The Czech and Slovak Music Society


Volume II, Number 3

Fall 1998

RESPECT '98The 1st Annual World Ethnic Music Festival dedicated to gypsy culture (September 4-6, 1998).


At a time when Romanies from the Czech Republic are trying to seek their fortunes in more tolerant lands and when here [in the Czech Republic], over the past eight years, more than forty Romanies have fallen victim to racist violence (not to mention the similar situation in the other post-communist countries in Europe), several questions immediately come to mind:  What do we really know about them?  How do they live? [What characterizes their culture?]

The weekly magazine RESPECT and the RACHOT Concert Agency, in cooperation with the Prague Castle Administration, conceived and organized a project that is unique in the history of the relations between the majority white population and the Romanies.  By dedicating the first year of the Festival of Ethnic and World Music entirely to Romany culture they not only laid the promising foundations of a new musical tradition, but also made an important contribution to public discussion of the burning issue of racial prejudice and discrimination against ethnic minorities.

Over three days, world-famous (although in the Czech Republic little-known) Romany music groups from throughout Europe performed for a predominantly "white" public.  The first concert took place on Friday, the 4th of September, 1998 in the Palác Akropolis.  Here the Czech scene was represented by a performer who is clearly the best-known figure in Romany music in [the Czech Republic] - Věra Bílá, a singer who has a quite exceptional vocal range and personal charisma, with the Kale group, which is somewhat influenced by pop music (as the presence of a synthesizer and bass guitar suggested).

The delight of the evening was undoubtedly the Ĺudová hudba J. Šuk Bartoše [Folk Music of J. Šuk Bartoš] (three violins, double bass and accordion) from neighboring Slovakia.  The authenticity of the performance of old songs, and the traditional fast gypsy "chapash" in the finale, left no-one indifferent.  In comparison to the preceding sets, the music of the French group Swing Gajé, with which the Friday concert concluded, seemed a "civilized" and "intellectual" matter.  The group was led by composer, performer, and accordionist Arnaud Van Lancker, who together with Armel Richard has created a song repertoire of chanson type, frequently enlivened by non-traditional elements taken, for example, from minimal music.

Saturday afternoon, on the terrace of the Prague Castle Riding School, started with the second appearance by Swing Gajé.  They were followed by the Spanish flamenco dancer Ana La China and her group consisting of Antonio de la Malena, a singer of the old Romany school from the region where flamenco was born, Domingo de los Santos "Rubich," guitar, and Luis de la Tota, one of the best flamenco drummers.

From Romania the festival welcomed the unbelievably vivid and fiery Taraf de Haidouks (2 accordions, double bass, violin, dulcimer, and vocals), who participate in prestigious festivals of world music and have appeared with the Kronos Quartet, Yehudi Menuhin, and in Tony Gatlif's film Latcho drom (The Good Journey).  Their albums are among the top releases in European world music and today they clearly are the only true bearers of the Romanian folk tradition, since under the dictatorship of Ceausescu the "old songs" were forbidden.  But they always return from their tours to the village of Clejani near Bucharest, famous for the quantity of outstanding Romany musicians that it has produced.  [Yet here too, there is evidence of racial discrimination.]  Two years ago Romanians evidently burned down a Romany house near Clejani in which people were living; two hundred people had to hide in the forest from the crowd that had [started the fire]...

The Balkan brass ensemble Kochani Orchestar (trumpet, cornet, saxophone, 3 baritones, tuba, harmonica, large drum) is imposing in its very appearance, and its music in absolutely no way resembles the worn-out clichés of [the] Central European brass bands.  Its Balkan rhythms, overtones of Ottoman music, and wild overall impact had the other performers and organizers dancing on the podium.  [Even the rain-soaked audience scarcely noticed the bad weather.]

The festival culminated on Sunday evening with the screening of a specially borrowed film by the French Romany director Tony Gatlif, Latcho drom. It was [unfortunate] the Aero cinema in Žižkov had such a small capacity.  "Because our history isn't known, and isn't written up in books, we have to guess at the roots of the Romanies using music," says Gatlif.  "That's why my film has no commentary and was not designed for tourists.  I wanted people to come and see it, as if a friend had invited them to join in the music; that communication of experience brings them closer.  ...I chose music, because you can't object to music.  It speaks to the soul and racism starts when the relation between the soul and everyday life is disrupted." ...

