Show Less
Restricted access

The Symphonic Works of Leoš Janáček

From Folk Concepts to Original Style


John K. Novak

This book investigates the spectrum of meaning inherent in six orchestral works by Leoš Janáček. It codifies his compositional style, first through a thorough examination of its origins in folk music and speech-melody, then in discussions of the features of its melody and motivic techniques. His harmonic style and multiple organizations of tonality are examined in rich detail. The analysis section consists of the examination of each musical work’s musical elements, its affective and programmatic associations, as well as four narrative codes through which the listener discovers further meaning in the work: the hermeneutic code (which governs enigmas), the semic code of musical motives, the proairetic (formal) code, and the referential code (which draws on analogous passages from other pieces of music).
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

8. Taras Bulba


Chapter 8

Taras Bulba

Genesis and Sources

Janáček’s enthusiasm for Russia began early in life, during his studies at the Brno Teachers’ Institute. He read Russian literature in the original language avidly, studied Russian folk music, and enjoyed four visits to Russia. He even co-founded the Russian Circle of Brno, an organization devoted to the propagation of the Russian language and culture. In music, he admired several Russian composers including Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and Rebikov; and he even hoped at one time to study composition with Anton Rubinstein.1

Moreover, Janáček was a Pan-Slavist: he believed that a kindred spirit—an innate alliance—existed between all Slavic nations.2 In composing his orchestral rhapsody Taras Bulba, based on the novella by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol, Janáček hoped to extol simultaneously the spirit of both the Russian and Czech peoples. The initial section of this chapter will concern the background of this work and Janáček’s intent in composing it.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.