Bohuslav Martinů

Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)

Nationality: Czech | Bohemian
Born: December 8, 1890, Polička, Bohemia Died: August 28, 1959, Liestal, Switzerland (age 68)

String Quartet No. 1, H. 117, "The French"

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
9:05 I. Moderato - Allegro ma non troppo
6:57 II. Andante moderato
9:57 III. Allegro non troppo
12:41 IV. Allegro con brio
Duration: 39 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1918 (age 27-28)
2 recordings, 8 videos
autoopen autoplay
8:33
Panocha Quartet
I. Moderato - Allegro ma non troppo
6:14
Panocha Quartet
II. Andante moderato
9:14
Panocha Quartet
III. Allegro non troppo
12:11
Panocha Quartet
IV. Allegro con brio
9:41
Stamitz Quartet
I. Moderato - Allegro ma non troppo
7:38
Stamitz Quartet
II. Andante moderato
10:20
Stamitz Quartet
III. Allegro non troppo
12:52
Stamitz Quartet
IV. Allegro con brio
From Edition Silvertrust

Bohuslav Martinů This quartet was completed in 1918 and combines the idioms of the late-Romantic and French Impressionist era. It is not actually his first string quartet as he began writing quartets at the age of eight. (The first one he said was based on a Czech poem called The Three Horsemen.) The quartet is in four movements: Moderato—Allegro ma non troppo, Andante moderato; Allegro non troppo, and Allegro con brio. One can clearly hear the influence of Debussy and Ravel and structurally, he follows César Franck’s cyclic format. Tonally it can perhaps be considered in the key of e flat minor, but it goes through many different keys as well as tempi changes.

Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959) was born in the Czech town of Polička. He studied violin briefly at the Prague Conservatory but was expelled for failure to diligently pursue his studies and from then on studied privately. During WWI, he worked as a teacher and then served as a violinist in the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1923 he emigrated to Paris and became a pupil of Albert Roussel. When France was invaded by Germany he emigrated to the United States, settling in New York where he continued composing and taught at the Mannes College of Music. Among his many students was Alan Hovhaness. In 1953 Martinů returned to Europe.

Alan Hovhaness Johann Sebastian Bach

© Edition Silvertrust. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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1900 2000 WWI WWII Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Albert Roussel (1869-1937) Josef Suk (1874-1935) Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959) Erwin Schulhoff (1894-1942) Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000) Vítězslava Kaprálová (1915-1940) Jan Novák (1921-1984) Chou Wen-chung (born 1923)
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Chou Wen-chung (born 1923)
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