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Kontinuität des Wandels- Continuity of Change

Bohuslav Martinů in der Musikgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts- Bohuslav Martinů in Twentieth-Century Music History

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Edited By Ales Brozina and Ivana Rentsch

Die bemerkenswerte Zahl von Bohuslav Martinůs Werken, aber auch ihre Gattungsbreite und stilistische Vielfalt lassen eine einfache Einordnung des Œuvres auf den ersten Blick unmöglich erscheinen. Bei genauerer Betrachtung kristallisieren sich jedoch ästhetische Konstanten heraus, die zwar nicht auf einen einheitlichen Stil, jedoch auf eine während Jahrzehnten nahezu unveränderte Musikauffassung verweisen. Auf der Grundlage seines Ideals erprobte Martinů zeitlebens unterschiedlichste Formen, Gattungen und Stile.
Das Ziel dieses Bandes ist es, diese kompositionstechnische Flexibilität auf der Basis eines verbindlichen ästhetischen Standpunktes in unterschiedlichen Perspektiven zur Diskussion zu stellen. Die Autoren beleuchten Martinůs sämtliche Schaffensperioden: die Jahre im Prag der 1910er, im Paris der 1920er und 30er, im New York der 1940er sowie im Westeuropa der 1950er-Jahre. Den thematischen Rahmen der Publikation bildet die Tatsache, dass das verbindende Charakteristikum des in einem Zeitraum von über einem halben Jahrhundert entstandenen Œuvres paradoxerweise ein immer wieder vollzogener Stilwandel in der Tonsprache – gleichsam eine Kontinuität des Wandels – ist.
The remarkable quantity of works composed by Bohuslav Martinů, as well as their breadth in genre and diversity in style, make a simple ordering of his œuvre seem impossible at first glance. Upon closer observation, however, aesthetic constants crystalize that, while not indicating a unified style, do show a conception of music that remained almost unchanged over the course of the decades. During his lifetime Martinů explored the most diverse forms, genres, and styles on the basis of his ideal.
The objective of this volume is to open a discussion, from various perspectives, of this flexibility in compositional technique based on a unifying aesthetic standpoint. The authors illuminate all of Martinů’s compositional periods: the years in Prague from 1906 to 1923, in Paris during the 1920s and 1930s, in New York during the 1940s, and in Western Europe during the 1950s. The topical framework of the publication is determined by the fact that the unifying characteristic of this œuvre, composed over the span of more than half a century, is paradoxically an ever-more complete stylistic transformation of musical speech – continuity of change, as it were.

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PAUL WINGFIELD Martinuo ’s Manipulation of Convention in the First Movement of his Symphony No. 5 325

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325 Martinuo ’s Manipulation of Convention in the First Movement of his Symphony No. 5 PAUL WINGFIELD (Cambridge) Bohuslav Martinuo ’s Symphony No. 5 H. 310 of 1946 opens with a strik- ing and relatively lengthy Adagio introduction prefacing a main Allegro.1 This essentially represents a new venture in the composer’s symphonic career.2 Launching a post-war symphony with such a gambit is in many ways akin to playing the Sicilian Dragon in a modern chess game: both strategies summon up an imposing roster of convoluted historical pre- cedent and on the face of it present limited opportunity for theoretical novelty. Interestingly, Igor Stravinskij’s celebrated Symphony in C of 1940, with which Martinuo ’s Symphony No. 5 has an obvious affinity, opts for the somewhat less common scheme of presenting the thematically re- lated introductory and principal material at the same tempo.3 Neverthe- less, the interaction between Martinuo ’s introduction and the rest of his first movement results in a musical structure that exhibits both acute historical awareness and notable creative ingenuity. 1 An early version of this paper was delivered at the Institute of Musical Research Study Day on Martinuo and the Symphony at the Barbican Centre, London, on February 6, 2010. 2 The famous opening of the Symphony No. 1 H. 289 (1942) with its striking B minor-Major gesture is in a sense introductory, but the ten-bar prefatory Moderato is barely slower than the main part of the movement; the first movements of the Symphonies No. 2 and No....

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