May 13 2013

On October 1 1905, a carpenter, František Pavlík (1885-1905), was bayoneted during demonstrations in favour of a Czech university in Brno or Brünn. Brünn was the capital of Moravia and is the second city in the Czech Republic.

Janáček wrote a piano composition about František Pavlík’s death which, at least in its present form, has two movements:

Presentiment (Předtucha) – Con moto

Death (Smrt) – Adagio

Vinia Tsopela’s playing of this poetic masterpiece, whose final movement, Funeral March, was discarded, is full, too emphatic at times. From memory, the performance on record I admire most is Leif Ove Andsnes’s on an old Virgin CD.

Compare Gavrilo Princip.

The Hapsburgs were Dukes of Austria (1282-1453), Archdukes of Austria (1453-1804) and Austrian Emperors (1804-1918).

The Kingdoms of Hungary and Bohemia became constituent states of the Hapsburg monarchy in 1526. Moravia had belonged to Bohemia continuously since 1019, Slovakia (capital: Bratislava or Pressburg or Pózsony) to Hungary since 1000.

There was no Bohemian constitutional settlement equivalent to the Ausgleich with Hungary.

After 1918, Bohemia was separated from Austria and Hungary was dismembered. The Slovakian part of Hungary became part of the new Republic of Czechoslovakia (1918-92).

7 Responses to “1.X.1905”

  1. davidderrick Says:

    I find it hard to believe that Pavlík was born in the same year as one of my grandfathers. The other was born a year later a mere train ride away.

    Cf Shostakovich, Symphony 11 in g minor, “The Year 1905”, 1957.

  2. Daniel Miller Says:

    Re: 1905. The events in Russia of that year also inspired Sergei Taneyev and others to form the People’s Conservatory, which seems a lesser attempt at what Balakirev tried during the nineteenth century. Music making for the masses. I’ve long been searching for more instances of Russian composers’ musical reactions to the events in Russia between 1905 – 1917, as there was no shortage of outstanding composers active in Russia during that era.

    • davidderrick Says:

      Very interesting. And, of course, the 1905 disturbances were partly set off by Russia’s defeat that year by Japan.

      Glazunov became director of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory 1905 and remained there until 1928.

      • Daniel Miller Says:

        Yes, which played at least a small part in the genesis of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Le coq d’or. I’ve always thought his operas vastly underrated. I may have learned more of Russian culture by listening to his music, than any writing on the subject.

      • davidderrick Says:

        There is so much unknown Rimsky. Stravinsky says interesting things about him in the Craft books. I think the first telephone call he ever made or received was with R-K.

        Tchaikovsky is a (very) minor theme in this blog, but I want to publish some of his letters.

  3. davidderrick Says:

    Wikipedia on the genesis of The Golden Cockerel (edited):

    “Rimsky-Korsakov had considered his previous opera, The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya (1907) to be his final artistic statement in the medium and, indeed, this work has been called a ‘summation of the nationalistic operatic tradition of Glinka and The Five’. However the political situation in Russia at the time inspired him to take up the pen to compose a ‘razor-sharp satire of the autocracy, of Russian imperialism, and of the Russo-Japanese war’.

    Tsar Saltan, also inspired by Pushkin, especially had been very successful. The Golden Cockerel had the same magic.

    Under Tsar Nicholas II Russia became involved in a highly unpopular war with Japan. It proved to be a military disaster, and Russia was defeated. In The Golden Cockerel, King Dodon foolishly decides to make a pre-emptive strike against the neighbouring State, and there is chaos and bloodshed on the battlefield. The king himself gives more attention to his personal pleasures and comes to a sticky end.

    On January 9 1905, several thousand people, led by a priest, demonstrated peacefully in the Palace Square in St Petersburg. They tried to hand in a petition asking for better working conditions. However, more than 1,000 persons were shot by the Tsarist troops, and the date has become known as Bloody Sunday. News of this massacre spread rapidly – there was an uprising in Odessa, where the sailors in the battleship Potemkin took over the ship and fired on the headquarters of the tsarist troops. Again, there was a massacre. The students in the St Petersburg Conservatoire also demonstrated against the Czar, and Rimsky Korsakov supported their protest. For this he was dismissed from his post as head of the Conservatoire. Alexander Glazunov and Anatoly Lyadov resigned and left with him.

    Rimsky-Korsakov decided to create a work exposing the tsarist regime, and in 1906 he started work on his Golden Cockerel. It was finished in 1907 and immediately banned by the Palace – the resemblance between the Czar and the foolish King Dodon was too close. Rimsky-Korsakov’s health was probably affected by this, and he was dead by the time it was performed two years later.”

  4. […] piano sonata: 1.X.1905 (old […]

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