Novák, Vítezslav


Novák, Vítezslav

Svatováclavský Triptych (St. Wenceslas Triptych) Op. 70 for large orchestra and organ

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Vítězslav Novák -Svatováclavský Triptych (St. Wenceslas Triptych)

Toccata, Chaconne and Fugue for large orchestra and organ, Op. 70 (1941)

(b. 5 December 1870, Kamenice nad Lipou – d. 18 July 1949, Skuteč)

Toccata. Allegro risoluto (p. 1) – Andante sostenuto (p. 38) –
Ciacona. Andante (p. 40) – Poco più mosso (p. 60) – Molto tranquillo – Assai sostenuto (p. 65) –
Fuga. Moderato con moto, ben ritmico (p. 66)

As one of the most important Czech composers of the generation after Dvořák, Vítězslav Novák, similarly to the one decade older Josef Bohuslav Foerster and the one decade younger Otakar Ostrčil, ultimately fell into the shadow of the late creative blossoming of Leoš Janáček and of his friend Josef Suk, who died too early. Today, Novák‘s music is performed almost exclusively in the Czech Republic, and this – despite his reputation – not too often. His first formative teacher was the conductor Vilém Pojman (1852-1921) in Jindřichův Hradec. Then he studied at the Prague Conservatory, first with Karel Knittl (1853-1907), then with Karel Stecker (1861-1918), and finally in 1892 with Antonín Dvořák. After graduation he was a piano pupil of Josef Jiránek (1855-1940) until 1896. After the Piano Trio op. 1 and the Piano Quartet op. 7, the Piano Quintet op. 12, completed in 1897, was Novák‘s first work to receive lasting recognition. These early chamber music works were later followed by three string quartets (op. 22, 35 and 66), the piano trio op. 27 ‚Quasi una ballata‘ and the sonata for cello and piano op. 68. Novák‘s first orchestral work was the concert overture ‚The Corsair‘ in 1892, followed by the quite successful Serenade in F major for small orchestra from 1894-95. In 1895 he also wrote his only piano concerto, in 1898 the dramatic overture Maryša op. 18, and then came Novák‘s great breakthrough as an orchestral composer with the symphonic poem ‚In the Tatra Mountains‘ op. 26 in 1902. …

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