Czech and Slovak Composers' 2008/2009 Anniversaries
Editio Bärenreiter Praha has issued a press release pointing out that three composers with works in their catalogue will be marking important anniversaries in 2008/2009: Josef Bohuslav Foerster (1859-1951), Miloslav Kabelac (1908-1979), and Eugen Suchon (1908-1993).
Josef Bohuslav Foerster was well known as a music critic, professor in Hamburg, Vienna, and Prague, and composer. In addition to his six operas, he produced five symphonies and other orchestral works as well as an impressive canon of chamber, recital, and choral music, over 170 published titles. His work is considered uniquely subjective and personal, mystical, and idealistic.
A prominent composer and conductor, Miloslav Kabelac's output includes eight symphonies and other orchestral compositions as well as choral, chamber, and keyboard music of an unusual variety, from children's pieces all the way to electro-acoustic experiments. His Symphony No. 8 ("Antiphonies"), Op. 54 (1970) on Biblical texts is scored for soprano solo, mixed chorus, percussion, and organ. Kabelac's music is described (Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, eighth edition) as being in a "fairly advanced modern idiom, occasionally applying dodecaphonic devices, but hewing closely to the fundamentals of tonality."
Ranked among the most prominent representatives of contemporary Slovak music, Eugen Suchon was named National Artist of the Republic of Czechoslovakia in 1958. His oeuvre includes two operas and incidental music to two plays, orchestral, chamber, vocal, and choral works. He is credited with being among the creators of the modern Slovak style of composition, based on authentic folk motifs and couched in appropriately congenial harmonies. In his later works he incorporated serialism along with modality and a sort of extended tonality. The several stages of his creative thought alternated between increasing complexity and renewed simplicity.