Karel Husa: "Music For Prague 1968"
Music for Prague 1968 Introduction and Fanfare Aria Interlude Toccata and Chorale Karel Husa Born: August 7, 1921, Prague, Czech Republic Died: December 14, 2016, Apex, North Carolina Instrumentation: Large Wind Ensemble Composed: 1968 Duration: 25 minutes It was late August 1968 when I decided to write a composition dedicated to the city in which I was born. I thought about writing for Prague for some time because the longer I was away from the city, the more I remembered th
Karel Husa - "Cheetah"
Cheetah Karel Husa Born: August 7, 1921, Prague, Czechoslovakia Instrumentation: Wind Ensemble Composed: 2007 Duration: 6 minutes University of Maryland Wind Ensemble "Carmina Burana" Friday, October 28, 2016, 8:00 pm Elsie & Marvin Dekelboum Concert Hall Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center The University of Maryland at College Park Rich instrumental hues, motivic intrigue, and intense lyricism join forces in Karel Husa’s powerful and poetic Cheetah for wind ensemble. The mu
Karel Husa - "Les Couleurs Fauves"
Les Couleurs Fauves 1. Persistent Bells 2. Ritual Dance Masks Karel Husa Born: August 7, 1921, Prague, Czechoslovakia Instrumentation: Small Wind Orchestra Composed: 1996 Duration: 17 minutes Les Couleurs Fauves was commissioned by alumni and friends of the Northwestern University School of Music, in honor of the fortieth anniversary of John P. Paynter’s appointment to the faculty. Unfortunately, Paynter died before the work's premiere, which occurred at a memorial concert fo
Karel Husa: "Apotheosis of this Earth"
Apotheosis of this Earth Apotheosis Tragedy of Destruction Postscript Karel Husa Born: August 7, 1921 in Prague, Czech Republic Instrumentation: Concert Band Duration: 25 minutes Composed: October 1970 In the late 1960’s, Husa became increasingly concerned about the deterioration of the earth’s environment. He recalls impressions from the summer of 1970: “I saw an incredible number of dead fish floating on Lake Cayuga near [my summer] cottage. The new power plant was produci
Karel Husa - "Smetana Fanfare"
Today's post features Karel Husa's Smetana Fanfare. This piece for wind ensemble was commissioned by San Diego State University for a music festival honoring Czech composer Bedrich Smetana in 1984. It was premiered by the SDSU Wind Ensemble on April 3, 1984 in San Diego, during a centennial celebration of Smetana’s death. The work uses two excerpts from Smetana’s symphonic poem the Wallenstein’s Camp, completed during his exile from Prague in 1859 in Gotenberg, Sweden. For th
Karel Husa - "Apotheosis of this Earth"
Today's post continues our look at the wind music of Karel Husa, with his Apotheosis of this Earth. The piece was commissioned in 1970 by the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) and is dedicated to Dr. William Revelli, then Conductor of Bands at the University of Michigan, to celebrate his retirement and '...in recognition of his devoted service to music, to education, and to his colleagues.' UMWO will be performing this piece at our second concert on Novem
"Music for Prague," Part II: The Prague Spring
“The Prague Spring” is a term used for the brief period of time in 1968 when Alexander Dubček, the Communist leader of Czechoslovakia began to call for a more democratic government. Essentially, he wanted to lessen the stronghold that Moscow had on the nation’s affairs, as the Soviet Union had begun to exploit the people and imposing its rule on what was supposed to be a locally autonomous Czechoslovakia. Dubček was a reformist who came to power when former party leader, Anto
Karel Husa - "Music for Prague: 1968"
As a second installment of our "Husa Celebration" posts, here is a link to a recording of Husa's Music for Prague 1968, performed by the Interlochen 2010 World Youth Wind Symphony. Also, below are Husa's own comments on the piece. "Three main ideas bind the composition together. The first and most important is an old Hussite war song from the 15th century, 'Ye Warriors of God and His Law,' a symbol of resistance and hope for hundreds of years, whenever fate lay heavy on the C
Karel Husa: A Birthday Celebration
Perhaps the most important living composer, Karel Husa has been a true friend to the wind band. His body of works has raised the level of seriousness of music written for winds, in terms of meaningful content and emotional feeling. Throughout his long career his music has been a gift to the wind community, indeed the music community in general. This August marks the composer's 90th birthday, and UMWO will be celebrating this occassion in the most appropriate way: by playing h
Karel Husa - "Al Fresco"
Although we have discussed Karel Husa and his music a great deal on this blog, he still has many more works that merit our analysis. Today's post is on "Al Fresco." You can find program notes by the composer on the piece below. Al Fresco has no programmatic content. However, the title indicates my admiration for the art of painting, especially mural painting on wet plaster. And I have always been greatly moved by the forceful, even grandiose and rough, mysterious pictures dea