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BBC Philharmonic: Discovering Martinu

Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Theatre Square, Nottingham, NG1 5ND
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BBC Philharmonic: Discovering Martinu

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From humble beginnings in the Bohemian-Moravian highlands, Bohuslav Martinů went on to become a distinctive voice in European music, one informed by the jazz and avant-garde scene of Paris, before he escaped to America during the war years. His prolific output – over 400 works in total – crossed all genres, ranging from symphonies and operas to ballet and film music, and displayed the influence of Impressionism and Bohemian folk music.

BBC broadcaster Stephen Johnson explores two absorbing examples of Martinů's work. The languorous mood of his early tone poem, Dream of the Past, recalls Debussy's Prelude a l'après-midi d'un faune, whilst his Fourth Symphony, written in the closing months of the Second World War, evokes the militarism of the period as well as casting some nostalgic glances at his homeland's folk tunes. Here the shimmering colours that became Martinů's calling card light the way to a joyous, uninhibited finale, reflecting the composer's new-found optimism as peace returned.

This informal and accessible introduction to one of the world's truly original composers is illustrated with live extracts from the BBC Philharmonic, before a complete performance of both pieces.

John Storgårds conductor
Stephen Johnson presenter

Martinů Dream of the Past
Martinů Symphony No. 4

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The Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall, NottinghamWith over half a million visitors every year, the Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall Nottingham are two of the UK's most successful touring venues, leading the way for arts and entertainment in the East Midlands region.

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