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BOHUSLAV MARTINU  

(1890 - 1959)

Born in a church tower in the Bohemian country town of Polička, Bohuslav Martinů was a prolific enough composer as a child, before he entered Prague Conservatory as a violin student in 1906. His interest, however, lay in composition. Failing to complete his course at the Conservatory or at the Prague Organ School, to which he had been transferred, he worked as an orchestral player before moving, in 1923, to Paris. The approach of the German armies in 1940 forced him to make his way, as best he could, to the United States, where he was encouraged by commissions from Koussevitzky. Political events in Czechoslovakia prevented his intended return after the war; he spent his final years abroad, dying in Switzerland in 1959.

Stage Works

Martinů was an immensely prolific and varied composer. His 16 operas include The Greek Passion after Kazantzakis, Ariadne after Neveu, and the radio opera Comedy on the Bridge. Ballet scores include Špalíček, based on fairy-tales and nursery rhymes.

Orchestral Music

An impressive list of orchestral compositions includes six symphonies, the first of them written for Koussevitzky, who commissioned one a year. There are concertos for a variety of instruments, including five for piano and a useful Rhapsody-Concerto for viola and orchestra. The variety of his terms of reference may be seen in his Frescos of Piero della Francesca, The Parables and his earlier Villa by the Sea, based on the evocative painting of Böcklin. His Czech origins are generally identifiable in his music, which nevertheless reflects the influence also of France while returning at times to earlier musical traditions.

Chamber Music

There is a bewilderingly large amount of chamber music by Martinů: duos, trios, quartets, quintets, sextets, septets, octets and nonets. Among these the seven string quartets deserve particular mention, in addition to the works for violin and piano and three cello sonatas.

Keyboard Music

In addition to a large number of shorter piano pieces of all kinds, Martinů wrote a Fantaisie and other pieces for two pianos, as well as music for harpsichord, leaving his organ Vigilia unfinished at the time of his death in 1959.

Choral and Vocal Music

Choral works by Martinů include the remarkable oratorio Gilgameš, based on the ancient Babylonian epic of that name. There are choral works of biblical derivation and a number of choral arrangements of traditional Czech, Slovak and Moravian material. His songs include Magic Nights, settings of poems translated from the Chinese.

