11. 10. 2020, 3 pm

Vila Tugendhat, Brno

Tomáš Král baritone
Matan Porat piano

Claude Debussy (1862-1918): Trois chansons de France L 115 for song and piano

Claude Debussy: Ballade slave L 70 for piano

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911): Kindertotenlieder for voice and piano

Leoš Janáček (1854-1928): Moravian Folk Poetry in Songs JW V/2 for voice and piano

Leoš Janáček: 1. X. 1905 (From the Street, 1st October 1905), JW VIII/19

This recital by the outstanding singer Tomáš Král will present songs by authors who were born within the space of ten years and are some of the most respected authors that opened the door to the musical breakthrough of the 20th century. The songs presented at the concert were also born in close proximity timewise – between the years 1892-1904. So close, and yet so distant…

The songs Trois chansons de France by Claude Debussy (1862–1918) were created in 1904 and dedicated by the author to the singer Emma Bardac. There are three songs: two are roundels set to verse from the 15th century by Charles d´Orléans, while the third was composed to a 17th century poem by Tristan L´Hermite.

Gustav Mahler (1860–1911) wrote his Kindertotenliede in 1901 and 1904. The composer drew from a collection by Friedrich Rückert from 1833–34. From more than 428 poems he chose only five for his cycle. The songs were originally written for alto voice with an orchestral accompaniment. The melodies of the songs, in whose texts Rückert reacted to the death of children, make an extremely strong impression with their extraordinarily natural character (which approaches that of folk songs). The cycle is one of the highlights of Mahler´s song output.

Moravian Folk Poetry in Songs is one of the most extensive cycles by Leoš Janáček (1854-1928), being made up of 53 songs. The composer worked on it between 1892-1901, so within a period that’s also connected with his work on the opera Jenůfa. Janáček was intensively engaged in folk music and song collection from approximately 1888, and the peak of this activity dates back to the 1890s, when this interest was closely connected to his compositional work. He remained faithful to folk songs throughout his life, however. He also devoted many years to adapting folk songs to be sung with a piano accompaniment. He experimented with them to some extent, and as a result these songs form a very distinctive part of the composer´s oeuvre. In 1892, the Šolc publishing house released the second edition of the Bouquet of National Moravian Songs, which was compiled by František Bartoš and Lev Janáček. On that occasion the publisher asked Janáček to add piano accompaniments to the songs. Janáček did so for fifteen songs which Šolc published in a first book in 1893. The second book was published in 1902, when the publisher printed the remaining 38 songs. They weren’t released together as a set until 1908, when they were published under the name Moravian Folk Poetry in Songs. The songs were performed for the first time (and only four of them) in Brno in 1904. The cycle was probably not performed completely during the composer´s life.

Two piano compositions will also be performed at the concert: Ballade slave by Claude Debussy from 1890, and 1. X. 1905 (From the Street, 1st October 1905), which Leoš Janáček composed in 1905.

Author: Jiří Zahrádka