• 3-4/2006: Music – Year of Slovak Music

    3-4/2006: Music – Year of Slovak Music


    FÖLDEŠOVÁ, Marta: Preface
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, pp. 275 – 276


    WEISS, Stefan: Wolfgang Rihm’s Music Poetics
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, pp. 277 – 289

    The works of German composer Wolfgang Rihm are sometimes said to defy analysis, due to the lack of useful concepts or approaches to appreciate his compositions. This paper undertakes to explore two string quartet movements in line with concepts advocated by the composer himself, namely those of “inclusive” and “vegetative” writing. A prototype of the former is the 2nd movement of the 3rd quartet (1976), which confronts two widely contrasting stylistic spheres. A microstructural analysis, however, reveals that the abyss between the two styles is bridged by a constant “vegetative” development of certain means of expression. In a similar way, the seemingly loose construction of the 2nd movement of the 4th quartet (1980/81), superficially a melee of three different stylistic “languages” in perfect “inclusive” fashion, is unified according to the “vegetative” concept by means of recurring four-note cells that are used vertically (as chords) as well as horizontally (as melodies).

    KŘUPKOVÁ, Lenka: The First and the Second Modernism of Vítězslav Novák
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, pp. 290 – 301

    The study deals with two important chamber pieces by Vítězslav Novák. A composition in one movement Trio quasi una ballata originated in 1902 as an up-to-date reflection of the period compositional thinking. Many years later, in 1941, Novák returned to a one-movement-piece, in which a principle of “more movements in one movement” is applied. Then Cello Sonata in G Minor in one movement represents in itself the Novák’s obvious confrontation not only with his early work, but also with its original model – Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor. Based on the comparison of these two parallel works a stylistic transformation of Vítězslav Novák’s creation was demonstrated.

    CHALUPKA, Ľubomír: Some Incongruities in the Development of Slovak Music in the 1940s
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, pp. 302 – 316

    The decade of 1940s represents an interesting period in the development of the music culture and creation in Slovakia. Some incongruities continuously accompanying professional musical life revealed more conspicuously in that time. They resulted from a specific tension between an endeavour in self-identification and acculturation.

    The first one, the self-idendification rested on a continuation of the idea of national music formed in a creative ambience of a generation of “Slovak musical modernism” (represented by Alexander Moyzes, Eugen Suchoň and others), entering the musical life in the inter-war period. Such endeavour was in accord with a cultural politics of the nationalistic warlike Slovak state (1939–1945) and it was alive even in the late 1940s, when in a changed social-political situation it was combined with norms of the so-called socialistic realism.

    On the contrary, an acculturational ambition was directed at recognizing and adopting impeti from the progressive stylistic development of European music of the first half of the 20th century, necessary for new evolutional tendencies of the Slovak music. Thus shortly after 1945 it criticised remaining programme; of the “Slovak musical modernism” for its romanticizing character, for stabilized manner of exploitation of folklore sources, considering this programme to be anachronic. This ambition was related to creative ideas of solitary personalities (e. g. Oto Ferenczy). Similarly isolated was an artistic attitude of Ján Cikker, who in the early 1940s enriched the Slovak music with anti-war compositions. A boom of the Slovak music creation during World War II and good conditions for its development at home contrasted with critique or with punishment of some musicians for their race or nationality in that period.

    LENGOVÁ, Jana: A Contribution to the Phenomenon of Feasts, Entertainment and Music in Urban Society in Slovakia during 1848–1918
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, pp. 317 – 345

    In the 19th century a category of feasts comprised a whole scale of cultural and social meanings. Ambitions of ruling social strata, a need for self-representation, for charity, cultural and national identity, modern tendencies as attractivity and mass character as well as still growing need for entertainment reflected in it depending on a particular type. In a social and cultural context a phenomenon of feasts and entertainment did not lead to differentiated bipolar categories; it tended to complementary relationship. Social function of entertainment with still growing index of interest in the second half of the 19th century, points also to a new social-cultural phenomenon, which began to be marked by terms as leasure time and mass culture.

    Music was an inseparable component of feasts and entertainment. The aim of the study is to specify various forms and characters of feasts and entertainment in Slovakia in the period 1848–1918 in relation to music associations, which were often the main organizers of such events.

