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Janacek - On an overgrown path

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    That is interesting - I had never seen this as a procession with an organ intermezzo. The increasing dynamics seem to have eluded me, which would be sloppy reading. I will compare our performances to see the difference.
     
  2. Ronald

    Ronald New Member

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    Well, in my performance it is not very much visible, since it was recorded in a live concert on a hundred years old piano with quite unsuitable sound equipment. Anyway, the information is based on the authentic sources from the Janacek circle (pupils and people aquainted with him). There are books about the topic available here, but only in Czech, unfortunately. But you can read about that also in Kvapil´s foreword to the "Urtext" edition of Supraphon (now under Baerenreiter).
     
  3. Biggemski

    Biggemski New Member

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    Yes, Janacek is one of our most important composers, he was significant teacher also, he founded professional music schools in Brno. You should listen some of his vocal-instrumental works like operas, mass, songs. He wrote string quartets, music for piano and ensemble too. "On an overgrown path" is based on his youth, sad tune is probably caused of suppression of his wild sexuality, reminiscence of his isolation in monasterial school, maybe. For more information: http://www.janacek-nadace.cz/en/
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Wild sexuality :!: This should surely perk up Nathan's ears :lol:
    I thought however the Overgrown Path was written at age 62 and commemorates the death of his daughter Olga. I can't imagine repressed sexual feelings would have a place here.

    Nice website this, but not translated completely and properly for those of us who do not read Czech. Also the images are far too small for my old eyes :(
     
  5. Ronald

    Ronald New Member

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    Oh, yes, he is a founder of Brno Conservatory (or rather its precedessor in a so-called "organ school", more precisely). My current professor is a foremost expert on his piano works, recording it twice and wrote also his doctor thesis on that topic (unfortunately in Czech only).

    About alleged meaning of the cycle (there is actually much more conotations, including death of his children and so - no place for that here) let me quote a little of the composer´s own words:

    "I recall my fourth year: they were shouting "Fire, fire!" It was during a summer night. They were taking us out to the meadow near the wood. My frightened cry with a fireworks of the flamed wall is till those days intertwined as one. And the key of C sharp minor is echo of these in my "Overgrown Path".
    (C sharp minor is key of both first and last part -"Our Evenings, and "The Tawny Owl"- thus connecting the circle).
     
  6. Ronald

    Ronald New Member

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    Well, about Olga - the last parts seem like that /the very last one quotes sound of an owl which was supposed to bring a death when its calling close/ and according to tradition it was allways quoted like that, nevertheless some of the parts were written before her illness even started. And fact is that Janacek himself said, that the titles are not to be followed directly and that anyone can find inside the meaning, based on his own lifetime experiences.
     
  7. Ronald

    Ronald New Member

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    Also about the increasing dynamics, sorry for misleading expression. Actually, there are only markings "z dálky" (from far away), "blíže" (closer) and blízko (close) which refers to the sound, not exactly the dynamics, of course.
     

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