For Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon, Violin, Viola Cello & Bass
“Martinů's Nonet was composed in 1959 shortly before his death. It is scored for string trio, bass and wind quintet. The work was commissioned to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the famous Czech Nonet, virtually the only permanent ensemble of its kind. It has received considerable critical acclaim. It consists of three movements, all of them of only modest length. The opening Poco allegro is sunny and bright, sounding a bit like a neo-classical Haydn might have. The music is lively but not hectic. The winds and strings are very nicely blended and the work retains the intimate nature of chamber music rather than tilting toward the orchestra. The second movement, Andante, stands in stark contrast to the first. Though the air of mystery runs throughout, there is also a deep vein of sadness and defeat, perhaps indicative of the fact that he was, at the time he composed the music, dying of cancer. The dynamic range virtually never rises to above a mezzo forte. The main theme of the finale, Allegretto, is rhythmically complex, while its melody is once again bright. A second theme brought forth by the upper strings, and then reiterated by the massed winds, has a warm dream-like quality. It is followed by a playful, boisterous interlude before the short coda calm coda. This is a first rate modern work."---R.H.R. Silvertrust writing in The Chamber Music Journal.
Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959) Martinů was born in the Czech town of Polička. He studied violin briefly at the Prague Conservatory but was expelled for failure to diligently pursue his studies and from then on studied privately. During WWI, he worked as a teacher and then served as a violinist in the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra..In 1923 he emigrated to Paris and became a pupil of Albert Roussel. When France was invaded by Germany he emigrated to the United States, settling in New York where he continued composing and taught at the Mannes College of Music. Among his many students was Alan Hovhaness. In 1953 Martinů returned to Europe.
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