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Martinu, Bohuslav (1890-1959)

Bohuslav Martinů

born: 8 December 1890
died: 28 August 1959
country: Czechoslovakia

Bohuslav Martinů (December 8, 1890—August 28, 1959) was educated in the classic romantic style and deliberately withdrew after the First World War from the previous generation of teachers. He went through a trial period of expressionism and constructivism, and became an admirer of the current technical developments (orchestral sentences Half-time, La Bagarre) and jazz period as well (Kitchen Revue). Of all of the post-war avant-garde styles, neo-classicism influenced him the most. Despite all of these stimuli from the 30s, he still used Czech folk melodies, usually nursery rhymes (Opening of the Wells). With respect to this he shows his personal difference from the avant-garde scene of the time.

He emigrated to the United States in 1941 after the invasion of France, where he became, after Antonín Dvořák, especially with his symphonies and instrumental concerts (piano, harpsichord, violin etc.), the most significant Czech symphonic composer earning global prestige. There he joined intonated Czech music with his homesickness for his native country, to which he could never return. His chamber as well as choral works (the cantata Gilgameš, Polní mše (Field Mass), Songs, Chorales) are prolific. He wrote 15 operas (including Three Wishes, Miracles of Mary, Julietta, and The Greek Passion), and 14 ballets.

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