(From Czech Music '98, no. 6, p. 7 [Kateřina Horáková] with permission of the editor.  Published by the Czech Music Information Centre.)

(Note:  For additional information on Gatlif's film, visit the website <>.  Reviews of the film can be accessed via the website. You may also wish to visit the website for Czech Music:  <> and the Czech Music Information Centre:

                             Preserving Czech Cultural 

              Heritage in America

The Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU) has been awarded a grant from the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs to survey historical sites and monuments, and the archival material relating to Czech Americans. The project is envisioned as a long-term and broadly based effort, involving close cooperation with individual Czech American organizations and the relevant institutions in the Czech Republic, such as the Náprstek Museum. It is our hope to eventually enlarge the project to also include Slovak materials with the cooperation of the relevant Slovak organizations in America. The project is coordinated by Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl who has had extensive experience in the area of the history of Czechs and Slovaks in America.

It has been estimated that there are some 1.5 million Czechs in the U.S. which is considered the largest Czech community abroad. Cities like Chicago, Cleveland, and New York could at one time boast of flourishing Czech life. Due to the inevitable effects of the "melting pot," however, this distinct life has been steadily fading away. As the old grandparents die, the subsequent generations lose interest not only in the Czech language but also in their own family heritage.  For generations these families have kept old Czech books, almanacs, anniversary publications, calendars, posters and other family treasures which have reminded them of their old country and which they have held in great reverence. Many of these publications have long been out-of-print and cannot even be found in the Náprstek Museum in Prague.

If we look at the Czech American community as a whole, the situation is equally alarming. As the community leaders get older, it is difficult to replace them with young blood. Many a society may thus cease and desist with the death of its president. To make matters worse, a number of Czech American societies have lost their PURPOSE for a meaningful existence, other than mere socializing. Oddly enough, this trend has been accentuated following the Velvet Revolution, when a number of organizations reached the conclusion that their work was no longer needed.

The Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences, which has long been interested in the history of Czech and Slovak Americans, has anxiously followed these trends. This concern led the SVU to hold a special conference in Belton, Texas (July 1997) on Czech-Americans  in Transition: Challenges and Opportunities for the Future, in conjunction with the historic celebration of the 100th anniversary of the SPJST . A direct product of the conference was a joint proclamation by the two societies to establish a Cultural Heritage Commission for the purpose of coordinating a joint effort towards preserving Czech cultural heritage in America. The idea soon caught on and the topic became one of the principal issues discussed in the October 1997 conference convened by the Ambassador  in Washington, D.C. At the end of the conference the delegates resolved to support the SVU and the SPJST in an effort to launch such an effort with the participation of major Czech organizations in the U.S.

It is in this spirit that the SVU now turns to Czech American societies and organizations to get involved in and fully participate in the proposed project:

        1.  To gather information on the existing Czech-related archives and libraries in the U.S. as
             well as other archival and documentary material maintained by various organizations and in
             private collections; and

        2.  To survey historic sites and monuments throughout the U.S. that commemorate important
             personalities or events relevant to Czech Americans. As a part of this comprehensive
             undertaking, a special conference and exhibit are planned where the findings would be
             presented and some of the documents shown. The subsequent phases of this endeavor
             would include serious discussions with various government agencies on both sides of the
             Atlantic concerning the transfer and storage of the material for safekeeping and scholarly

It is our plan to contact various Czech American organizations individually. In the meantime, however, we would appreciate hearing from them concerning their interest, cooperation, and assistance in this important undertaking towards preserving the rich cultural heritage of our ancestors. We are convinced that this effort with such a noble goal may also help to revitalize the spirit of the Czech American community as a whole, and give a common purpose to our organizations throughout the land. In order for this endeavor to succeed, every Czech American organization needs to participate. Apart from the needed cooperation and assistance from various groups, we also need volunteers to help us with gathering data and information in individual localities, cities, and states throughout the country.