View by Role: Classical Composer | Lyricist
Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
A TO Z OF STRING PLAYERS Naxos Educational
8.558081-84
Chamber Music
ANIMALS IN MUSIC Naxos
8.578281-82
Instrumental
BARTOK, B.: Concerto for Orchestra / MARTINU, B.: Memorial to Lidice / KLEIN, G.: Partita for Strings (Philadelphia Orchestra, Eschenbach) Ondine
ODE1072-5
Orchestral
BARTOK, B.: Instrumental Music (Songs and Dances of Life) (Popovici, Nas, Ketler) Solo Musica
SM113
Instrumental
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphony No. 1 / MARTINU, B.: Oboe Concerto / KABELAC, M.: Symphony No. 4, "Camerata" (Veverka, Ivanovic) ArcoDiva
UP0123-2
Concertos
BRAHMS, J.: Symphony No. 1 / MARTINU, B.: Symphony No. 4 (Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Tennstedt) ICA Classics
ICAC5090
Orchestral
Cello Recital: Mital, Adam - SCHUBERT, F. / DVORAK, A. / JANACEK, L. / MARTINU, B. / BARTOK, B. (Central Europe) Solo Musica
SM153
Chamber Music
Cello Recital: Schiefen, Guido - RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, N. / SAINT-SAENS, C. / FRESCOBALDI, G. / RAVEL, M. (Hummelflug and Other Cello Delights) Oehms Classics
OC368
Chamber Music
Cello Recital: Walz, John - MARTINU, B. / VIVALDI, A. / COUPERIN, F. (A Tribute to Pierre Fournier) Yarlung Records
YAR96337
Concertos, Chamber Music
Chamber Music - GRIEG, E. / HINDEMITH, P. / POULENC, F. / MARTINU, B. (The Beauty of Two) (Kennedy Center Chamber Players) Dorian Sono Luminus
DSL-90705
Chamber Music
Chamber Music - MARTINU, B. / JANACEK, L. / SMETANA, B. / DVORAK, A. / SUK, J. / BODOROVA, S. (Czech Chamber Music) (Vlachova) ArcoDiva
UP0146-2
Chamber Music
Chamber Music with Winds - JANACEK, L. / MARTINU, B. / REICHA, A. (Mladi) (Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet) BIS
BIS-CD-1802
Chamber Music
Clarinet Recital: Feilmair, Benjamin - HOROVITZ, J. / MARTINŮ, B. / MILHAUD, D. / GERSHWIN, G. / GRGIN, A. (Don't Mind The Gap!) Paladino Music
PMR0044
Chamber Music
CONCERT FOR LIDICE BIS
BIS-CD-578
Concertos
DORIAN RECORDINGS, 1989-2000 (COMPLETE) (The Ames Piano Quartet) Dorian Sono Luminus
DSL-90908
Chamber Music
DOUBLE PLAY - 20TH CENTURY DUOS FOR VIOLIN AND CELLO Cedille
CDR90000-047
Chamber Music
DVORAK, A.: Piano Trio No. 3 / MARTINU, B.: Piano Trio No. 3 / SUK, J.: Elegie (Czech Trio) ArcoDiva
UP0072-2
Chamber Music
Flute Recital: Bezaly, Sharon - POULENC, F. / MARTIN, F. / REINECKE, C. / MARTINU, B. / MESSIAEN, O. BIS
BIS-SACD-1729
Chamber Music
HAYDN, F.J.: Oboe Concerto, Hob.VIIg:C1 / HUMMEL, J.N.: Introduction, Theme and Variations, Op. 102 / MARTINU, B.: Oboe Concerto, H. 353 (Lencses) Capriccio
C10308
Concertos
KORNGOLD, E.W. / MARTINU, B.: String Sextets / SCHOENBERG, A.: Verklarte Nacht (Czech Philharmonic Sextet) ArcoDiva
UP0019-2
Chamber Music
LARSSON GOTHE / IBERT: Cello Concertos BIS
BIS-CD-1136
Concertos
MARTINU / SZYMANOWSKI: Violin Concertos / BARTOK: 2 Portraits Cedille
CDR90000-089
Concertos
MARTINU, B. / ZIMMERMANN, B.A. / STRAUSS, R.: Oboe Concertos (Schilli, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Jansons) Oehms Classics
OC737
Concertos
MARTINU, B.: Bergerettes / SCHNITTKE, A.: Piano Trio / SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Piano Trio No. 1 (Puella Trio) ArcoDiva
UP0103-2
Chamber Music
MARTINŮ, B.: Cello Sonatas Nos. 1-3 / SIBELIUS, J.: Malinconia / MUSTONEN, O.: Cello Sonata (Isserlis, Mustonen) BIS
BIS-2042
Chamber Music
MARTINU, B.: Chamber Music with Flute (F. Smith, Pinkas, Ferrillo, T. Martin, Ranti, Nelson, Martinson, Ryder) Naxos
8.572467
Chamber Music
MARTINU, B.: Chamber Works - Duo No. 2/ Sonata for Flute, Violin and Piano / Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano / Bergerettes (ArteMiss Trio, Vokalkova) ArcoDiva
UP0126-2
Chamber Music
MARTINU, B.: Concertino for Piano Trio and String Orchestra, H. 231 and 232 / Rhapsody-Concerto / Memorial to Lidice (Conlon) Capriccio
C71053
Concertos, Orchestral
MARTINU, B.: Jour de bonte (Le) [Opera] (Kanak) ArcoDiva
UP0121-2
Opera
MARTINU, B.: Musique de chambre No. 1 / Les rondes / Nonet / Fantasia (Foster) Timpani
1C1130
Chamber Music
MARTINU, B.: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 4 / Les fresques de Piero della Francesca / Overture (Kolinsky, Basel Symphony, Ashkenazy) Ondine
ODE1158-2
Concertos, Orchestral
MARTINU, B.: Piano Concertos, Vol. 1 - Nos. 3, 5 / Concertino (Koukl, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Fagen) Naxos
8.572206
Concertos
MARTINU, B.: Piano Concertos, Vol. 2 - Nos. 1, 2, 4 (Koukl, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Fagen) Naxos
8.572373
Concertos
MARTINU, B.: Piano Music (Complete), Vol. 1 (Koukl) Naxos
8.557914
Instrumental
MARTINU, B.: Piano Music (Complete), Vol. 2 (Koukl) Naxos
8.557918
Instrumental
MARTINU, B.: Piano Music (Complete), Vol. 3 (Koukl) Naxos
8.557919
Instrumental
MARTINU, B.: Piano Music (Complete), Vol. 4 (Koukl) Naxos
