JULIUS FUČÍK (1872 - 1916)
Julius Fučik (1872-1916) was born in Prague and studied at the conservatory in that city at a time when Antonín Dvořák was also a pupil there. He was an extremely productive composer with over 400 works to his name, among them operettas, chamber music, masses and songs. Today, however, he is almost exclusively known for his marches, more than a hundred of them, of which two have become especially famous: Einzug der Gladiatoren (Entry of the Gladiators), and Florentiner Marsch. The first of these was originally called Grande Marche Chromatique but, inspired by the gladiatorial combats in ancient Rome, Fučik later gave it its present, much more thought-provoking title. Anyone who has ever been to the circus cannot have avoided hearing it. One might imagine that this was Fučik's most popular march, but an international survey placed the Florentiner Marsch in first place. It has the subtitle Grande Marcia Italiana, and the word Florentiner is an allusion to the city of Florence.