Musicologica Olomucensia 31 (2020)
HERBERT HIEBSCH: MUSICIAN, WRITER, BRUCKNER WORSHIPER, SUDETEN GERMAN AND HIS FATE AMONG THE CZECHS
The study captures the personality and activities of Herbert Hiebsch (1905–1948), conductor, writer, music organizer, co-founder of several Bruckner societies in Bohemia, a humanitarian-educated Sudeten German from Litoměřice/Leitmeritz, brought up a Catholic, who in the 1930s and during the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was involved in promoting the goals of National Socialist cultural policy. It deals in more detail with Hiebsch’s origin and his studies at the grammar school in Litoměřice and the German Academy of Music and Drama in Prague, but also with the analysis of his novel Das göttliche Finale. Ein Buch vom Erleben Bruckners (1931), and unpublished memorial file Herbert Hiebsch – Deutsches Schicksal unter Tschechen. Ein Lebensbericht (1938). The study concludes with information about the end of his life in Baden-Württemberg.
CZECHS IN POLAND IN THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURY AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF POLISH NATIONAL MUSIC
The contribution of Czech composers to the development of the Polish national music begins in the era of the activity of Jan Stefani, the composer of musical set to Cracovians and Highlanders by Wojciech Bogusławski, considered the first Polish national opera. Further on are the achievements of Wilem Würffel as the creator of polonaises and fantasies based on Polish national melodies. Although after the anti-Russian uprising (1831), many Czech musicians still worked in Poland as music teachers, members of orchestras or choir directors, their participation in shaping the formation of Polish national music was rather niche. It was influenced by political reality, which was not favorable to the development of Polish-Czech contacts, especially in the part of the country under Russian rule (here Czechs were seen as Russophiles). The impulse that increased interest in Czech music in Poland in the last decades of the 19th century was the awareness of its high position in Europe. The successes of Smetana and Dvořák’s works discussed in foreign music press, prompted several Polish music activists to attempts to introduce them to national stages. However, it was only the beginning of the twientieth century when Czech national music was properly assessed by Polish composers. And here political factors played also a role – the “Czech Renaissance” in Polish musical thought was largely inspired by the events of the Prague Neo-Slav rally of 1908.
„… ZWISCHEN TSCHECHEN UND DEUTSCHEN KULTURELL VERMITTELN“
ERWIN SCHULHOFF IN THE ARTISTIC AND SOCIAL CONTEXTS OF THE FIRST HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY
The Prague composer Erwin Schulhoff (1894–1942) is one of the most innovative musicians of the first half of the 20th century and was trained in Prague, Vienna, Leipzig, and Cologne. After the end of World War I, he dealt with Expressionism and Dadaism in his work. During his time in Dresden in 1919/20, he also sought contacts to the visual arts. In 1923 he returned to his hometown of Prague, found no permanent job and, in his unadjusted manner, got caught between the trenches of Czech and German culture. His increasing sympathy for communism brought with it the desire to emigrate to the Soviet Union after the German occupation of the Czech Republic in 1939, which was prevented by the German invasion in 1941. As a Soviet citizen, he and his son were arrested and interned in Wülzburg / Upper Bavaria. Schulhoff died there in 1942 as the son of a German mother and a Jewish father.
BANISHMENT OF KAREL WEIS FROM THE CZECH MUSIC HISTORY
Karel Weis (1861–1944) studied at the Prague conservatory and organist school, and received further training from Antonín Dvořák and Zdeněk Fibich. He played piano accompaniments for an excellent violinist František Ondříček, and having successfully applied for the Austrian state scholarship for artists multiple times, he strived for building his career exclusively on composing. Even though he made contributions to several areas (song, symphony, film music), his domain was musical theatre. He was the first Czech composer to make his debut in the National Theatre; his opera Viola addressed a Shakespearean theme, inspired by the Twelfth Night. It was premiered in the National Theatre in 1892. Following disagreements with the management of the National Theatre, Weis decided to offer his next opera to the New German Theatre in Prague, and his opera The Polish Jew premiered here on March 3, 1901. It soon became an opera hit at a number of foreign stages, and was performed even in the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The unexpected success of the artwork, but especially its staging elsewhere than the National Theatre resulted in a number of Czech musicians calling Karel Weis a traitor to the nation. As a result, the written history of the Czech musical culture of 1800s and 1900s omits the name of Karel Weis. This treatise aims to analyse the status quo around the year 1901 and point out unjust and superficial evaluations of Weis’s personality and work from the vantage point of shallow national attitudes and patriotism.
