies with Franz Krenn at the Vienna Cons.; returning to Brno, he was appointed the 1st director of the new organ school (1881). His social position in Brno was enhanced by his marriage to Zdenka Schulzová, the daughter of the director of the teachers’ training college. He also engaged in scholarly activities; from 1884 to 1886 was ed. of the music journal Hudebni Listy (Music Bulletins); he further became associated with Franticek Bartog in collecting Moravian folk songs. From 1886 to 1902 he taught music at the Brno Gymnasium. In 1919 he retired from his directorship of the Brno Organ School, and then taught master classes in Bmo (1920-25). Throughout all these busy years he worked diligently on his compositions, showing particular preference for operas.
Janácek’s style of composition underwent numerous transformations-from Romantic techniques of established formulas to bold dissonant combinations. He was greatly influenced by the Russian musical nationalism exemplified by the “realistic” speech inflections in vocal writing. He visited St. Petersburg and Moscow in 1896 and 1902, and publ. his impressions of the tour in the Brno press. From 1894 to 1903 he worked assiduously on his most important opera, Jeji pastorkyña (Her Foster Daughter), to a highly dramatic libretto set in Moravia in the mid-l9th century, involving a jealous contest between 2 brothers for the hand of Jen~fa (the innocent heroine), and infanticide at the hands of a foster mother, with an amazing outcome absolving JenMa and her suitors. The opera encountered great difficulty in securing production in Prague because of its grisly subject, but was eventually produced on various European stages, mostly in the German text, and under the title Jen~fa. Another opera by Janacek that attracted attention was V~let pana Brouëka do XV stoleti (Mr. Brou&k’s Excursion to the 15th Century), depicting the imaginary travel of a Czech patriot to the time of the religious struggle mounted by the followers of the nationalist leader Hus against the established church. There followed an operatic fairy tale, Pfthody Lafky Bystroafky (The Adventures of the Vixen Bystrou~ka, or The Cunning Little Vixen), and a mystery play, We Makropulos (The Makropulos Affair). Janafnk’s great interest in Russian literature was reflected in his opera Kdt’a Kabanovd, after the drama The Storm by the Russian playwright Ostrovsky, and one after Dostoyevsky, Z mrtvëho domu (From the House of the Dead). He further composed a symphonic poem, Taras Bulba (the fictional name of a Ukrainian patriot, after a story by Gogol). Like most artists, writers, and composers of Slavic origin in the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, Janacek had a natural interest in the Pan-Slavic movement, with an emphasis on the common origins of Russian, Czech, Slovak, and other kindred cultures; his GIagoIitic Mass, to a Latin text tr. into the Czech language, is an example. Janacek lived to witness the fall of the old Austrian regime and the national rise of the Slavic populations. He also showed great interest in the emerging Soviet school of composition, even though he refrained from any attempt to join that movement. Inevitably, he followed the striking innovations of the modern school of composition as set forth in the works of Stravinsky and Schoenberg, but he was never tempted to experiment along those revolutionary lines. He remained faithful to his own well- defined style, and it was as the foremost composer of modem
Czech music that he secured for himself his unique place iii history.
Works: STAGE: OPERAS: ~cirka (1887-88; rev. 1918-19 with Act 3 orchestrated by 0. Chlubna; rev. 1924-25; Bmo Nov 11, 1925); Poëcitek romanu (The Beginning of a Romance 1891; Bmo, Feb. 10, 1894);Jejipastorkyña (Her FosterDaugli. ter; generally known by its German title, Jena4a; 1894-1903 Bmo, Jan. 21, 1904; several subsequent revisions, inch final version by K. Kova±ovic, 1916; Prague, May 26 1916); Osud (Fate; 1903-5; rev. 1906-7; 1st complete perf Bins Radio, Sept. 18, 1934; 1st stage perf., National Theater Brn~ Oct. 25, 1958); Vglet pana Broudca do mësice (Mr. Brouceks Excursion to the Moon; 1908-17; National Theater, Prague, April 23, 1920); a sequel to the preceding, V~j1et pana Broutha do XV stoleti (Mr. Brou~ek’s Excursion to the 15th Century’ 1917; National Theater, Prague, April 23, 1920); Kdta Kaba~ nova (1919-21; Bmo, Nov.23, 1921); Pfthody Li.~ky Bystrouth~ (The Adventures of the Vixen Bystrou~ka; The Cunning Little - Vixen; 1921-23; Brno, Nov. 6,1924); We Makropulos (The Makropulos Affair; 1923-25; Bmo, Dec. 18, 1926); Z mrtvéha domu (From the House of the Dead; 1927-28; rev, and reorch estrated by 0. Chlubna and B. Bakala, 1930; Bmo, Apnl 12, 1930). FOLK BALLET: Rclkos Rdkoczy (National Theater Prague, July 24, 1891).
