Academic journal article Fontes Artis Musicae

A New Volume of the Bohuslav Martin Critical Edition, Cantatas

Academic journal article Fontes Artis Musicae

A New Volume of the Bohuslav Martin Critical Edition, Cantatas

Article excerpt

A new volume of the Bohuslav Martin critical edition, Cantatas, edited by Vit Zouhar, has recently been published by Barenreiter-Verlag. The Bohuslav MartinU Complete Edition brings together the complete works of the distinguished Czech composer Bohuslav Martini (1890-1959), who is considered one of the most prolific and versatile composers of the twentieth century.

The four chamber cantatas on texts by Miloslav Bures originated in a period of intense creative activity in the years 1955-59. Bohuslav Martinu completed a number of important works at that time, including the Epic of Gilgamesh, H 351, and the Greek Passion, H 372 I/II. The four cantatas contained in this volume are thematically and linguistically connected to Czech culture, however, they greatly surpass the narrow boundaries of their regional context. From the 1930s, the motives of homecoming and searching for one's identity appear in the operas, cantatas, choral works, and song cycles of Bohuslav Martinu. The methods of composition used in the cantatas also build on the folkloric bases mentioned by the composer from that time onward. The dramaturgy, subject matter, themes, and treatment correspond to his concept of modern musical theatre. …

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