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Bohuslav Martinů (Czech: [ˈboɦuslaf ˈmarcɪnuː] ( ); December 8, 1890 – August 28, 1959) was a prolific Czech composer of modern classical music. Martinů wrote 6 symphonies, 15 operas, 14 ballet scores and a large body of orchestral, chamber, vocal and instrumental works. Martinů became a violinist in the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and taught music in his home town. In 1923 Martinů left Czechoslovakia for Paris, and deliberately withdrew from the Romantic style in which he had been trained. In the 1930s he experimented with expressionism and constructivism, and became an admirer of current European technical developments, exemplified by his orchestral works Half-time and La Bagarre. He also adopted jazz idioms, for instance in his Kuchyňské revue ("Kitchen Revue").

In the early 1930s he found his main font for compositional style, the neo-classical as developed by Stravinsky. With this, he expanded to become a prolific composer, composing chamber, orchestral, choral and instrumental works at a fast rate. His use of the piano obbligato became his signature. His Concerto Grosso and the Double Concerto for Two String Orchestras, Piano and Timpani are among his best known works from this period. Among his operas, Julietta and The Greek Passion are considered the finest. He is compared with Prokofiev and Bartók in his innovative incorporation of Central European ethnomusicology into his music. He continued to use Bohemian and Moravian folk melodies throughout his oeuvre, usually nursery rhymes—for instance in Otvírání studánek ("The Opening of the Wells").

His symphonic career began when he emigrated to the United States in 1941, fleeing the German invasion of France, to compose his six symphonies, which were performed by all the major US orchestras. Eventually Bohuslav Martinů returned to live in Europe for two years starting in 1953, then was back in New York until returning to Europe for good in May 1956. He died in Switzerland in August 1959.

