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«MUSICOLOGICA OLOMUCENSIA VII Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci Olomouc 2005 The present volume was submitted to print on 6 April 2005. Dieser Band ...»

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Preferences for contemporary authors, however, resulted in large gaps in the knowledge of emerging core repertory and “there is no reason to believe that Prague was really familiar with classical symphonic repertory. The selection was really narrow and many works were not played for years... Music critics in Prague in the second half of the 19th century focused on opera and, if they ever covered concerts, they chose Czech premieres.

Orchestral performances of Haydn and Mozart were passed with polite indifference.”24 The example of the Rudolfinum reveals that the most frequently played composer was Beethoven. His compositions had priority, together with living authors, until the war years of the 20th century.

The decisive events for the future development of concert scene in Prague came along in the 1890s. The frequent employment of the National Theater Orchestra in symphonic concerts caused trouble to opera and resulted in discontent musicians who went on strike in 1894. This gave rise to the idea of organizing own concerts and founding a society for this purpose. Its example was undoubtedly Vienna, where the dualism of opera and symphonic orchestras had been working for three decades (the court opera orchestra played concerts under the name of Vienna Philharmonic). The articles of association of the newly established Czech Philharmonic society were adopted on June 7, 1894, but the season had to be postponed due to disputes with the National Theater management. Musicians thus missed a unique opportunity for their first performance under the heading of Czech Philharmonic – the premiere of Dvořák’s symphony “From the New World”, although they played it as members of National Theater Orchestra. The Czech Philharmonic was not presented as an independent unit at the Folklore Exhibition in 1895, either.

The Czech Philharmonic orchestra was first introduced on January 4, 1896, in the

Rudolfinum, and conducted by Antonín Dvořák. Only his music was on the program:

Slavonic Rhapsody in A-flat, first five Biblical Songs in world premiere, Othello and Symphony in E Minor (“From the New World”). The performance was a huge artistic and V. Lébl – J. Ludvová, „Nová doba (1860–1938),“Hudba v českých dějinách. Od středověku do nové doby (Praha 1983).

V. Lébl – J. Ludvová, “Pražské orchestrální concerty v letech 1860–1895,” Hudební věda 17/2 (1980).

social event, welcomed and praised by the press. Other concerts in the Rudolfinum followed. On February 19, 1896, the Czech Philharmonic under Adolf Čech played Liszt’s “Ideals,” Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetique,” and Smetana’s symphonic poems “Tábor” and “Blaník”. On March 7, 1896, Mořic Anger25 conducted Fibich’s overture “Comenius,” Suite in D by J. S. Bach, Weber’s “Invitation to the Dance” and Symphony in G Minor by W. A. Mozart. The concert on April 11, 1896, was conducted by Karel Kovařovic and presented Wagner’s “Faust” overture, Bendl’s “Dithyramb” and Symphony no. 7 by L. v.

Beethoven. This evening brought the greatest event of the late first season – the premiere of Dvořák’s violoncello concerto in B Minor, conducted by the composer and played by English cellist Leo Stern.

The second season was launched by the Czech Philharmonic in November 24, 1896, by concert with Oskar Nedbal, violist in the Czech Quartet, as conductor for the first time. With a very favorable response, he conducted Dvořák’s Syphony no. 7 in D Minor, Lala’s Spanish symphony and Beethoven’s “Egmont,” and he also presented himself as a composer with his Scherzo-Caprice. On January 16, 1897, the stage of the Dvořák Hall was occupied by Vilém Kurz with Piano concerto in F Minor by K. Kovařovic. Among other noteworthy events of the new season was the first performance of a guest conductor – the outstanding Russian conductor V. I. Safonov (March 27 and 28, 1897), who conducted compositions by Tchaikovsky, Rubinstein, Glazunov, and Rimsky-Korsakov.

The premiere of Karl Weis’s Symphony in C took place on April 24, 1897.

Until 1900, the conducting team from the first season played a decisive role in the performances of Czech Philharmonic in Rudolfinum: Dvořák, Čech, Anger, and Kovařovic.

