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Leoš Janáček

Leoš Janáček

Born: 3rd July 1854, Hukvaldy, Czechia

Died: 12th August 1928, Ostravia, Czechia

Nationality: Czech

Leoš Janáček was a Czech composer, musical theorist, folklorist, publicist and teacher. He was inspired by Moravian and other Slavic, including Eastern European folk music to create an original, modern musical style.

Until 1895 he devoted himself mainly to folkloristic research. While his early musical output was influenced by contemporaries such as Antonín Dvořák, his later, mature works incorporate his earlier studies of national folk music in a modern, highly original synthesis, first evident in the opera Jenůfa, which was premiered in 1904 in Brno. The success of Jenůfa (often called the "Moravian national opera") at Prague in 1916 gave Janáček access to the world's great opera stages. Janáček's later works are his most celebrated.

Further Reading: Janáček

Interview, Bartók, Janáček and Szymanowski from Piotr Anderszewski

The pianist talks about his new album of piano works from Central Europe, featuring Bartók Bagatelles, the second book of Janáček's On an Overgrown Path and Szymanowski Mazurkas.

Recording of the Week, Janáček's Katya Kabanova from Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra

Amanda Majeski is riveting as the doomed heroine grasping for happiness in the face of a loveless marriage (and a monstrous mother-in-law) in provincial Russia, with Rattle expertly balancing the score's elemental power and claustrophobic intensity.

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