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Discography

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Album

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1986 Double Concerto, etc. (Prague Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: Sir Charles Mackerras) Bohuslav Martinů 1
1986 Klavierquintett op.81 / Sonatine für zwei Violinen und Klavier Dvořák / Martinů 1
1986 Symphonies Nos. 3 & No. 6 "Fantaisies symphoniques" (Czech Philharmonic Orchestra feat. condcutor: Václav Neumann) Bohuslav Martinů 1
1987 Symphonies no. 1 & no. 2 Bohuslav Martinů; Bamberger Symphoniker, Neeme Järvi 1
1987 Symphonies no. 3 & no. 4 Bohuslav Martinů; Bamberger Symphoniker, Neeme Järvi 1
1988 Symphonies no. 5 & no. 6 Bohuslav Martinů; Bamberger Symphoniker, Neeme Järvi 1
1988 Sonatas Dvořák, Martinů, Feld; James Galway, Phillip Moll 1
1991 Symphony No. 1 / Double Concerto (Czech Philharmonic Orchestra feat. conductor: Jiří Bělohlávek) Bohuslav Martinů 1
1992 Cello Concertos 1 & 2 / Concertino Martinů; Raphael Wallfisch, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Jiří Bělohlávek 1
1992 Sinfonietta Giocosa / Toccata e Due Canzoni / Sinfonietta La Jolla Bohuslav Martinů; Julian Jacobson, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Tamás Vásáry 1
1992 Cello Sonatas (Janos Starker, Rudolf Firkušný) Bohuslav Martinů 1
1992 Sonatas for Cello and Piano Bohuslav Martinů; Michal Kaňka, Jaromír Klepáč 1
1993 Piano Concertos (Czech Philharmonic Orchestra feat. conductor: Jiri Belohlavek, piano: Emil Leichner) Bohuslav Martinů 1
1994 Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6 / Inventions (Czech Philharmonic Orchestra feat. conductor Václav Neumann) Bohuslav Martinů 1
1994 Julietta (Chorus & Orchestra of the National Theatre, Prague feat. conductor: Jaroslav Krombholc) Bohuslav Martinů 1
1995 Flute Trios / Promenades / Madrigal Sonata (Feinstein Ensemble) Bohuslav Martinů 1
1995 Piano Quintets Dvořák, Martinů; Lindsay String Quartet, Peter Frankl 1
1995 Bartok: Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta / Martinů: Concerto for String Quartet & Orchestra / Janáček: Capriccio Bartók, Martinů, Janáček; The Cleveland Orchestra, Christoph von Dohnányi 1
1996 Chamber Music Bohuslav Martinů 1
1999 Serenades I-IV / Quartet Bohuslav Martinů; Ensemble Villa Musica 1
2000 Love Songs Dvořák, Janáček, Martinů; Magdalena Kožená, Graham Johnson 1
2000 String Quartets, Volume 1: Nos. 1 and 2 / Tři jezdci (Martinů Quartet) Bohuslav Martinů 1
2000 Symphonies nos. 2 and 4 Bohuslav Martinů; National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Arthur Fagen 1
2000 Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto no. 3 / Martinů: Violin Concerto no. 2 Saint-Saëns, Martinů; Katrin Scholz, Hamburger Symphoniker, Sebastian Lang-Lessing 1
2001 Works for violin and piano, Volume 1 Bohuslav Martinů; Bohuslav Matoušek, Petr Adamec 1
2001 Symphonies nos. 3 and 5 Bohuslav Martinů; National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Arthur Fagen 1
2001 Cello Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 (Czech Philharmonic Orchestra feat. conductor: Václav Neumann, cello: Angelica May) Bohuslav Martinů 1
2002 Complete Piano Works Bohuslav Martinů; Emil Leichner 1
2004 Cello Sonatas Martinů; Steven Isserlis, Peter Evans 1
2005 Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 / Martinů: Symphony No. 2 Antonín Dvořák, Bohuslav Martinů; Paavo Järvi, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra 1
2006 Streichquartette - Gesamtaufnahme (Stamitz-Quartett) Bohuslav Martinů 1
2007 Piano Quintets nos. 1 and 2 / Sonata for Two Violins and Piano Bohuslav Martinů; Martinů Quartet, Karel Košárek 1
2007 Complete Piano Music, Vol. 3 Bohuslav Martinů; Giorgio Koukl 1
2007 The Complete Music for Violin and Orchestra, Volume 1 Bohuslav Martinů; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Christopher Hogwood, Bohuslav Matoušek 5 1
2007 The Epic of Gilgamesh (Prague Philharmonia feat. conductor: Jiří Bělohlávek) Bohuslav Martinů 1
2008 The Complete Music for Violin and Orchestra, Volume 2 Bohuslav Martinů; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Christopher Hogwood, Bohuslav Matoušek 1
2008 Violin Concerto No. 2 / Toccata & due Canzoni (The Prague Philharmonia feat. conductor: Jiří Bělohlávek) Bohuslav Martinů 1
2008 The Complete Music for Violin and Orchestra, Volume 3 Bohuslav Martinů; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Christopher Hogwood, Bohuslav Matoušek 1
2008 The Complete Music for Violin and Orchestra, Volume 4 Bohuslav Martinů; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Christopher Hogwood, Bohuslav Matoušek 1
2008 Duos for Violin and Viola John Williams, Aaron Copland, Louis Spohr, Bohuslav Martinů, Jakov Jakoulov, Alessandro Rolla; Victor Romanul, Michael Zaretsky 1
2010 Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 5 / Concertino Bohuslav Martinů 1
2010 Piano Trios Eben, Martinů, Smetana; The Florestan Trio 1
2011 Czech Music for Strings Janáček, Haas, Martinů; Janáček Chamber Orchestra 1
2011 Mládí Leoš Janáček, Bohuslav Martinů, Anton Reicha; Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet 1
2012 La revue de cuisine/Harpsichord Concerto/Chamber Music No. 1/Les rondes Bohuslav Martinů; Robert Hill, Holst-Sinfonietta, Klaus Simon 1
2014 Martinů: Cello Sonatas 1-3 / Works by Sibelius and Mustonen Martinů, Sibelius, Mustonen; Steven Isserlis, Olli Mustonen 1
Les Nouveaux Musiciens Martinů, Prokofiev, Hindemith; Mathieu Dufour, Aleksandar Madžar 1
Sextet in A; Martinu / Sextet, Serenada II Dvořák / Martinů 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1991 Symphonies (Czech Philharmonic feat. conductor: Václav Neumann) Compilation Bohuslav Martinů 1
1999 BBC Music, Volume 7, Number 12: Brahms: Symphony No. 2 / Martinů: Frescoes of Piero della Francesca Compilation Brahms / Martinů 1

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