Please send your suggestions, comments, and all inquiries to the SVU President:
        Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl, 1703 Mark Lane, Rockville, MD 20852
        Phone / FAX: (301) 881-7222; e-mail:

(SVU Press Release)

University of California at Santa Barbara receives endowment for Czech music

The University of California at Santa Barbara has received a generous bequest of $283,500 from the estate of the Erna Fisher Trust to support the study of Czech music.  This money is to be used for fellowships, research travel and materials, and the general support of activities that enhance work in Czech music.

The funds will be deposited in the university's general endowment and will enable the UCSB Music Department to continue to recruit and support students undertaking serious work in Czech music.

(Submitted by Dr. Michael Beckerman, UCSB Professor of Music and administrator of the bequest)

The Czechoslovak  Society  of  Arts  and  Sciences (SVU)
announces a
Special Conference


The conference, organized in conjunction with the visit of President Václav Havel to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, will be held on April 24-26, 1999 at the University of Minnesota, Macalester College, and the University of Saint Thomas.

The theme of the conference permits focusing on three issues that will be of interest not only to Czech and Slovak Americans, but Americans concerned with Central Europe, NATO, democracy, and global interdependence. The three sub-themes are:

        1.  Issues dealing with historical and contemporary settlements of people from the Czech and
             Slovak Republics in America,

        2. Issues dealing with the preservation of cultural identity and heritage in the face of growing
            globalization and homogenization, and

        3. Issues dealing with future relationships between Czech and Slovaks living in America and
            those in the Czech and Slovak Republics.

The format will be open to allow for other topics of interest. Conference participants will have the opportunity to attend regular keynote and plenary presentations, share their knowledge of the theme topics, meet some of the members of the President's entourage, participate in social and cultural events, witness President Havel receiving honorary degrees, hear his major address on Civil Society in the 21st century, give the President a warm Welcome Party filled with speeches, folk singing, dancing, and brief cuts from his plays, hear the President address Czech Americans, visit the pictorial exhibit of Czech immigration to USA:1848-1918, and help build a lasting foundation for Czech culture in Minnesota.

Individuals interested in presenting a paper or attending the Conference should contact the SVU President:  Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl, 1703 Mark Lane, Rockville, MD 20852
                Phone / FAX: (301) 881-7222; e-mail:  <>

(Submitted by Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl)

Editor's Note:  Visit the website for the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU) at:

  From the Kaprálová Society -

Dr. Eugene Gates, a faculty member of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, recently joined the Society's Advisory Committee. For more information visit the advisory committee page at:

Dr. Gates's research interests are related to those of the Society with regard to his work on the topic of Women in Music.  A bibliography of his efforts in this area can be accessed at:

A compact disc of Kaprálová's works was released before Christmas. Details are available at:

(Submitted by Karla Hartl, Kaprálová Society)

Vranitzky String Quartet DEBUT - On Friday, November 20th, the Vranitzky String Quartet (as they like to spell it) made their debut at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Seattle, Washington.  The quartet consists of John S. Kim, first violin; Hyekyung Seo, second violin; Thane Lewis, viola; and Rich Eckert, cello.

This event impressed me strongly on two counts:  The group is clearly an accomplished ensemble, and it brought some very interesting and worthy music to light.  The concert opened with Haydn's quartet in F minor, op. 20, no. 5.  This is, of course, a fairly well-known piece, and by pure chance I had listened to the Hagen Quartet's recording of it about two weeks earlier.  The Vranitzky's performance abounded in subtlety, precision, clarity, and concern for instrumental balance.   It was an appropriately serious performance of a serious work. My only reservation was that the reading seemed a bit cautious, but that was understandable -- the group has been playing together for only two months.  (At this point, I'm listening to the Tatrai Quartet's recording of the work, and it is interpretively similar to the Vranitzky's -- not bad company to be in.)

The second work was Pavel Vranický's (as the Czechs like to spell it) quartet in B flat major, op. 15, no. 3 (1791).  This is not a well-known piece -- impressario Ron Drummond says that it is unrecorded.   I had heard it played about five months ago at an amplified outdoor lunchtime concert in downtown  Seattle, and frankly, was not very impressed with the work.  (It was performed by an underrehearsed quasi-predecessor of the Vranitzky -- Thane Lewis was a member of that first ensemble, but none of the other members have carried over.)  Two musically knowledgeable friends and acquaintances were also unenthusiastic about the piece.

