The Modern Age

twentieth century

(Classical Music Map)


I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz

Leos Janacek



Leos |anacek's long and rich creative life is a story of slowly and patiently acquired mastery, an achievement crowned above all by a sequence of operas whose warm and vivid originality is unparalleled among the music of his peers.

The son of a village schoolmaster in Moravia (later Czechoslovakia) Janacek received his formative musical experience as a chorister in the Augustinian monastery in Brno. The sound of the human voice, either solo or in a choir, was always to remain an inspiration to him. He trained and qualified as a general teacher and between 1874 and 1880 led an active musical life in Brno, centred on teaching and choral conducting, alternating with short, and not wholly satisfactory, periods of study in Prague, Leipzig, and Vienna.

Janacek was recognized as a full teacher of music in 1880, and the following year he married his piano pupil, the 15-year-old Zdenka Schulzova. Over time, this proved a stressful liaison, the tensions between the fiery, patriotic Czech and the stubborn, very young Germanic girl never really resolved.

Although the 1880s were for Janacek a period of intense musical activity as conductor, teacher, and musical administrator, his personality as a composer was slow to take shape. His earlier works show a clear debt to the nineteenth-century world of Dvorak and Smetana; he also became greatly interested in Moravian folk music, and spent time editing and performing it.

After one or two initial attempts at operatic composition, be spent the years between 1894 and 1901 writing his first great opera,  Jenufa, and with it he began to establish a type of opera that integrated elements of folk song with colourfully dramatic effects, in which the music followed inflections of speech to produce a direct and realistic impact far removed from the high-flown sentiments of much nineteenth-century opera.

The success of the Brno premiere of Jenufa, when Janacek was aged 50, enabled him to devote more of his time to composition over the following ten years; the operas Osud and Mr Brouaek's excursion to the Moon were written during this time.

However, it was the enormous success of the premiere of Jenufa, in the town of Pisek m 191 6, that opened the floodgates of the 62-year-old composer's last, extraordinary period of creativity.

A catalyst for this amazing outpouring was the composer's passionate, though unreciprocated and uneonsummated, love for Kaniila Stosslova, the wife of an antiques dealer and 38 years younger than Janacek. The emotional heights and depths of this affair of the imagination were graphically portrayed in such works as the song cycle The diary of one who disappeared and the Second string quartet ("Intimate letters"). At the same time, operas such as Katya Kabanova and The cunning little vixen were immediately successful, and the 1920s performances of these works in Berlin, London, and New York began to establish Janacek's international reputation.

In his seventies the composer wrote two of his most communicative and popular scores, Sinfonietta m 1926 — inspired in part by the sound of a brass band playing in a Prague park — and the Glagolitic mass in 1927. His last opera, From the house of the dead, was practically complete at his death in 1928. It closed an astonishing late harvest of works, reminiscent in their vitality and originality of the last creative outpourings of Haydn and Verdi.


Leos Janacek



Leos Janacek (1854-1928)



Washington Musica Viva
Piu mosso

Alon Goldstein
Sonata Oct. 1, 1905 "From the Street"
The presentiment (Con moto)
Death (Adagio)

Jerusalem Quartet
Adagio con moto
Con moto
Con moto - Vivace - Andante - Tempo I
Con moto


Pablo Picasso


















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