6. Tábor

The statue of Jan Hus in the square of the Old Town
in Prague.

The Hussites and their fifteenth century struggle against the crusades of orthodox Catholicism became, in the nineteenth century, a potent symbol of the growing nationalism of the Czech people. Composers were fortunate in that one of the main Hussite ‘weapons’ was a hymn (Ktož jsú Boží bojovníci [Ye who are God’s Warriors]) which, so the story goes – sung with sufficient force – in itself served to frighten off the enemy!

Smetana used the hymn extensively in the last two of his Má vlast cycle – Tábor and Blaník (as did Dvořák in his Hussite Overture).

 Tábor

Tábor is a town in southern Bohemia; it was founded by a group of radical Hussites who became known as Taborites. The tone-poem is almost entirely based on Ktož jsú Boží bojovníci but the hymn itself isn’t heard in its entirety until the work’s final climax:

Score

Fifth Symphony in F

In his Fifth Dvořák’s skill as a symphonist continues to move towards the undoubted mastery of the later symphonic works. It’s a mainly pastoral piece, the exception being the finale in which the mood darkens as the key struggles between a dramatic (and alien) a-minor and the bucolic calm of the home key of F.

Allegro ma non troppo0:15
Andante con moto13:40
Allegro scherzando22:31
Allegro molto29:56
(the Andante segues into the Scherzo)

Score

I meant to put this on last week, but somehow or other…

Janáček:
Po zarostlém chodníčku
[On an overgrown path]

00:00 – 1. Naše večery – Our Evenings
04:21 – 2. Lístek odvanutý – A Blown-Away leaf
08:00 – 3. Pojďte s námi! – Come With Us!
09:21 – 4. Frýdecká panna Maria – The Madonna of Frydek
13:23 – 5. Štěbetaly jak laštovičky – They Chattered Like Swallows
15:33 – 6. Nelze domluvit! – Words Fail!
18:01 – 7. Dobrou noc! – Good Night!
21:34 – 8. Tak neskonale úzko – Unutterable Anguish
24:57 – 9. V pláči – In Tears
28:04 – 10. Sýček neodletěl! – The Barn Owl Has Not Flown Away!


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