Musicologica Olomucensia 24 (2016)
The Issue of “Discotheques” in Czechoslovak Popular Music with Special Regard to the Music Scene in Olomouc
Discotheques were one of the most important forms of Czechoslovak popular culture before 1989. These events mediated entertainment for a broad group of people, at the same time provided information unavailable in the context of the official media. For these reasons, discotheques quite soon became the focus of communist cultural politics. Its representatives attempted to form the given phenomenon under the direction of communist ideology, both administratively and in terms of education. The paper, which is based on an investigation of original sources including interviews with witnesses, deals with the aforementioned issues also with regard to the music scene of the main city of Central Moravia, Olomouc.
Emanuel Bastl, Leader of the Opera Ensemble in Olomouc (1928–1932)
The existence and development of theatre institutions has always been determined by the current political and particularly by economic situation, the social stratification of the inhabitants and the audience, by the development of the media as well as by the artistic capacity of the country in the discussed era. These influences manifested themselves in the theatre of Olomouc, which was going through the crisis and consequent transformation at the turn of the 1920’s and 1930’s. The most representative constituent of the theatre in the interwar era, the opera ensemble, was nearly dissolved while the operetta ensemble was at its peak. This text depicts the development of the opera in the Olomouc theatre, headed by Emanuel Bastl during 1928–1932, and also considers the overall metamorphosis of the theatre as an institution in Czechoslovakia during the given period.
Kheng K. Koay
Peter Maxwell Davies’ Interpretation of Past Musical Practices in Naxos Quartet No. 8
This study explores Davies’ allusions to past practices in a contemporary context in his Naxos Quartet No. 8 (2005). The work demonstrates Davies’ experiments with Renaissance polyphonic writing and Medieval practice, modifying them to make them modern in his composition. Baroque English musical elements in the composition are derived from John Dowland’s Queen Elizabeth’s Galliard, joined with musical styles and ideas from Henry Purcell (1659–1695). Logical structure of Classical period is also employed in the music. Listeners are certainly challenged in many ways by Davies’ musical language in the composition.
The Composition Techniques of Thomas Simaku in His Plenilunio
The music of Thomas Simaku (born in 1958), widely played throughout Europe and abroad, has received the acclaim of critics for its unique interweaving of emotional labour and modern musical language. These qualities are also present in the composition Plenilunio for 12-string instruments, which was premiered in 1999 by the Goldberg Ensemble. Plenilunio (Full Moon) was inspired by the cycle Lirici Greci (Greek Lyrics), the Italian version of the poetry by the ancient Greek poetess Sappho. The author uses several of his characteristic techniques, for example symmetry and modally constructed melodies, from where he takes the main chords, which are used as pivots in the subsequent musical blocks. At the beginning of Plenilunio, Simaku presents the main motive in its vertical and horizontal position. In the second block, the 1141 chord is presented as the main pivotal element. He works with the 1141 chord in different ways, including inversion and combination with other chords. In the third block, Simaku presents the descending Dorian Tetrachord as the main chord while, at the apex of the block, introducing the interesting concept coined by Simaku as “static modulation”. In the fourth and last block, the 122 chord features as the main chord taken from the final part of the main motive from the first block. The musical piece ends with a culmination of the 12-tone chord by introducing the Dorian Tetrachord for the first time in ascension. Simaku takes the pivotal chords from the main motive and works with them in a unique way, allowing room for the integrity of the piece despite the individuality of its constituent blocks.
Unknown Known Robert Smetana
In this text, Robert Smetana is introduced as an important person of post-war Olomouc. The short biographical chapter shows Smetana’s most important moments, including crucial personalities who formed and lead his journey to Olomouc. Among others, Vladimír Helfert, Stanislav Souček and long-time friend and colleague Bedřich Václavek are mentioned. Last but not least, Smetana’s regional importance is examined primarily in the context of the process of the renewal of university education in Olomouc.
From Mersmann to Lewin: Toward a Conceptual Shift Within the Phenomenological Analysis of Music
Hans Mersmann presented his concept of musical structure in the 1920´s and developed it mainly as a system of form types describing the classical music repertoire. In addition to this, he formulated a set of procedures to be used in the analysis of music. However, with the withdrawal of tonality in twentieth-century music, the significance of his framework for music analysis lessened. Moreover, even within the context of tonal music his approach has not become widely applied. On the contrary, David Lewin’s model, developed within phenomenological reasoning sixty years later, despite being a model of musical perception, has turned into an influential theoretical stance with appealing analytical potential. The present paper discusses both approaches against the background of musical temporality and compares their explicative power while considering the advantages of Lewin’s model.