April 13, 2017

 Music for Prague 1968

  1. Introduction and Fanfare

  2. Aria

  3. Interlude

  4. 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 a...


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 j...

September 22, 2016

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...

October 1, 2015

Apotheosis of this Earth

  1. Apotheosis

  2. Tragedy of Destruction

  3. 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...

June 13, 2011

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 Wal...

June 7, 2011

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...

June 2, 2011

“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 autono...

May 28, 2011

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...

May 26, 2011

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 bir...

August 8, 2010

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 a...

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