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Thread: Emanuel Chvala: Symphonic poem "O posviceni" (1902)

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    Default Emanuel Chvala: Symphonic poem "O posviceni" (1902)

    I recently bought the autograph manuscript of the symphonic poem "O posviceni" (The kermis) by Czech composer and music critic Emanuel Chvala (1851-1924). The work was composed in 1902 and imitates the ongoings on the day of a kermis in a small Czech village. The composition was premiered the same year by the Czech Philharmonic and was quite popular. It received several subsequent performances and also an arrangement for piano 4 hands was made by pianist Jindrich Kaan. But only this piano reduction was published, the orchestral score seemed to be lost. I now found the score and have typeset the composition. The full score can now be downloaded free of charge from my website:

    www.tobias-broeker.de


    Here a few more words on Emanuel Chvala:

    Emanuel Chvala was born on 1 January 1851 in Prague (Czech Republic). He studied both engineering (with a specialization on railway technology) and music. His music teachers include Josef Jan Baptist Cainer and Celestin Müller (piano) and Josef Förster and Zdenek Fibich (composition). After his studies Emanuel Chvala decided to earn a living with working in the railway industry and became later the director-in-chief of the Czech state railways. On suggestion of Josef Sladka, a famous Czech poet and journalist, Emanuel Chvala started to write also music critics for several journals and newspapers in 1878. He won considerable success as a contributor to periodicals like "Lumir", "Dalibor", "Politik" or "Hudebni revue". Emanuel Chvala also published the book "Ein Vierteljahrhundert böhmischer Musik" (A Quarter Century of Bohemian Music) in 1887, which was one of the very first surveys of Bohemian music and due to the fact that it was written in German, helped to bring the Bohemian composers to the attention of foreign audiences. Emanuel Chvala was also a great advocate of the works by Smetana, Fibich and Dvorak (who was a friend of him) and published several articles and essays about them.
    Emanuel Chvala was member of the Czech Academy of Science and Arts, president of the Dalcrode Society, member of the Association for Enhancement of Bohemian Music, member of the "Umelecka beseda" and member of the Committee of the Ethnographic Exposition in 1895 which shows that he was one of the most distinguished and outstanding figures of Czech music and theatre criticism around 1900.
    Emanuel Chvala died on 28 October 1924 in Prague.

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    Senior Member Robert Pickett's Avatar
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    Not a composer I had heard of. Just wondering whether Jiří Chvála, the choir conductor, might be related, grandson or something?

    O posvícení would mean something like "About the Enlightenment" or something like that?
    Last edited by Robert Pickett; Sep-14-2018 at 13:13.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Pickett View Post
    O posvícení would mean something like "About the Enlightenment" or something like that?
    As far as I understand "O posviceni" refers to the annual festivities which are held to celebrate the sanctification of the local church, the church consecration festival. In Germany the common word for such a feast is "kirmes" (and many other linguistic variations of the term in specific regions). In English it is nearly the same with kermis, kermesse, or something like that.

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    Senior Member Jacck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Pickett View Post
    Not a composer I had heard of. Just wondering whether Jiří Chvála, the choir conductor, might be related, grandson or something?
    O posvícení would mean something like "About the Enlightenment" or something like that?
    no, the correct meaning is this one
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kermesse_(festival)

    in Czech language both prefixes and suffixes can radically change the meaning of words. Enlightenment is osvícení, but posvícení, vysvícení, rozsvícení, nasvícení mean different things

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    I see that there is a need to give some audible impression. So I created a computer realisation of the beginning as well. The sound file is included on my website and makes the first two sections "Morning twilight - the day awakes" and "church bell" hearable.

    Best,
    Tobias

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