However, the orchestra also played several times under O. Nedbal (he often presented his own compositions) and on March 7, 1899, under Zdeněk Fibich, who conducted an evening devoted to his compositions. The ceremonial concert on March 12, 1898, was devoted to the 25th anniversary of Dvořák’s composing activity – he conducted his “Slavonic Rhapsody” in D, op. 45, Piano concerto in G Minor and symphonic poems “The Noon Witch” (Polednice) and “The Golden Spinning Wheel” (Zlatý kolovrat). Novák’s “Maryša” was played on January 28, 1899, under O. Nedbal, who also premiered Suk’s Symphony in E, op.14, on November 25 the same year. The famous Czech violinist Jan Kubelík first played with the Philharmonic on January 4, 1900, performing Concerto for violin E Minor by F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy.

January 4, 1900 was the first time Dvořák conducted, apart from his own compositions (the symphonic poem “The Wild Dove” (Holoubek), op. 110) works by other composers with the Czech Philharmonic: Schubert’s Symphony no. 8 in B Minor, “Tragic overture” by J. Brahms, and Symphony no. 8 in F by L. v. Beethoven. This concert was his conducting epilogue, symbolically closing (in 1900) one era of the Czech Philharmonic orchestra in the Rudolfinum.

National Theater conductors A. Čech and M. Anger were asked by the Czech Philharmonic to conduct several concerts to maintain good relations.


The layout of the Rudolfinum building – a multipurpose area with a concert hall, galleries and conservatory rooms – was considerably ahead of its time. It gave Prague not only an exceptional sanctuary for music and art, heretofore by the city, but also a beautiful neo-Renaissance building that was in tune with historical context. Both designers, Josef Zítek and Josef Schulz, incorporated in their design the latest tendencies of historicizing architecture in the second half of the 19th century and created a building that ranks among the foremost European neo-Renaissance buildings. The Rudolfinum, in its artistic design and functional aspects, is fully comparable with the works of the authors of the Viennese Ringstrasse style. Among the collaborators of Zítka and Schulze were renowned personalities such as R. Eitelberger and R. Wagner. The Rudolfinum is not only a dazzling 19th-century public building, built by Česká spořitelna “Sich zum Ruhme, der Kunst zur Ehre, der Stadt zur Zierde,”26 but also the home the Czech Philharmonic. Through regular symphonic concerts, not available in Prague before, Czech Philharmonic began to fulfill the noble intentions of the generous founders of the building.


Studie vychází z autorčiny diplomové práce s názvem Rudolfinum. K architektuře a akustice budovy v kontextu pražského koncertního provozu na přelomu 19. a 20. století (Olomouc 2003). V několika oddílech nastiňuje – s přihlédnutím k dobově-společenským reáliím – historii a průběh stavby Rudolfina, zachycuje jedinečnost architektury celé budovy, snaží se alespoň částečně zmapovat hudební dění v Dvořákově síni do roku 1900 a s ním související počátky jednoho z předních evropských orchestrů – České filharmonie.


Als Ausgangspunkt der Studie dient die Diplomarbeit der Autorin mit dem Titel „Rudolfinum. Zur Architektur und Akustik des Gebäudes im Kontext des Prager Musikbetriebes an der Wende des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts“ (Olomouc 2003). In einigen Abschnitten behandelt sie – mit Berücksichtigung der zeitlich-gesellschaftlichen Realien – die Geschichte und den Bauverlauf des Rudolfinums. Sie versucht die Einzigartigkeit der Architektur des ganzen Gebäudes festzuhalten, und wenigstens teilweise das Musikgeschehen im Dvořák-saal bis zum Jahre 1900 und die damit verbundenen Anfänge eines führenden europäischen Orchesters – der Tschechischen Philharmonie darzustellen.

Deník Bohemia, February 7, 1885. The quotation also appears as the second title of the paper by J. Vybíral.

See note 2.

Works of Erwin Schulhoff (1894–1942) include almost every genre of music. He has left a wide-ranging output of orchestral, chamber, vocal and scenic compositions. In all these genres he sought after new ways. As a piano virtuoso he has written a lot for that instrument. Until 1930s, compositions for piano formed the main part of his production.

