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Leos Janacek biography 
 

Leos Janacek

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Leos Janacek Biography


The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. The correct title is Leoš Janáček.

Leoš Janáček (July 3, 1854 – August 12, 1928) was a Czech composer. He is particularly remembered for his orchestral piece Sinfonietta and for his operas, and is thought of as the greatest Czech composer of the early 20th century.

Janáček was born in Hukvaldy in Moravia, the son of a schoolmaster. As a boy, he sang in the choir of the monastery in Brno. He later went to Prague to study music, and made a living as a music teacher. He also conducted various amateur choirs. In 1881, he moved back to Brno, and founded the Organ School there, which was later to become the Brno Conservatory.

As a young man, Janáček became friends with Dvořák, and began composing in a relatively traditional romantic style, but after his opera Sárka (1881), his style began to change. He made a study of Moravian folk music and used elements of it in his own music. He especially focused on studying and reproducing the rhythm and the pitch contour and inflections of normal Czech speech, which helped in creating the very distinctive vocal melodies in his opera Jenůfa (1904). Going much farther than Modest Mussorgsky and anticipating the later work of Béla Bartók in such styles, this became a distinguishing feature of his vocal writing (Samson 1977). When Jenůfa was given in Prague in 1916, it was a great success, and brought Janáček real acclaim for the first time. He was 62 at the time, and began to compose the pieces he is now best known for, what many consider his, belatedly, mature style. A year later, he met Kamila Stösslová, a young woman who who was a profound inspiration to him for the remaining years of his life.

His work is tonal, though a vastly expanded tonality, and marked by unorthodox spacings, often making use of modality: 'there is no music without key. Atonality abolishes definite key, and thus tonal modulation....Folksong knows of no atonality.' (Hollander 1963) He uses accompaniment figures and patterns prominently, with, according to Jim Samson, 'the on-going movement of his music...similarly achieved by unorthodox means—often a discourse of short, 'unfinished' phrases comprising constant repetitions of short motives which gather momentum in a cumulative manner.' (Samson 1977)

The operas Kátya Kabanová (1921), The Cunning Little Vixen (1924), The Makropulos Affair (1926) and From the House of the Dead (after a novel by Dostoevsky, premiered in 1930, after his death) are regarded by many commentators as his finest works. The conductor Sir Charles Mackerras has become particularly closely associated with them.

Other well known pieces by Janáček include the Sinfonietta, the Glagolitic Mass (the text written in Old Church Slavonic) and his two string quartets. These pieces and the above mentioned four late operas were all written in the last decade of Janáček's life. He died in Ostrava.

Janáček's music in film

A film that draws extensively from Janáček's (mostly non-vocal) music is The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988, after a novel by Milan Kundera), amongst others:

More on Janáček's music in film: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0418443/

Source

  • Samson, Jim (1977). Music in Transition: A Study of Tonal Expansion and Atonality, 1900–1920, p.67. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0393021939.
    • Hollander, Hans (1963). Janáček, p.119. London.


This biography is published under the GNU Licence






Items to buy by Leos Janacek



Violin Sonata (Sonata per violino e piano). By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). For violin and piano. Set of parts. Standard notation. Published by Universal Edition

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Auf verwachsenem Pfade fur Klavier (for piano). By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). Edited by Ludvik Kundera; Jarmil Burghauser; Radoslav Kvapil. For piano. Mit Fingersatzen / with fingerings. SMP Level 6 (Late Intermediate). Performance score. Published by Baerenreiter Verlag

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"1. X. 1905 fur Klavier ""Sonata""" By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). Edited by Ludvik Kundera; Jarmil Burghauser; Radoslav Kvapil. For piano. This edition: Urtext edition. Mit Fingersatzen / with fingerings. Performance score. Published by Baerenreiter Verlag

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Pohadka (A Tale) By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). For cello / piano. Score & part. Published by Masters Music Publications Inc.

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Sinfonietta (for Orchestra). By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). Study Score. Eulenburg Taschenpartituren (Pocket Scores). Study score. 124 pages. Schott Music #ETP1369. Published by Schott Music

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Streichquartett "(Angeregt durch ""Die Kreutzersonate"" von Leo Tolstoi). By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). Edited by Leos Faltus; Milos Stedron. For viola/2 violins/cello. This edition: Urtext edition. Baerenreiter Studienpartituren - Study scores. Study score (paperbound).

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Werke fur Violine und Klavier By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). Edited by Jan Krejci; Alena Nemcova. For violin/piano. This edition: Urtext edition. Kammermusik (Chamber Music). Performance score and parts (paperbound). Published by Baerenreiter Verlag

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Streichquartett Nr. 2 (Intime Briefe). By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). Edited by Leos Faltus; Milos Stedron. Arranged by Leos Faltus; Milos Stedron. For 2 violins/viola/cello. Study score. Published by Baerenreiter Verlag

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Streichquartett "(Inspired by Leo Tolstoy's 'Kreutzer Sonata'). By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). Edited by Leos Faltus; Milos Stedron. For viola/2 violins/cello. This edition: Urtext edition. Angeregt durch ""Die Kreutzersonate"" von Leo Tolstoi. Set of parts. No. 1. 11/11/8

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Po Zarolstlem Chodnicku (On an Overgrown Path) "By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). For piano solo. Original Works. 20th Century, Czech. Score. Composed 1908. Published by Masters Music Publications Inc."

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Im Nebel By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). Edited by Ludvik Kundera; Jarmil Burghauser; Radoslav Kvapil. For piano. This edition: Urtext edition. Mit Fingersatzen / with fingerings. Performance score. Published by Baerenreiter Verlag

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On an Overgrown Path "By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). For string quartet (2 violins, viola, violoncello). Chamber music for strings. Czech title: Po zarostlem chodni ku. Classical. Score and parts. Publication language: Czech. Published by Editio Baerenreiter Praha"

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Sonata 1.X.1905 'Z Ulice' "By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). For piano solo. Sonatas; Original Works. 20th Century, Czech. Score. Composed 1905. Published by Masters Music Publications Inc."

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Werke fur Violoncello und Klavier (Mit der viersatzigen Fassung des Marchens). By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). Edited by Jiri Fukac; Bedrich Havlik; Jiri Zahradka. For cello/piano. This edition: Urtext edition. UK Grade 7. Score and part (paperbound). Published by Baerenreiter Verlag

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Idyll for Strings By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). For string orchestra. Czech: Romantic. Full score. Composed 1878. Duration 21 minutes. Published by Edwin F. Kalmus

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Msa Glagolskaja "(Missa Solemnis). By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). For SATB Voice Soli, SATB Choir, Organ, Orchestra. New Study Score Series. 239 pages. Duration 45 minutes. Published by Universal Edition"

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"Quartet No. 2 ""Intimate Letters""" "By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). For string quartet 2 violins, viola, cello. Published by Masters Music Publications Inc."

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V Mlhach (In the Mist) "By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). For piano solo. Tone Poems; Original Works. 20th Century, Czech. Score. Composed 1912. Published by Masters Music Publications Inc."

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Quartet No. 1 "By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). For string quartet 2 violins, viola, cello. Published by Masters Music Publications Inc."

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Taras Bulba (Rhapsodie). By Leos Janacek (1854-1928). For Orchestra. After the novel by Nikolay Gogol. The New Study Score Series. Premiere: in National-Theater Brno / Czech Republic; conducted by Neumann Frantisek. Study score. Duration 24 minutes. Published by Univ

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