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In the 1950s, Bohuslav Martinů was deeply impressed by Piero della Francesca’s cycle of frescoes in 8 scenes, depicting the Legend of the True Cross in the choir of San Francesco in Arezzo. In his orchestral work, Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca (1955, 19 min), he wanted to give voice to the majestic, icy silence, as well as the strange, peaceful poetry of the paintings, and to express the colourful, mysterious atmosphere in music. The world première at the Salzburg Festival in 1956 was conducted by Rafael Kubelík.