Plzeňské sympozia

Jiří Kopecký

From the Folk Song to Fryderyk Chopin

pp. 164–174 (Czech), Summary 174 (English)


The essay focuses on the creative outputs of Czech composers in the 1870s, when polemic surrounding the work of Bedřich Smetana fully erupted. If the Czech public actively and, for the most part, critically reacted to the inclusion of Wagner’s ideas and composition devices into the realm of Czech national music, then the question for an adequate counterweight to German music or the neo-German school arose. Almost all the composers – including the best ones (B. Smetana, A. Dvoařák, Z. Fibich, L. Janáček) – experimented with material, which was recommended to them by authors such as Max Konopásek (processes derived from folk songs, F. Chopin’s dance stylizations). Their efforts often yielded impressive results (e.g. Smetana’s České tance (Czech Dances), A. Dvořák’s Moravské dvojzpěvy (Moravian Duets), but also led to the discovery, which composition processes can no longer be used (e.g. Fibich’s String Quarterts in A dur and G dur, A. Dvořák’s Mazurky).

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