“SOME MUSICIANS CREATE MUSIC; OTHERS CREATE MUSIC HISTORY.”
VIKTOR ULLMANN (1898–1944)
The treatise focuses on the life and work of Viktor Ullmann (1898–1944), one of the personalities whose works contributed to the establishment of the music culture in Czechoslovakia in the period between the world wars. A Jewish composer, Ullmann was active in both the German-language and Czech-language environments. The ideology of national socialism stigmatized him as an author of the so-called “perverted music” and he became a victim of racial persecution. The biographical portrayal summarizes the beginning of his musical activities, and documents social-historical influences, as well as the philosophical and aesthetic background of his art and his activities. The treatise focuses in greater detail on his work in the field of musical theatre, its fate and reception; particular attention is paid to the opera Der Sturz des Antichrist [The Fall of the Antichrist].
“WIENER BÖHME – WIENER TSCHECHE”. INFLUENCE OF THE MUSICAL LIFE OF THE CZECH (SLAVIC) MINORITY IN VIENNA ON THE GENESIS OF CZECH NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS
Using mainly examples and processes from the 19th century, the study focuses on the formation of the (musical) identity of the Czech minority in Vienna. Parallel processes mainly included nationalism, Slavic reciprocity, formation of identity within ethnic groups (for example, Moravian separatism, the issue of the Czech-German conflict community) and the shaping of relations between Slavic nations (for example, Polish-Russian aversion). The issue of musicians’ patriotism and renegadism is also discussed in detail. The study does not forget about the phenomenon of competition in the sense of prestige (for example, Czech social balls in Prague and Slavic balls and parties in Vienna before 1848). The phenomenon of labour migration and an outline of the image of the perception of musicians from the Czech lands in Vienna also form a subchapter.
RECEPTION OF PROGRESSIVE ROCK IN ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE IN THE PERIOD 1969–1979
This text presents an analysis of contemporary critical reception of progressive rock in Rolling Stone magazine in the years 1969–1979. The findings are subsequently compared with the common popular music history narrative in the form of the so-called punk discourse. A new classification of progressive rock sub-styles is introduced for the purpose of demonstrating varying attitudes of contemporary critical reception toward various stylistic families of the broader progressive rock genre in the 1970s, proposing also new Czech nomenclature.
THE CRISIS OF FOLK MUSIC IN THE POST-COMMUNIST TRANSITION ERA: THE SOCIAL ROLE AND IMPORTANCE OF SINGER-SONGWRITERS IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA AFTER 1989
The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1989 marks not only the end of communism but also, according to many music journalists and musicians themselves, the end of folk music. This term can be found in the magazines and literature of that time and it reflects the crisis of the folk genre whose main representatives are the singer-songwriters. When the theory of Czech musicologist Josef Kotek about the evolution of genres in popular music is applied, it can be assumed that the folk singer-songwriting reached its final at the turn of the 1990s. Such a decline was marked by a gradual loss of popularity of the genre and by the deterioration of quality of the music. This situation is changing at the brink of 21st century when new singer-songwriter appeared, and it is possible then to speak about the revival of the genre. It is typical for this era that the definition of folk music and singer-songwriting is enlarged. Many female singer-songwriters arose and along with it, folk music gradually penetrated the mainstream pop music.