This time, however, it seemed a totally different, and much better, work.  It was playful, earthy, inventive, unconventionally structured, and totally engaging.  It also had its share of surprises, and I hope to be able to hear it more than once.  (A slip of the pen here -- I have heard it more than once, but the second playing was effectively like hearing it for the first time.)   The performance was
full-blooded yet disciplined -- no quibbles about interpretive cautiousness this time.

The concluding work was Antonín Rejcha's C minor quartet, op. 49, no. 1 (1804).   According to Drummond, this is not only an unrecorded piece, but apparently has not even been played since Rejcha's time.  Such neglect is definitely unwarranted; on first impression, this is a substantial work that deserves to be heard and pondered many times.

Written after Beethoven's op. 19, and before his op. 59, it changes character more than once, sometimes sounding like the early 19th-century Viennese classical-tradition work that it is, and sometimes sounding uncannily modern and mysterious.  (This piece was published a year after the
birth of another highly original composer who was similarly able to transcend his time:  Berlioz.) Without being as overtly profound as the late Beethoven string quartets, it demonstrates a late-period-Ludwig-like fearlessness in its sudden shifts of compositional gears.

This is a complex piece, and I'm sure I didn't get anywhere near all of it in that one hearing.  The imaginativeness of Rejcha's wind quintets is prefigured here too, and there are all sorts of subtleties in the writing that lead me to want to hear it at least a few more times.

Was it a good performance?  Almost certainly so -- although there is nothing to compare it to, this reading conveyed so much content that it had to have been a good one.  My hunch is that the Vranitzky's reading will get even better in time.  I also hope that there will be occasions to hear other groups play this piece, for it strikes me as an elusive work that can support many divergent readings.

How good is it? -- as good as the Viennese big guns of classical-period and early romantic chamber music (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert)?  That's hard to say with confidence at the moment, but it doesn't seem to fall embarrassingly short of that level.  I feel fairly safe in saying that this work seems to attain, approximately, the qualitative level of Schumann's quartets.  In a somewhat nonspecific way, it also reminds me of parts of the Bartók quartets.

Most of us here [on the on-line mailing list of The Czech and Slovak Music Society] probably remember Ron Drummond's long rhapsodies about the Vranický and Rejcha works.  He is obviously an interested party, having been instrumental (unintended pun here) in getting the parts and convincing people to rehearse and play the works, but, as someone with no real involvement in those processes, I can say that Ron's enthusiasm was well justified.  His efforts have already yielded some significant fruit -- threescore or so people have just heard one very good and one possibly great chamber work for the first time, and a very good young ensemble has been formed to play them.

Here's hoping that the Vranitzky Quartet stays together and performs frequently in public, that Ron Drummond can continue finding scores and begin finding some money for this worthy enterprise, and that some imaginative record company can be induced to record and distribute the string quartets that have not yet been made available of Pavel Vranický, Antonín Rejcha, and whatever other unjustly overlooked composers Ron manages to discover in the future.

(Submitted by John Pastier)

Editor's note:   Czech recording companies have issued CD's of a small portion of Vranický's and Rejcha's music.  The classical music store Musica Bona has a convenient website that consolidates several of these recordings by composer and can be accessed at:  <>

Janáček's Glagolitic Mass

On November 22, 1998, the Choral Arts Society Chorus and Orchestra performed Leoš Janáček's Glagolitic Mass in Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center.  The organization is one of the major choral ensembles in the country and performs with the National Symphony Orchestra of  Washington.  It has long been a catalyst for the dissemination of remarkable, little-known major choral works in the Washington area, including compositions by Dvořák as well as those of more contemporary artists.  The Society has performed and recorded many Russian works under the baton of Rostropovich, and gave the American premiere of Penderecki's Polish Requiem.  Their performances invariably attain a high standard of technical excellence, a searching interpretive insight into the composer's intentions and the spirit of the work itself, and a deep commitment to achieving inspiring, moving performances.  The conductor of the Choral Arts Society, Norman Scribner, is one of the outstanding figures of music in Washington.  He has served as guest conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra and is himself a composer.  The performers were thus unusually well prepared to present Janáček's challenging work.

