Novák Jan (1921 - 1984)

Jan Novák - Foto:  archiv autora

Jan NovákFoto:  archiv autora

In the post-war generation of Czech composers Jan Novák is undoubtedly one of the most talented and most striking personalities.

He was born in Nová Říše na Moravě and after studies at the Papal Institute in Velehrad and the classical gymnasium (grammar school) in Brno he entered the Brno Conservatory in 1940, where he studied piano and composition under Theodor Schaefer and Vilém Petrželka. For two and a half years his music studies were interrupted by forced service in Germany. After the war he resumed his studies first of all briefly at AMU (Academy of Performing Arts) in Prague under Pavel Bořkovec and then at the newly established JAMU (Janáček Academy of Performing Arts). 

Novák's further development as a composer was fundamentally influenced by his study stay in the United States in the year 1947/8, when he studied briefly under Aaron Copland and in the following five months in New York privately with Bohuslav Martinů. In 1968 he decided to emigrate. After a year of exile in Denmark, Novák and his family left for Italy, then in 1977 for Ulm in Germany, where he died on 17 November 1984. Practically all the works of Jan Novák were in the spirit of the Neo-classical creative orientation. Characteristic traits are the clear structure of the form, transparent instrumentation, melody in the framework of free tonality, lively rhythm and a sense of humour. The influence of the work of Bohuslav Martinů is evident in particular in the compositions of the first phase of Novák's work. From the end of the fifties the decisive trait is the inclination towards Latin poetry. Latin, which Novák spoke fluently and which he also handled intensively as a poet, became the chief source of inspiration for his work. 

Titles for sale:
Aeolia for two Flutes and Piano
Capriccio for Violoncello and Orchestra
Capriccio for Violoncello and Orchestra - Piano score
Elegantiae tripudiorum
IV Hymni christiani (Four Christian Hymns for Piano and Vocal part ad libitum)
Choreae vernales for Flute and Piano
Choreae vernales for Flute and Guitar
Choreae vernales for Flute, String Orchestra and Harp with Celesta or Piano
Odarum concentus choro fidium
Panisci fistula
Prima sonata for Piano
Rotundelli for Violoncello and Piano
Sonata brevis for Cembalo
Sonata tribus for Flute, Violin and Piano
Sonatina for Flute and Piano
Tibia fugitiva for Flute solo
Toccata chromatica for Piano
Variations on the Theme by Bohuslav Martinů for two Pianos
 

Titles for hire - see Sheet music for hire (*.pdf) 

 

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