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Thread: Bohuslav Martinů's Symphony No. 6

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    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    Default Bohuslav Martinů's Symphony No. 6

    Have always been wondering, isn't that a DSCH quotation on the brass about two third into the middle movement? Is this a coincidence, or something iconological? Don't seem to be able to find anything on the internet that talks about this. What do you think?

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    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
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    This author, Michael Crump, agrees
    https://books.google.dk/books?id=GzU...20dsch&f=false

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    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    Thank you for the link! This book has been sitting in my wish list like forever....

    I suppose Mr. Crump has discarded those claims of the DSCH quotation being buried/transposed in Shostakovich's works written before the 10th symphony (completed in 1953, the same year as Martinů's 6th).

    I'm no musicologist so I can't argue with that; but then I can't relate Martinů 6 to anything musical (or extra-musical) about Shostakovich, thus my suspicion of it being a coincidence, and thus my question.

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    Yes, there are earlier examples of the DSCH motif used by Shosty, cf. the wiki article about it,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSCH_motif
    but I don't know how early it was generally identified among the public, or when Martinu might have heard about it. It does seem that the possibility exists, though. Maybe some Czech text or someone else has solved the question, providing a different answer.
    Last edited by joen_cph; Jun-15-2019 at 19:23.

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    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
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    More on the DSCH motif and claims that Britten used it consciously/symbolically in the 40s, in solidarity with Shostakovich (!):

    http://dschjournal.com/dsch-motif
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rejoice_in_the_Lamb
    Last edited by joen_cph; Jun-15-2019 at 19:55.

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Ronald Stevenson wrote a Passacaglia on DSCH and dedicated it to Shostakovich. It’s well over an hour long!



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    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joen_cph View Post
    Yes, there are earlier examples of the DSCH motif used by Shosty, cf. the wiki article about it,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSCH_motif
    but I don't know how early it was generally identified among the public, or when Martinu might have heard about it. It does seem that the possibility exists, though. Maybe some Czech text or someone else has solved the question, providing a different answer.
    Indeed. It's an enigma. It's also a pity that the relative obscurity of Martinů means that there is very little information about him that can be found on the internet.

    My renewed interest in this DSCH question was aroused by "discovering" this excellent and intense 1995 live recording from Bělohlávek that I didn't know existed. BTW the coupled Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen is also brilliantly sung.


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    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
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    Yes, it's a great symphony & I'd pick it among 5 selected ones, say after 1945. I've always been satisfied with the Neumann set, also have the Ancerl and Munch.

    Browsed a bit, only very superficially, but found no evidence that Martinu met personally with Britten or Shostakovich (he might-might have), but of course he met a lot of famous musicians, who could tell deails about those composers.
    Last edited by joen_cph; Jun-16-2019 at 09:26.

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    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    Similarly superficial browsing here, but I cannot find any evidence of any meetings either. Britten would have been more likely, I'd have thought.

    And the dates don't add up. Fantasies Symphoniques 1951-53, the more blatant uses of the DSCH motif in the Violin concerto premiered 1955, Symphony No.10 premièred 1953, Quartet No.8, not written until 1960.

    Weird.....it also seems Britten was using it BEFORE Shostakovich did!
    Last edited by CnC Bartok; Jun-16-2019 at 10:21.

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