Born 3 July 1854
Died 12 August 1928
One of the most influential composers of the early 20th century, Leoš Janáček was initially known for his instrumental and chamber work. The Czech’s reputation as an operatic composer grew steadily, however, with works such as The Cunning Little Vixen and Jenůfa.
Janáček died 87 years ago today (12 August). Here we suggest three ways to hear his music over the next month, plus, below, present a playlist of his music:
BBC Proms: Tuesday 25 August sees Edward Gardner conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Janáček’s Sinfonietta.
For more information and tickets, visit the Proms website.
Abroad: Somewhat further afield, on Friday 21 August the Grafenegg Festival in Austria couples Janáček’s Concerto for violin and orchestra ‘Pilgrimage of the Soul’ with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D, Op. 61 and Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony, Op. 70. For more information and tickets, visit the Grafenegg website.
Catch Up: Through the Night, first broadcast on Monday 10 August, features two Janáček pieces at the top of the programme. The Glagolitic Mass and Vecne evangelium, both performed by the Prague Philharmonic Choir and Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Tomáš Netopil, are two stand out works intended to modernise church music at the time. Frustrated with the limitations of the latin text, Janáček’s music features many secular and pastoral images. Listen again at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b064njcy
With each Top Three article we will be posting a playlist of works by the composer. You can view the Janáček playlist here.