The conductor and musicians had obviously taken pains to understand the performance practice for this composer.  They used the Paul Wingfield edition, which restores the Mass to its original version and is much more effective than the version published soon after Janáček's death.  Their interpretation conveyed the muscular vitality of Janáček's large forms; his glowing, impulsive melodic lines; his unorthodox, skillful use of orchestration for expressive purposes; the subtle nuance and depth of the text setting; and above all, the strong faith of the composer himself.  The work was sung in Old Slavonic -- so sensitively and correctly that a specialist in Slavic languages who attended was moved to tears by their success in pronunciation as well as in conveying the spirit of the text, which she had imagined would have been impossible for Americans to achieve. Fortunately, an archival recording was made of this highly professional performance.

The Mass was paired with the Autumn section of Haydn's The Seasons, which enabled one to observe many interesting relationships between these works.  Bass John Cheek's intelligent musicality and dramatic effectiveness were strong assets to the performance.  The incandescent timbre of the work was very appropriately enhanced by the soaring voice of soprano soloist Alessandra Marc.  As always, Choral Arts Society member Wayne Shirley provided program notes of significant, lasting musicological value.  But the success of a concert such as this must ultimately rest with the director and the organization which he is able to sustain.  The Choral Arts Society is most fortunate to have as dynamic a musician, as compelling a leader, as Norman Scribner at its helm.

(Submitted by Judith Fiehler)

The Cezanne Trio presented a concert of Czech contemporary music for piano trio at the Czech Embassy in Washington, D.C. (USA) on September 22, 1998.  This ensemble consists of Washington musicians with an enthusiastic interest in unusual repertory.  As in their concert of Holocaust works at the embassy last spring, they demonstrated a commendable effort to understand the mood conveyed in these unfamiliar works, and to perform them perceptively and responsibly.

The style of Miloslav Ištvan's Trio (1963) is highly original. Nevertheless, his practice of developing complex structures from a variety of folk idioms is so close to the approaches of Bartók and Janáček that the work could speak directly to the performers and audience.  Ištvan has a formidable compositional technique, yet it is so skillfully, so unobtrusively used that the listener is only aware of the compelling urgency, the subtle depth of the music itself.  This is a remarkable work that deserves more performances in America.

The performers emphasized the apparently stochastic nature of Hanuš Bartoň's Trio (1984), presenting a mood that might reflect the chaotic nature of contemporary life -- sometimes unsettling but never dull or naive.  However, the score itself shows an inner unity, a sensitivity to melodic nuance and variation, which could produce a quite different interpretation.  It is a measure of the tectonic strength of this work that such varied approaches are possible.

The underlying concept of Peter Graham's Trio (1992) is intriguing.  The work, appropriately named for the Gauguin painting "D'ou venons nous?  Que sommes nous?  Ou allons nous?"  (From whence do we come?  Who are we?  Where are we going?) is written as three simultaneously played solos with minimal instructions for interpretation.  Thus, the success of the work depends on the musical reflexes and imagination of the performers.  At times, they achieved effects that were indeed reminiscent of Gauguin's sense of introspective wonder.

(Submitted by Judith Fiehler)

(Note:  Information regarding these and other contemporary Czech composers can be accessed through the homepage of the Czech Music Information Centre in Prague <>  Information regarding contemporary Slovak composers can be found at a similar website maintained by the Slovak Music Information Centre at <>

Department of Music                                              Centre for the Study of Central Europe
Royal Holloway College                                         School of Slavonic and East European Studies
(University of London)                                            (University of London)


A Tale of Three Cities:
Janáček's Brno Between Vienna and Prague
Friday 22 October 1999 - Sunday 24 October 1999
Senate House, London WC1

The current reputation of Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) as the greatest of twentieth-century Czech composers was slow in arriving: for the first half of this century, the canonic succession was assumed to have been inherited from Smetana and Dvořák by Vítězslav Novák, J. B. Foerster and others. The change in his fortunes represents a change in the reception of his particular brand of regionalism: his self-consciousness in belonging to Moravia, and to its capital city, Brno, - places that have often seemed to provide a guarantee of Czech cultural authenticity.