CHORAL:    SACRED: Fideiis servus for Mixed Voices (c 1870) Graduate in festo puriflcationis B.V.M. for Mixed Voices (c.1870; rev. 1887); Mass (c.1870; not extant); Graduate (Speciosus farina) for Mixed Voices and Organ (1874); Introztos - (in festo Ss. Nominis Jesu) for Mixed Voices and Organ (1874); Benedictus for Soprano, Mixed Voices, and Organ (1875) Corn munio for Mixed Voices (1875); Exaudi Deus for Mixed Voices (1875; rev. 1877); Odpoãin si (Take Your Rest) for Male Voices (c. 1875); Regnum mundi for Mixed Voices (1878); Deset ~es k~jch cirkevnich zpevö z Lehnerova mefiho kancinonalu (10 Czech Hymns from the Lehner Hymnbook for Mass) with Organ (1881); Hospodine! (Lord Have Mercy) for Soprano - Alto, Tenor, Bass, Double Chorus, Organ Harp, 4 Trombone~ and Tuba (1896); Slavnostni sbor (Festival Chorus) for Male Voices (1897); Svatg Vclclave! (St. Wenceslas; 1902); Coast ztues for Male Voices and Organ (c. 1902); Zdrcivas Maria for Tenor Mixed Voices, and Organ (1904); [7] Cirkevni zpëvy ëeskt~vzceh Iasné z pftborskdho kanciondlu (Czech Hymns for Several Voices from the Pi4bor Hymnbook; c.l904); Mass an Eflat major for Voices and Organ (1907-8; left incomplete; finashni and orchestrated by V. Petr~elka; Bmo, March 7, 1943) Vera sancte spii-itus for Male Voices (1910). SECULAR (for Male Voices unless otherwise given): Srbskd lidovd piseñ (Serbian Folk Song) for Mixed Voices (1873); Ordni (Ploughing; 1873) VI Ieãnd (War Song; 1873); Nestdlost Iclsky (The Fickleness of Love; 1873); Osdméldbez techy (Alone without Comfort 1874 rev. 1898 and 1925); Divine se mildmu (I Wonder at My Beloved; 1875); Vinek stonulg (A Drowned Wreath; 1875) Laslu opradivcl (True Love; 1876); Kdyf mne nechcef coz je vat (If You Don’t Want Me, What Else Is There?; 1876); Zp~uod duma (Choral Elegy; 1876); Slavnostni sbor (Festival Chorus) for Soloists and Voices (1877); Osudu neujdef (You Cannct - Escape Your Fate; 1878); Na kofatej jedli dva holubi seda (On the Bushy Fir Tree 2 Pigeons Are Perched; c. 1878); Posed v jeseni (Autumn Song) for .Mixed Voices (1880); Na prnevoze (1883); Mu±skésbory (Male Voice Choruses; 1885); Kcu~enaa6- vokd (The Wild Duck) for Mixed Voices (1885); Tn muzskt.s. bory (3 Male Voice Choruses; 1888); Nafe pisefl (Our Song) for Mixed Voices and Orch. (1890); Zelené sem sela (I Have Sown Green) for Mixed Voices and Orch. (1892); Coz to nate biiza (Our Birch Tree; 1893); Vinek (The Garland; 1893) Ut je slflnko z tej hory yen (The Sun Has Risen above That Hall) for Baritone, Mixed Voices, and Piano (1894); (tvero muzskyck sborz~ moravskgch (4 Moravian Male Voice Choruses 1904); Kantor Halfar (1906); Mary~ka MagdOnova (1906-7); Sedmdt~ sat tisic (The 70,000; 1909); Perina (The Eiderdown 1914) Vh~istopa (The Wolf s Trail) for Soprano, Women’s Voices and Piano (1916); Hradãanskepisniëky (Songs of Hrad~any) for Women’s Voices (1916); Kaspar Ruckg’s for Soprano and Wornen’s Voices (1916); (eskdlegie (The Czech Legion; 1918); Potnlnysilenec (The Wandering Madman) for Soprano and Male Voices (1922); Nage vlajka (Our Flag) for 2 Sopranos and Male Voices (1925-26); Sbor pi~i kladenizakiadniho kamene Masarykovy university v Ba-ne (Chorus for Laying the Foundation Stone of Masaryk University in Brno; 1928). CANTATAS:AlflclrUS for Soprano, Tenor, Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1897; Kromêti~, Dec. 2,1900; rev. 1901 and 1906); Otëe nd~ (Our Father) for Tenor, Chorus, and Piano or Harnonium (1901; Brno, June 15, 1901; rev. 1906); Elegie no smrt dcery Olgy (Elegy on the Death of My Daughter Olga) for Tenor, Chorus, and Piano (1903; rev. 1904; Brno Radio, Dec. 20, 1930); Na Soldni Cartak (Carták on the Soláfl) for Tenor, Male Voices, and Orch. (1911; Brno, March 13, 1912); Vëëneevangelium (The Eternal Gospel) for Soprano, Tenor, Chorus, and Orch. (1914; Prague, Feb. 5,1917; rev. 1924); Glago/skd ms~e (Glagolitic Mass) for Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, Chorus, Orch., and Organ (1926; Bmo, Dec. 5, 1927). CHAMBER voci*.a: Zapisnik zmizeleho (The Diary of One Who Disappeared), song cycle for Tenor, Alto, 3 Women’s Voices, and Piano (1917-19; Brno, April 18, 1921); 1~ikadla (Nursery Rhymes), 8 pieces for 3 Women’s Voices, Clarinet, and Piano (Brno, Oct. 26, 1925; rev. version, 1927, as 18 pieces and an introduction for 2 Sopranos, 2 Altos, 3 Tenors, 2 Basses, 9 Instruments, and Children’s Drum).
