Symphonic poems by
Vítězslav Novák -
'For anyone unfamiliar with Novák's output, a disc well worth beginning with.'
Vítězslav Novák (1870-1949) was one of the most significant figures of Czech music an the end of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century. He thus belongs to the group of major figures — Fibich, Foerster, Ostrčil and of course Janáček — who took over from or indeed allied themselves with Dvořák, furthering the cause of folk idioms and developing their own individual brand of evolving Romanticism.
Novák was in fact a student in Dvořák's composition class, from which he learned much. But his growing allegiance, after folk music, was to post-Romanticism: akin to that wide-ranging body of composers, French but especially German and Polish, who emerged in the post-Wagner era with an array of distinctive voices, characterised by sumptuous chordings, scrumptious orchestral colourings and heavily laden counterpoint which would characterise not only Strauss, to whom Novák became devoted after hearing Salome in 1906, but Schreker, Franz Schmidt, Szymanowski, Karłowicz and many others...
Copyright © 21 January 2018