    The studied subject is divided into four thematic circles. Romantic aesthetics with its cult of genius, a phenomenon of historicism and developing national self-consciousness motivated organization of concerts to anniversaries of past and present personalities. Thus the first thematic circle is focused on such jubilees as impeti for celebrations. We analyze more closely some selected jubilees, namely of Ludwig van Beethoven (centenary of his birth, 1878, 50 years from his death, 1887), Franz Liszt (centenary of his birth, 1911) as well as other concerts and events organized by Kirchenmusikverein (Church Music Society) in Bratislava, Pressburger (Bratislava) Liedertafel and Slovak Singing Choir in Martin.

    The second thematic circle reflects the feasts in their relation to social, political and religious events. It concentrates on music as part of the feasts, of the visits of the monarch Franz Joseph I in Slovakia, or in the frame of millenium Cyril-Methodius Celebrations (1863) and Cultural Feast in Martin, known also as August Festival, among others.

    The third thematic circle concentrates on events from life of singing choirs in their relation to festivals and entertainment, namely the consecration of the association flag, the anniversary of the foundation of an association, a county singing festival, summer singing parties and singing trips.

    The fourth theme reflects a mass expansion of ballroom dancing and great garden parties in the 19th century. Many church and secular feasts and other events, including amateur theatre performances, ended up by a dancing party. The pendant to winter ball season were rag days (May or June feasts), and garden parties. In Bratislava a great tradition of garden parties joined with the holiday of St. Steve I, the first Hungarian ruler (20th August) evolved; one of the biggest garden parties named „Sommernachts-Traum“ (A Summer Night Dream).was organized in 1901. Great garden parties offered place for cultivated entertainment, charity, rich programme, various games, serious art and amusement, and, naturally, for music, too.

    URBANCOVÁ, Hana: Ján Krasko – An Unknown Personality from the History of the Slovak Ethnomusicology
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, pp. 346 – 363

    The first half of the 20th century witnessed the crystallization of important European ethnomusicological schools. Beside significant personalities of more than local relevance (Béla Bartók, Karol Plicka) many other collectors substantially contributed to documentation of traditional Slovak song and music in this period. Simultaneously first essays in synthesizing reflections originated.

    A music teacher, publicist and composer Ján Krasko (1893 Békéscsaba – 1967 Bratislava) is one of those, who were widely interested in traditional song and music: he devoted not only to their collection, description and documentation, but also to reflection; he used folk material in his teaching and he worked with it in his compositions. Although his music can be ranged to marginal domestic compositional work; nevertheless his relevance as a music folklorist (due to some of his works) outgrew narrow period limits.

    From our present viewpoint Krasko’s collecting concept may be considered as progressive: he was interested in both folk as well as “semi-folk” creation. His manuscript collection comprises almost 300 song records from the West, but mainly from the Central and East Slovakia. It presents a structure of period repertory and its importance consists in documenting song genres, some melodical types and multipart singing. Krasko invented his own graphic system serving for a quick record, and also for a more precise recording of pitch and time relations. This graphical system remained only as a suggestion, while the manuscript collection leans on a traditional European notation.

    Krasko published his views and observations on Slovak folk song, musical instruments and music in Slovak and Czech artistic and cultural, museological and music-pedagogical periodicals of the time. His extensive synthesizing work on Slovak folk song remained in manuscript. The author of the study had only fragments from anthological edition of Krasko’s texts at her disposal, since the whole work is probably lost. Krasko’s theory on Slovak folk song is adequate to period standard: it evaluates musical structural elements (tonality, metre, rhythm, form), it deals with a relation of melody and text, and moreover it devotes a special attention to the question of variability, too. His origin in minority culture (Krasko comes from the Slovak minority in South Hungary) influenced not only his way of reflecting the Slovak folk song, but also his orientation on questions of comparative research – he paid attention to interethnical relations of traditional Slovak music, including not only its relations to neighbouring cultures, but also a phenomenon of minorities (Slovaks in Hungary). His reflections on common archaic cultural strata of Slavians are to a certain extent influenced by period schemes of thinking, however, when reflecting specific material he arrived at challenging knowledge and original considerations concerning Slovak-Hungarian and Slovak-Czech (or Moravian) relations. For ethnoorganology his material-based study of archaic musical instruments (children’s and signal instruments) is of a great importance.

    In the first half of the 20th century the foundations of ethnomusicology as independent research discipline formed in Slovakia. Many domestic collectors were active in Slovakia in this period, alongside their occupation. In this period Krasko reveals as one of the ťmost challenging personalities – from the point of view of documentary fieldwork as well as from the point of some impulses of thought.