It was in piano compositions where he tried out new techniques and anticipated changes of style. These changes were frequent during his life. Between 1919 and 1921 Erwin Schulhoff composed three cycles of short piano compositions, in which he had entered area of atonality: Zehn Klavierstücke, Musik für Klavier in Vier Teilen, and Elf Inventionen.1 It could be informative to compare Schulhoff’s compositions from this period with similar works by Arnold Schoenberg, particularly with Drei Klavierstücke and Sechs Kleine Klavierstücke. Schulhoff as a pianist had these compositions in his repertoire, as well as works of other composers of so-called Second Viennese School. He was in contact with Schoenberg, Berg and Webern, admired Schoenberg’s work as well as his personality.

In one letter to Alban Berg he wrote: “I play his works with extraordinary pleasure and I place them before any other…”2 Radical disintegration of tonality by two contemporary composers was likely to produce, to certain extent, similar results. The aim of this essay is to analyze the aforementioned cycles, in order to find out how he substitutes tonality as a means of structural organization and how his approach differs from that of Schoenberg.

For analysis of music between 1600 and 1900, tonality is central. The hierarchy of tones implied by tonality affects both micro- and macrostructural aspects of a musical Recently these cycles have been published by Schott; the edition is based on Josef Bek’s reconstructions.

Czech pianist Tomáš Víšek recorded these pieces in 1998 for Supraphon.

The complete correspondence between Schulhoff and Berg, which numbers more than forty letters, was compiled by Katrin Bösch and Ivan Vojtěch and published in Schweizer Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft, Neue Folge 13/14 1993/94, 27–78.

work. As tonality in European music gradually dissolved, and, in works of some composers, disappeared completely, it deprived composers and analysts of means of conceiving of and comprehending the musical structure. The main problem of analysis of an atonal piece therefore is to identify the principle that substitutes for the role of tonality. From a certain moment on, this role has been assumed by the twelve-tone system, with tone row compensating for missing tonality. The problem still remains with the period of so called early or free atonality, where tonality is already abandoned but twelve-tone technique was not yet established.

In the second half of the 20th century, several theories appeared concerning analysis of atonal music. These theories have some features in common. Most important of all, they do not take functional relations between chords into account. Another common point is that enharmonic variants and all their octave transpositions are taken as equivalent. Thus we have twelve pitch classes. From this precondition, theorists developed different systems of classification of harmonies. Transpositions and inversions of these harmonies are seen as equivalent with the original form. These systems were not intended only to classify the harmonies but also to explain their position and function in the musical structure.

Their aim is to assess which relations are more important and how these relations affect the selection of tones. These theories try to analyze structure and hierarchy of musical material in another way, with analogy to the analysis of tonal music.

Allen Forte’s pitch class set theory proved itself most useful.3 He posits that certain harmonies are more important than others – that in an atonal composition there is a hierarchy similar to the one present in tonal music. The parallels with tonal music extend to the claim that there is a center similar to the tonic in tonal music. This center Forte calls the nexus set. If all harmonies in a composition are in some relation to the nexus set, the composition has a connected structure. Connected structure is organized by the means of transposition, inversion, complementation, intersection, and inclusion of sets.

Forte’s theory is tailored to the style of Arnold Schoenberg and Second Viennese School, but it is also used for analysis of atonal music in general. In some cases, this method will not bring meaningful results. These cases can give evidence about different concept of atonality and compositional techniques in comparison with Schoenberg.

I have attempted to apply Forte’s theory on the atonal pieces of Schulhoff. In the first part of this essay I will demonstrate, where Forte’s analysis revealed important facts.

We can see Schulhoff’s harmonic cohesiveness in the first part of his Elf Inventionen.

There are no tonally functional relations between chords here, but we can find other relations. According to Allen Forte we can ask whether a given set of tones includes some other or whether it is its complement, inversion, or transposition or some combination thereof. This analysis reveals that in this composition, all harmonies are derived from one Allen Forte formulated this theory in The Structure of Atonal Music (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1973). He applied it for instance in his studies: “Schoenberg’s Creative Evolution: The Path to Atonality,” Musical Quarterly 64/2 (1978): 133–176, and The Atonal Music of Anton Webern (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998).

pitch class set. This set, which we can call the nexus set, is labeled by Forte as 5-24 and

we can see it as main melodic motive in right hand: g, c1, e1, f-sharp1, d2:

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