Music for Prague 1968

Music For Prague 1968

Music for Prague 1968

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Description:
Music for Prague 1968 is a programmatic work written by Czech-born composer Karel Husa for symphonic band and later transcribed for full orchestra, written shortly after the crushing of the Prague Spring reform movement in Czechoslovakia in 1968. Karel Husa was sitting on the dock at his cottage in America at the time, listening to the BBC broadcast of the events on the radio. He was deeply moved, and wrote Music for Prague 1968 to memorialize the events. This piece is a standard among wind ensemble repertoire.

The work was commissioned by Ithaca College and was premiered in January 1969 in Washington, DC at the Music Educators National Conference by Dr. Kenneth Snapp and the Ithaca College Concert Band.

Orchestration

2 Piccolos, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, English Horn, 2 Bassoons, Contrabassoon, Eb Clarinet, 9 Clarinets, Alto Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Contrabass Clarinet, 2 Alto Saxophones, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Bass Saxophone, 8 Trumpets, 4 Horns, 3 Trombones, 2 Baritones, 2 Tubas, Chimes, Marimba, Vibraphone, Xylophone, Timpani, 3 Antique Cymbals, 3 Triangles, 3 Suspended Cymbals, 3 Tam-Tams, 2-3 Snare Drums, 3 Tom-Toms, Bass Drum

Structure

The piece is in four movements:
  1. Introduction and Fanfare
  2. Aria
  3. Interlude
  4. Toccata and Chorale


As a piece of program music, the work is bound together by symbolism and allusions. A theme from the 15th Century Hussite song "Ye Warriors of God and his Law" is...
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