8.570215
Instrumental
MARTINU, B.: Piano Music (Complete), Vol. 5 (Koukl) Naxos
8.572175
Instrumental
MARTINU, B.: Piano Music (Complete), Vol. 6 (Koukl) Naxos
8.572024
Instrumental
MARTINU, B.: Piano Music (Complete), Vol. 7 (Koukl) Naxos
8.572025
Instrumental
MARTINU, B.: Piano Quartet No. 1 / KALABIS, V.: Ludus / HUSA, K.: Variations for Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano (Martinu Piano Quartet) ArcoDiva
UP0027-2
Chamber Music
MARTINU, B.: Piano Trios (Complete) (Arbor Piano Trio) Naxos
8.572251
Chamber Music
MARTINU, B.: Revue de cuisine (La) / Harpsichord Concerto / Musique de chambre No. 1 / Les rondes (Hill, Holst Sinfonietta, Simon) Naxos
8.572485
Concertos, Ballet, Chamber Music
MARTINU, B.: Songs, Vol. 1 - A Wreath of Carnations (Wallingerova, Koukl) Naxos
8.572588
Vocal
MARTINŮ, B.: Songs, Vol. 2 (Wallingerová, Koukl) Naxos
8.572310
Vocal
MARTINU, B.: String Quartet No. 5 / KAPRALOVA, V.: String Quartet / SUK, J.: Meditation on old Bohemian Chorale (Kapralova Quartet) ArcoDiva
UP0085-2
Chamber Music
MARTINU, B.: String Quartets Nos. 4, 5 and 7 (Martinu Quartet) Naxos
8.553784
Chamber Music
MARTINU, B.: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 (Bamberg Symphony, N. Jarvi) BIS
BIS-CD-362
Orchestral
MARTINU, B.: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 6 Naxos
8.553348
Orchestral
MARTINU, B.: Symphonies Nos. 1-6 (Bamberg Symphony, N. Jarvi) BIS
BIS-CD-1371-72
Orchestral
MARTINU, B.: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 (Bamberg Symphony, N. Jarvi) BIS
BIS-CD-363
Orchestral
MARTINU, B.: Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6 (Bamberg Symphony, N. Jarvi) BIS
BIS-CD-402
Orchestral
MARTINU, B.: Violin Sonatas (Shipps, Vorobiev) Naxos
8.572282
Chamber Music
MARTINU: Chamber Music Naxos
8.553916
Chamber Music
MARTINU: Epic of Gilgamesh (The) Naxos
8.555138
Choral - Secular
MARTINU: Flute Trios / Promenades / Madrigal Sonata Naxos
8.553459
Chamber Music
MARTINU: Fresques de Piero della Francesca (Les) / Viola Rhapsody-Concerto / Double Concerto BIS
BIS-CD-501
Concertos, Orchestral, Concertos
MARTINU: Piano Quintets Nos. 1 and 2 / Sonata for 2 Violins and Piano Naxos
8.557861
Chamber Music
MARTINU: Piano Sonata / Etudes and Polkas / Flute Sonata No. 1 BIS
BIS-CD-234
Instrumental, Chamber Music, Instrumental
MARTINU: Songs for mezzo-soprano and piano Naxos
8.557494
Vocal, Instrumental, Vocal, Opera
MARTINU: String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2 / Three Horsemen Naxos
8.553782
Chamber Music
MARTINU: String Quartets Nos. 3 and 6 Naxos
8.553783
Chamber Music
MARTINU: String Quartets Nos. 3-5 BIS
BIS-CD-1389
Chamber Music
MARTINU: Symphonies Nos. 2 and 4 Naxos
8.553349
Orchestral
MARTINU: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 5 Naxos
8.553350
Orchestral
MARTINU: Symphony No. 5 / Oboe Concerto / Estampes First Edition
FECD-0018
Concertos, Orchestral
MARTINU: Trio / Nonet / La revue de cuisine BIS
BIS-CD-653
Chamber Music
MARTINU: Works for Cello and Piano, Vol. 1 Naxos
8.554502
Chamber Music
MARTINU: Works for Cello and Piano, Vol. 2 Naxos
8.554503
Chamber Music
Music for Ondes Martenot Naxos
8.555779
Chamber Music
Piano Recital: Kubalek, Antonin - SUK, J. / DUSSEK, F.X. / MYSLIVECEK, J. / VANHAL, J.B. / SMETANA, B. / DUSSKE, J.L. (Czech Miniature Masterpieces) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90121
Instrumental
RAVEL / MARTINU / HONEGGER / SCHULHOFF: Duos for Violin and Cello BIS
BIS-CD-916
Chamber Music
RODRIEG, M.: Holy War X / DEBUSSY, C.: Syrinx / Cello Sonata in D Minor / MARTINU, B.: Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano (Rodrieg Ensemble) Solo Musica
SM192
Chamber Music
SAINT-SAENS / TCHAIKOVSKY / RACHMANINOV: Popular and Serious Music for Cello and Piano BIS
BIS-CD-72
Chamber Music
SUK, J.: Piano Quartet, Op. 1 / NOVAK, V.: Piano Quartet, Op. 7 / MARTINU, B.: Piano Quartet No. 1 (Czech Piano Quartets) (The Ames Piano Quartet) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-93261
Chamber Music
TCHEREPNIN: 5 Concert Etudes / GOULD: Pieces of China / ADAMS: China Gates BIS
BIS-CD-1110
Instrumental
TRUMPET, PIANO AND ORGAN MUSIC BIS
BIS-CD-152
Instrumental
TWENTIETH CENTURY OBOE CONCERTOS Cedille
CDR90000-079
Concertos
Viola Recital: Bradley, Sarah-Jane - MARTINU, B. / KODALY, Z. / DOHNANYI, E. / JOACHIM, J. / ENESCU, G. (Music for Viola and Piano) Naxos
8.572533
Chamber Music
Viola Recital: Hosprova, Jitka - SLAVICKY, K. / MARTINU, B. / LUKAS, Z. / BRITTEN, B. / BODOROVA, S. / MONTI, V. (Rhapsody) ArcoDiva
UP0043-2
Chamber Music
Vocal Recital: Kalivodova, Andrea - MARTINU, B. / JANACEK, L. / KUNC, J. / DVORAK, A. / EBEN, P. / OSTRCIL, O. (The Paths of Love) ArcoDiva
UP0135-2
Vocal
Role: Lyricist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
MARTINU: Epic of Gilgamesh (The) Naxos
8.555138
Choral - Secular




 
 
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