Yet even after the pioneering work of John Tyrrell among others, the cultural self-consciousness of the Moravians is still too little understood. Using Janáček as a focus, this interdisciplinary conference will take the opportunity to reassess the self-image of Brno and of Moravia in the period roughly between 1880 and 1930, within the cultural contexts of Vienna and Prague, also taking into account wider international contexts and influences from West and East. It is hoped that papers will deal with the subject from a variety of disciplinary viewpoints: literature, political history, music, art history, architecture, among others; and it is expected that a published volume of essays will be produced as longer versions of some of the papers given at the conference. The conference hopes to consider, among others, the following areas of inquiry:

    * The aesthetics of the period in Moravia, Bohemia, Austria
    * The Moravian school of criticism
    * Questions of patronage, politics, ideology, sociology
    * Mass political parties and art in the period
    * The Moravian Diet
    * The Moravian Ausgleich
    * Moravian literature of the period
         - in comparison with other Czech and Austrian literature
         - in relation to Naturalism, Symbolism, Decadence,  Expressionism, etc.
         - in the wider context of Western European or Russian influence
         - local variants of Naturalism and Decadence
    * Janáček himself
         - in comparison to other contemporary Czech or Austrian composers
           (Novák, Suk, Foerster, Schoenberg, Zemlinsky, Schreker, etc.)
         - the succession (his pupils: Haas, Kaprálová, etc.)
         - the impact of the new catalogue of Janáček's works and other important items in the
           secondary literature (publications by John Tyrrell, etc.)
    * The literariness and artistic taste of Janáček and of other contemporaneous composers
    * Catholicism and, or versus, Protestantism
    * Moravian art and architecture of the period
         - in comparison with other Czech and Austrian art and architecture
         - the "Brno school"

Papers should be 20 minutes long.  Please send abstracts (250 words) of proposals by February 15, 1999 (including details of audio-visual requirements) to:

         Dr. Geoffrey Chew   Tel:  +44-1784-443537
         Department of Music  Fax:   +44-1784-439441
         Royal Holloway College  (University of London)
         Egham Hill
         Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX

(Submitted by Georffrey Chew [Royal Holloway College] to the Czech and Slovak Music Society Discussion List)

Editor's note:  The following three notices also appeared in the Czech and Slovak Music Society Newsletter, vol. II, no. 2 [Summer 1998].  Since the events are still upcoming, I have taken the liberty of repeating them for the current issue.

*   *   *

The Czech Musicological Society, in cooperation with the Institute of Musicology (Charles University, Prague), Institute of Musicology (Czech Academy of Sciences), Antonín Dvořák Society, and Bohuslav Martinů Foundation, will be arranging an international conference Antonín Dvořák - the Present State of the Critical Edition of his Complete Works.  The conference will be held (as a separate part of the Annual Colloquium on Prague Musical Life in the Late 19th and Early 20th Century and the Works of Bohuslav Martinů) on May 28-29, 1999, at the Bohuslav Martinů Foundation's Study Center, nám. Kinských 3, CZ-150 00 Prague 5.

The purpose of the conference is to initiate a critical discussion on the existing volumes of the edition (the first volume having been published in 1954) from the viewpoint of present standards of editorial and performing practice and to reflect upon the perspectives and problems of resuming and completing the entire project. An urgent task of this conference will be the designing of the editorial rules ("Editionsrichtlinien") for the critical edition.

(Submitted by Dr. Jarmila Gabrielová to the Czech and Slovak Music Society Discussion List)

*A message from the President of the Slavic and East European Folklore Association. . .

Currently we are trying to attract new members in related fields so as to expand the interdisciplinary coverage of SEEFA, the Slavic and East European Folklore Association.  In particular we are seeking people interested in giving papers or organizing panels at the AAASS convention to be held in St. Louis, November 18-21, 1999, in areas such as history and folklore, beliefs and the occult, interaction of literature and folklore, field methods, genres, and urban folklore.  For further information please contact me at this address:

The purpose of SEEFA is to promote the study and teaching of the folklore in this region of the world.  SEEFA is affiliated with AAASS, holds its annual meeting during the AAASS convention, and organizes a number of panels at the convention.  Membership is open to anyone with an interest in Slavic and East European folklore; dues are $20 a year for regular members and $10 for students.  For information contact the secretary-treasurer Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby, SEEFA publishes a small journal twice a year and includes short articles
on folklore, reviews, notes about field work, notices and comments about conferences, and surveys of recent publications.  We welcome contributions to the journal.  Our editor, Sibelan Forrester (, and our co-editor, Anne Ingram (, maintain a web page containing all past issues of our journal as well as other information. The address is:

James Bailey (President - SEEFA)
1102 Hathaway Dr.
Madison, Wisconsin  53711 (USA)

*The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
and the Graduate Slavic Society of the University of Chicago present

                                                                                                     SLAVIC FORUM 1999

                                                                                                  Graduate Student Conference
                                                                         on Russian and Central/East European Literature and Culture
                                                                                                           April 9-10, 1999

Deadline for submission of abstracts:  FEBRUARY 8, 1999

Slavic Forum 1999 will be held on the campus of the University of Chicago on April 9th and 10th, 1999.  We invite graduate students working in the literatures and cultures of Russia, Central and Eastern Europe to submit abstracts for a twenty-minute presentation.  Although we will gladly accept proposals for any work in this area, we are particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches to literature and culture.

Please send a one-page abstract (approximately 250 words or less) to Professor Howard Aronson at by February 8, 1999. Although we prefer to receive abstracts via e-mail, they may be sent by post to the following address:

Slavic Forum
Attn:  Prof. Howard Aronson
University of Chicago
1130 East 59th Street
Chicago, Illinois  60637 (USA)

More information about Slavic Forum 1999, as well as the original call for papers, will be posted to the following URL:

Jason Pontius
Slavic Languages and Literatures
University of Chicago


   Prague Autumn Festival


Czech Music Directory (The catalogue MUZIKONTAKT contains 
over 7000 items in 10 main categories.  The table of contents may be
accessed at  <>


Recent releases:

        - F.X. Brixi:  Integra, Missa Pastoralis (on original instruments)
        - Brno Academic Choir Live 1994-96
        - Czech Choral Music (P. Eben, J. Novák, Harant, Zelenka)

        - Masopust juž nastal [The carnival has arrived] Czech folk festival 1680 / Ritornello
        - Valerius Otto:  Prague Dances 1611
                 For additional information on these releases, visit the Arta Records website at:

        - The First Violas Chamber Orchestra (Bach, Rameau, Dvořák, Gershwin, Matoušek,

     *Centrum českého videa:
        - The Hukvaldy Fountains:  L. Janáček and folk songs (video VHS)

    *Český rozhlas:
        - Bratislava Hot Serenades 1915-1935
        - Janáček:  String Quartets I and II
        - K.H. Mácha:  Máj (poem)
        - J. Teml:  Jubilee variations, Concerto no. 2, II. Symphony - War with the newts

        - Dvořák:  String Quartet, op. 105; Martinů:  String Quartet, no. 2; Mozart:  String
            Quartet, K590 (M. Nostitz Quartet)

        - P. Haas:  Sarlatan (opera) (cond. I. Yinon)
        - H. Krása:  Zásnuby ve snu (opera), Symphonie

     *Gramofonové závody Lodenice:
        - Oboe Concertos:  Haydn (HVIIg:C1), Mozart (KV314), Krommer (op. 52)
        - Přítomnost II.  Czech Contemporary Music (Kubelík, Rychlík, Slavický, Dvořáček,
            Jirásek, Teml
        - A. Rejcha:  Piano trios, op. 101, nos. 1, 2, 3 (Kubelík Trio)
        - Smetana:  String Quartets, nos. 1, 2 (Talich Quartet)

        - J.J. Ryba:  Missa pastoralis

        - Lutenists of the Czech Baroque

        - Dvořák:  Gypsy Songs, op. 53; Love songs, op. 83; Biblical songs, op. 99
        - F.X. Richter, C. Stamitz, F. Benda:  Flute concertos
        - Janáček:  Jenůfa (cond. F. Jílek)

     *Ostatní dodavatele:
        - Barok Collegium (Tuma:  Partita; Zelenka:  Sonata; Thuri:  Sonata; Krček:  Barokní suita)
        - Music of Gothic Epoch in Bohemia
        - Tribute to T.G. Masaryk - Masaryk's favourite folk songs

