Orchestral

Zvuky ku památce Förchgotta Tovačovského (II. oddíl) 

[Sounds in memory of Arnošt Förchtgott-Tovačovský (2nd part)]

for strings

  • first performance 1988 St. Louis
  • first edition as part of the Collection of works from Prague studies, Editio Janáček, Brno 2001

JW VI/1

1875

Suita

for strings

1. Moderato, 2. Adagio, 3. Andante con moto, 4. Presto-Andante-Presto, 5. Adagio, 6. Andante

  • first performance 1877 Brno
  • first edition Oldřich Pazdírek, Brno 1926 (score)

JW VI/2

1877

Idylla

for strings

1. Andante-Meno mosso-Da capo, 2. Allegro-Moderato-[Allegro], 3. Moderato-Con moto-[Moderato], 4. Allegro, 5. Adagio-Presto-Adagio, 6. Scherzo-[Trio-Tempo I], 7. Moderato

  • first performance 1877 Brno
  • first edition Orbis, Prague 1951 (pocket score) 

JW VI/3

1878 

Valašské tance op. 2 [Valachian dances op. 2]

folk-dance arrangement for orchestra

Čeladenský, Dymák, Kožich, Pilky, Požehnaný, Starodávný I, Starodávný II (a), Starodávný II (b), Troják lašský

  • first performance 1889 Brno (incomplete) 
  • first edition as Valachian Dances for Orchestra nos. I., II., op. 2, Bursík and Kohout, Prague 1890 (Starodávný I and Pilky, score)

JW VI/4

1889

[Adagio]

pro orchestra

  • first performance Brno 1930
  • first edition Czech Music Foundation, Prague 1958 (score)

JW VI/5 

1890

[Suita] op. 3

pro orchestra

1. Con moto, 2. Adagio, 3. Allegretto, 4. Con moto

  • first performance Brno 1928
  • first edition Státní nakladatelství krásné literatury, hudby a umění, Prague 1958 (score), critical edition Editio Janáček D/1-1, Brno 2002 (ed. L. Faltus, J. Motl)

JW VI/6 

1891

[Moravské tance] [Moravian dances]

folk-dance arrangements for orchestra

1. Kožich, 2. Kalamajka, 3. Trojky, 4. Silnice, 5. Rožek

  • first performance see JW I/2, VI/4, VI/8
  • first edition Czech Music Foundation, Prague 1957

JW VI/7 

1889, 1891

[Hanácké tance] [Dances from Haná]

folk-dance arrangements for orchestra, number 4 for male chorus and orchestra

1. Kalamajka, 2. Trojky, 3. Silnice, 4. Troják

  • first performance 1892 Brno
  • unpublished as this suite

JW VI/8

1891–92 

České tance [Czech dances]

1. Suite, folk-dance arrangements for orchestra, number 3 for male chorus and orchestra

1. Dymák, 2. Požehnaný, 3. Keď sme šli na hody, 4. Křížový, 5. Čeladenský

  • unperformed

  • unpublished as this suite

JW VI/9 

1893

Žárlivost (Úvod k Její pastorkyni) [Jealousy (Introduction to Jenůfa)]

for orchestra after the Moravian folksong The jealous man

  • first performance Prague 1906
  • first edition Czech Music Foundation, Prague 1958 (score)

Janáček had originally intended Jealousy 'Introduction to Jenůfa' as the prelude to the opera. He wrote it at the start of 1895 but it did not fit in musically with the rest of the opera. This is perhaps why it was not used as a prelude to the opera at the premiere of Jenůfa on 21 January 1904, or later on in Janáček's life. It was performed as a separate orchestral work in 1906 by the Czech Philharmonic, conducted by František Neumann.

JW VI/10

1895 

Požehnaný [Blessed]

folk-dance arrangement for orchestra

  • first performance 1900 Brno
  • unpublished

JW VI/11 

1899

Kozáček [Cossack dance]

Russian folksong arrangement for orchestra

  • first performance 1900 Brno
  • first edition as Two Dances, Czech Music Foundation, Prague 1958 (score)

JW VI/12 

1899

Srbské kolo [Serbian reel]

Serbian folksong arrangement for orchestra, completed 1900

  • first performance 1900 Brno
  • first edition as Two Dances, Czech Music Foundation, Prague 1958 (score)

JW VI/13

1900 

Šumařovo dítě [The fiddler's child]

ballad for orchestra after a poem by Svatopluk Čech

  • first performance 1917 Praha
  • first edition Club of Friends of Art, Brno 1914 (pocket score), critical edition SVK D/6 Supraphon, Prague 1984 (ed. J. Burghauser, R. Eliška)

In 1913, Janáček composed a ballad for orchestra after Svatopluk Čech's poem The fiddler's child. As with the male choruses set to Bezruč's poems, this composition also has a strong social subtext. The story of a poor fiddler, who after his death returns for his child to take with him for eternity to prevent it suffering on earth, was originally conceived as a composition with a prominent part for solo violin. The score was published in 1914 on the composer's sixtieth birthday by the Brno Friends of Art. The premiere took place in Prague on 14 November 1917 at a concert by the Czech Philharmonic conducted by Otakar Ostrčil.