ORcH.: Suite for Strings (Brno, Dec. 2, 1877); Idyll for Strings
(Bmo, Dec. 15, 1878); Suite (Serenade), op. 3 (1891; Brno,
Sept. 23, 1928); Adagio (1891); 2drlivost (Jealousy), overture
(1894; 1st concert perf., Prague, Nov. 10, 1906); Sumafovo
ditè(The Fiddler’s Child), ballad (1912; Prague, Nov. 14, 1917);
Taras Balba, rhapsody after Gogol (1915-18; Brno, Oct. 9,
1921); Balada blanickd (The Ballad of Blanik), symphonic poem
(1920; Brno, March 21, 1920); Sin fonietta (Prague, June 29,
1926); Dunaj (The Danube), symphonic poem (1923-28; Unfinished; completed by 0. Chlubna, 1948); Violin Concerto:
Putovdnidafic~ky (Pilgrimage of the Soul; 1926; Brno, Sept.
29, 1988).
CHAMBER:    Znèlka (Fanfare) for 4 Violins (1875); Zvuky ku památce Forckqotta-Tova~ovskëho (Sounds in Memory of Forchgotta-Tova~ovskdho) for 3 Violins, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass (1875); Romance for Violin and Piano (1879); Dumka for Violin and Piano (1880); Prohddka (Fairy Tale) for Cello and Piano (1910; rev. 1923); Presto for Cello and Piano (c.1910); Violin Sonata (1914-21; Balada only); String Quartet No. 1 (1923-24; Prague, Sept. 17, 1924; based on the lost Piano Trio of 1908-9); Mlddi (Youth), suite for Wind Sextet (Bmo, Oct. 21, 1924); Pochod Modrdëka~ (March of the Blue Boys) for Piccolo and Piano (1924); Concertino for Piano, 2 Violins, Viola, Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon (1925; Bmo, Feb. 16, 1926); Capriccio Vzdor (Defiance) for Piano Left-hand and Chamber Ensemble (1926; Prague, March 2, 1928); String Quartet No. 2, Listy d?ivërné (Intimate Letters; Brno, Sept. 11, 1928; rev. 1947, by 0. Sourek).
Pi.~r~o: Thema con variazioni (Zdenciny variace: Zdenka Vailations; 1880); Na pamdtku (In Memoriam; c.1886); Pu zarostLen chodnièku (On the Overgrown Path), 15 pieces (1901-8; 7 originally for Harmonium); Sonata ).X.1905 Z alice (From the Street; 1905; only 2 movements extant; inspired by the abortive but sanguine Russian revolt); V ml)u.ich (In the Mists; 1912; rev. 1949, by B. Stêdroñ); Vzpomink.a (Reminiscence;
Janácek made many arrangements of folk music and prepared the following eds. of folk songs: with F. Barto~, Kytice ndrodnich pIani moravskgch (A Bouquet of Moravian Folk Songs; Tek, 1890; 3rd ed., rev., 1901; 4th ed., 1953, edited by A. Gregor and B. Stèdrofl); 53 songs (Tek, 1882-91; 2nd ed., 1908, as Moravaskdlidovd poesie v pisnich; Moravian Folk Poetry in Songs; 4th ed., 1947, edited by B. Stëdroia); with F. Barto~, Ndrodni pisne moravskë v nave nasbirand (Moravian Folk Songs Newly Collected; 1899); with P. Vá~a, Moravskë plate milostné (Moravian Love Songs; 1928). A complete critical ed. of the works of JanaCek began publication in Prague in 1978. WRITINGS:    J. Vys1oucil, ed., 0 hdovëpisni a hdové hudbë (Folk Song and Folk Music; Prague, 1955); Z. B1a~ek, ed., Hudebnë teoretické duo (Music Theory Works; 2 vols., Prague, 1968, 1974).