Hans Krása: Symphonie für kleines Orchester

Hans Krása Symphonie für kleines Orchester
Symphonie für kleines Orchester

Hans Krása: Symphonie für kleines Orchester

Year of composition:
Scored for:
for alto and orchestra
Hans Krása
Text author:
Arthur Rimbaud
Max Brod
3 0 4 2 - 2 2 0 0 - perc, hp, cel - str
Instrumentation details:
picc. 2 0 cl(Eb). 2 bass cl. 2 - 2 2 0 0 - perc., xyl. - hp., cel. - str.
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

The Symphony for Alto and Small Orchestra was composed in 1923 during Krása’s three-month stay in Paris, where parts of the work were premièred at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in the Concerts Straram (1924). In 1926 the work was chosen to represent Czechslovakia at the Fourth Festival of the International Society of Contemporary Music in Zurich, where the first two movements – Pastorale and Marsch – drew international attention with their performance on 23 June. The score was published by Universal Edition, Vienna, in the same year, and the work received a complete performance by the Czech Philharmonic in Prague in 1927. In recent years, thanks especially to the advocacy of Vladimir Ashkenazy and Sir Simon Rattle, the Symphony has been heard fairly often in concert and on CD and seems well-placed to confirm the words of Viktor Ullmann, Krása’s friend and fellow-composer in Prague: «His music emerges without effort, as if between ‘check’ and ‘mate.’ But the things that do arise have a somnambulistic self-assurance.»

The final movement, for solo alto, is based on Arthur Rimbaud’s poem Les chercheuses de poux (The Lice Hunters). The German translation was provided by Krása’s friend Max Brod, who has gone down equally in musical and literary history as the translator of Janácek’s operas and the executor of Franz Kafka’s estate.

Bradford Robinson, 2005

From the preface of the Repertoire Explorer Miniature Score.

For the Repertoire Explorer Miniature Score please contact Musikproduktion Jürgen Höflich.

World première

Berlin (DE)
RIAS Jugendorchester
Israel Yinon

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