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Janάček and programme music

Tyrrell, John 2004. Janάček and programme music. Ad Parnassum 2 (3) , pp. 61-102.

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Most of Janá�ek’s mature instrumental music has some form of programmatic input. In this article the author examines Janá�ek’s approach to programme music by considering his analyses of four of Dvo�ák’s symphonic poems. It is suggested that Dvo�ák’s symphonic poems, partly composed by ‘setting’ the Erben ballad texts which serve as their programme, had an impact on Janá�ek’s own development as a composer coming at a time when he had temporarily abandoned his opera JenŮfa and coinciding with his discovery of speech melodies. All of Janá�ek’s programmatic output is explored (chamber and solo-instrumental music as well as narrative symphonic poems) under a number of headings, such as works with programmatic titles, works with titles and short programmatic descriptions, post-composition programmes, suppressed programmes, secret programmes and narrative programmes. The strange discrepancy between Janá�ek’s narrative programmes, the actual music and Janá�ek’s later commentaries is noted and discussed as is Janá�ek’s tendency to pile on layers of programmatic significance to the extent, in one case, of making a work impossible to complete. As a whole it is suggested that while programmatic inspiration was important to Janá�ek in his instrumental works, this was merely a starting point and in most cases the crutch was then discarded with the music taking its own independent course.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Publisher: Ut Orpheus
ISSN: 1722-3954
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Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:52

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