        - F.X. Brixi:  Organ concertos
        - Dvořák:  Quartet in F "American"; Franck:  Piano Quintet (Stamic Quartet)
        - V. Novák:  Piano Works (M. Vojtišek)
        - V.J. Tomášek:  Piano works - Eklogy, rapsodie, dithyramby (M. Langer)

     Studio Matouš:
        - Czech Baroque Music (Zelenka, Michna, Biber, Vejvanovský, Kridel, Tůma)
        - Vítězslava Kaprálová:  Orchestral and Chamber Music
        - Baroque Music in Bohemia (Vejvanovský, Biber, Schmelzer, Tůma, di Foggia,
            Michna, Rittler, Kridel, Brunelli)
        - Julius Fučik:  Symphonia scandaleuse
        - Jaroslav Rybár:  Chamber music
        - Music of Prague palaces and gardens 1620
        - Bedřich Smetana:  Piano music for 8 and 16 hands
                  For additional information on these releases, visit the Studio Matouš website at:

     *Supraphon (Editio Praga):
        - I. Bittová - Classic (Bittová, Štědroň, Janáček, Komenský)
        - Christmas brass music (Otto, Vejvanovský, Praetorius, Schiassi, Pezel, Michna)
        - Curses and Blessings (Brahms, Eben, Novák, Messiaen, Martinů) (Kuhn Mixed Choir)
        - Dvořák:  Piano works II (Waltzes, Eclogues, Piano pieces, Album)
        - Dvořák:  Biblical songs, Gypsy songs, Three modern Greek poems
        - Dvořák:  Quartet in F, op. 96 "American," Brahms: Quartet in c, op. 51, no. 1
            (Skampa Quartet)
        - Dvořák:  Violin concerto, op. 55; Suk:  Fantasy (cond. L. Pešek)
        - Heavenly Voices - Christmas Carols (Bambini di Praga)
        - Janáček:  The diary of one who disappeared, Sonata 1.X.1905
        - Kovařovic:  The Dogheads (cond. F. Dýk)
        - Schola Gregoriana Pragensis:  Antica e moderna
                  For additional releases by Supraphon, visit the Audiobox website at:

       - Ceremony of Trumpets (Telemann, Stoelzel, Schein, Poglietti, Torelli, Molter, Altenburg,
            Biber, Zelenka)
       - Krtek zpíví písničky (Bambini di Praga and Virtuosi di Praga)
                 For additional information on these releases, visit the Ultraphon website at:

        - Czech Cello Concertos (Martinů, Mysliveček, Dittersdorf)
        - Prague Lady Teachers' Choir (Dvořák, Zelenka, Králik, Smetana, Martinů, Lukaš, Teml,
            Churchill, Dowland, Bruckner, Hassler)
        - J.J. Ryba:  Czech Christmas Mass, Carols

        - Dvořák:  String sextet, op. 48; Tchaikovsky: String Sextet, op. 70 (Czech Philh. Sextet)

*For additional information on releases from companies preceded by an asterisk (*), visit the Široký dvůr website for new releases at:  <>.  The number "9" in the address will take you to releases for September 1998.  For October releases, substitute "10", November releases "11", and December releases "12".

BIBLIOGRAPHY (a work in progress)

Click here to access a cumulative bibliography of recently published works, works in progress, notices of courses and lectures, and sources that scholars have found helpful in their own research on Czech and Slovak music.

The bibliography is divided into several categories including books and scores; articles; lectures; recordings; courses, seminars, and workshops; and works in progress.  The list is further subdivided by composer and/or historical period.  Recent additions to the bibliography are indicated with an asterisk (*). Although the newsletter is published only on a quarterly basis, additions to the bibliography can be made more frequently (i.e., as soon as information is received).

The bibliography may also be accessed directly at

Suggestions for other works, lectures, courses, etc. to be added are welcome. Please send your contributions to



Opera (1999) -

Smetana's Prodaná nevěsta:   Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois (USA)
                                               February 11, 12, 13 (8:00 p.m.)
                                               February 14 (2:00 p.m.)
                                               (In English)


(includes the National, Estates [Stavovské], Kolovrat and State Opera theaters)

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