    ČIEFOVÁ, Martina: Significant Exponents of Pianistic Performing Art in Bratislava in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, pp. 364 – 379

    Bratislava music life in the 19th and early 20th centuries was substantially influenced by concert appearances of outstanding foreign pianists-virtuosi. Concerts of Julius Schulhoff, Alexander Dreyschock, Alfred Jaëll, Johannes Brahms, Rafael Joseffy, Franz Liszt, Clara Schumann, Anton Rubinstein, Hans von Bülow, Eugene d’Albert, Emil von Sauer, Fréderic Lamond and Moritz Rosenthal provided Bratislava audience with unforgettable experiences. Such artistic activities supported popularity of piano among both professional and amateur musicians. They substantially contributed to the formation of music-aesthetical views on performing art. They influenced development of piano literature, concert dramaturgy, and participated in cultivation of a solo piano recital as well. On Bratislava concert stages they performed highly valuable pieces by J. Ph. Rameau, F. Couperin, J. S. Bach, D. Scarlatti, W. A. Mozart, J. N. Hummel, F. Schubert, F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy, A. Rubinstein, P. I. Tchaikovsky, I. Albeniz, M. Ravel, C. Debussy. The focus of the concerts was mainly on the piano creation of L. van Beethoven, F. Chopin, R. Schumann, J. Brahms and F. Liszt. Introduction of paraphrases, transcriptions as well as inclusion of the own pieces of the soloists at the end of the concert was obvious and reflected the period custom.

    The mentioned performers were distinctive, aesthetically crystallized personalities, whose artistic versatility, technical perfection, creative strength, grace, stylistic sense and taste were recognised also by Bratislava period press. Their admirable virtuoso, inspirational and highly artistic playing steered the piano performing in Bratislava for the following generations, too.

    PANCURÁKOVÁ, Lívia: Music School in Kežmarok (1931–1944)
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, pp. 380 – 389

    Dr. Alfons Nitsch, a grammar school professor, is credited with a foundation of Music School in Kežmarok (1931). Its mission was to offer a thorough and systematic music education for musically gifted children and to enable its graduates to realize their potential in a musical occupation. Due to professional work of qualified teachers headed by Matilda Alexandrová the school transformed into an important educational as well as musical-cultural institute of the city and of the whole Zips region. It developed most substantially in the late 1930s, when subjects as playing the piano, violin, viola, cello, double-bass, flute, clarinet, organ, harmonium and singing were taught there. Although the music school was in the possession of German inhabitants (an epithet “German” – deutsche Musikschule – was usually used as its specification), it was attended by Hungarian and Slovak children, too. In the school year 1941–1942 it acquired a frankly German character, having been controlled by German Party (Deutsche Partei). The German music school was presumably closed after the Slovak National Uprising broke out (1944). Sources documenting its activities are very modest, as majority of documents were destroyed or moved to Germany after the World War II.


    PUŠKÁŠOVÁ, Melánia: Festival of the Slovak Music EPOCHÉ 2006 (About an Epoch of the Slovak Music)
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, pp. 390 – 406

    ŠTEFKOVÁ, Markéta: Concerts of Chamber Orchestras during the Year of Slovak Music
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, pp. 407 – 412

    From the Students’ Workshop

    KUBANDOVÁ, Janka: Evenings of New Music 2006
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, p. 413

    OREMOVÁ, Dominika: Touches with Music. An Interview with a composer Lukáš Borzík
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, pp. 414 – 416


    1st International Compositional Competition of Alexander Moyzes
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, p. 417

    Ľudovít Rajter’s Award
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, p. 418

    ŠIKULÍNCOVÁ, Gabriela: Contemporary Music Events in Slovakia after 1989
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, pp. 419 – 422


    HATRÍK, Juraj: Miloslav Starosta: Cesty k umeniu klavírnej hry
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, pp. 423 – 425

    [The contribution is available only in Slovak language in the printed version of the revue.]

    LEXMANN, Juraj: Petr Macek: Směleji a rozhodněji za českou hudbu!
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, p. 426

    [The contribution is available only in Slovak language in the printed version of the revue.]

    LEXMANN, Juraj: Jaroslava Zeleiová: Muzikoterapia – dialóg s chvením
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 32, 2006, No. 3 – 4, pp. 427 – 428

    [The contribution is available only in Slovak language in the printed version of the revue.]