JW VI/14

1913 

Taras Bulba

rhapsody for orchestra after the novel of the same name by Nikolay Gogol

1. The death of Andriy, 2. The death of Ostap, 3. The prophecy and death of Taras Bulba

completed 1915, rev. 1918

  • first performance 1921 Brno
  • first edition Hudební matice Umělecké Besedy, Prague 1925 (arrangement for piano for 4 hands, composer B. Bakala), Hudební matice Umělecké Besedy, Prague 1927 (score), critical edition SVK D/7 Supraphon, Prague 1980 (ed. J. Burghauser, J. Hanuš)

The orchestral rhapsody Taras Bulba is one of Janáček's most famous and regularly played compositions, which the composer wrote at the start of the First World War, based on a short story by the Russian writer Nikolay Gogol. Janáček had known about the short story since 1905 when he heard the Russian original at a meeting of the Russian Circle in Brno. Evidently for political reasons he interrupted work on the composition in 1915 and did not finish the work until 1917. Janáček divided the story of the heroic Cossack leader into three parts: I. The death of Andriy, II. The death of Otap. III. The prophecy and death of Taras Bulba. The premiere of the composition was performed in 1920 by the orchestra of the National Theatre in Brno, conducted by František Neumann. 

JW VI/15

1915, rev. 1918 

Balada blanická [The ballad of Blaník]

for orchestra after a poem by Jaroslav Vrchlický

  • first performance 1920 Brno 
  • first edition Státní nakladatelství krásné literatury, hudby a umění, Prague 1958, critical edition Editio Janáček D/8, Brno 2003 (ed. K. Steinmetz, M. Štědroň)

The orchestral composition, The Ballad of Blaník, after a poem by Jaroslav Vrchlický, was evidently composed at the end of 1919. The work was inspired by the legend of the Blaník knights who will come to the aid of the Czech nation at the time of greatest need. The establishment of the new Czechoslovak state had obviously influenced Janáček when writing it. The eight-minute composition received its premiere in Brno on 21 March 1920 at a Conservatoire concert performed by the orchestra of the National Theatre in Brno and conducted by František Neumann. The concert was part of President Tomáš G. Masaryk's 70th birthday celebrations, and Janáček was supposed to give an opening speech about the composition as well as about Masaryk's Czech Question. However, the speech was never given. Shortly before the concert, Janáček found out about the nationalization of the Brno Conservatoire, and in light of the fact that he had campaigned hard for the conservatoire to be given the status of a state school this was good news, but which also came with bad news. Janáček as the founder of Brno musical education and the conservatoire itself had not been appointed its director. Understandably he took this as display of ingratitude and left the concert in a sullen mood.

JW VI/16

1919? 

Lašské tance [Lachian dances]

folk-dance arrangement for orchestra

1. Starodávný I, 2. Požehnaný, 3. Dymák, 4. Starodávný II, 5. Čeladenský, 6. Pilky

completed 1924

  • first performance Brno 1924
  • first edition Hudební matice Umělecké Besedy, Prague 1928 (score), critical edition SVK D/4 Supraphon, Prague 1982 (ed. J. Burghauser, R. Eliška)

Although Janáček's Lachian dances have a final date of 1924, in reality they are much older.

The composer had been working on them from the late 1880s to the early 1890s and are therefore connected to the composer's so-called folk period and his collection of folksongs and dances. It involved the orchestration of six dances, some of which are also to be found in Janáček's other works, such as the ballet Rákoš Rákozcy and the opera The Beginning of a Romance. They were originally called Vallachian dances but the composer changed it in connection with the printed edition and performance at the National Theatre in Brno in 1924.

JW VI/17

1924 

Sinfonietta

for orchestra

1. Allegretto, 2. Andante, 3. Moderato, 4. Allegretto, 5. Allegro

  • first performance 1926 Prague
  • first edition Universal Edition, Vienna 1926 (complete score), 2017 (score, ed. Jiří Zahrádka, critical edition)

The Sinfonietta is Janáček's last and most famous composition for symphony orchestra. The origin of the piece dates to when Janáček was asked by Lidové noviny to write a small greeting to commemorate the 8th Sokol Rally. The composer, who was himself part of the Sokol organisation, first of all wrote the fanfare which later developed into the complete five-part composition. While writing the fanfare, Janáček was reminded of the wonderful time he had spent in Písek in 1924, when he heard a military band play in the colonnade. It originally carried the title of Military Sinfonietta, but he later shortened it to Sinfonietta. The premiere was part of the cultural programme of the Sokol Rally on 26 June 1926 at the Rudolfinum in Prague. A military band played along with the Czech Philharmonic conducted by Václav Talicha, and the concert was also broadcast on the radio. The work was an enormous success and was soon performed across the globe. 

JW VI/18

1926