What is the course about?
Although they were relatively close in age, and friendly and supportive of each other, Dvorák and Janácek are seldom discussed side by side because Janacek did not begin to have a serious international career until the early twentieth century. We will study the career paths of the two men, and in particular the importance of folk tales to their compositional outputs. We will also compare and contrast several of their major operas. Tutor: Dr Katy Hamilton [external website].
What will we cover?
- Selected operas for study, including Rusalka and Kát’a Kabanová
- Tone poems based on Czech folk tales, including The Fiddler’s Child and The Noonday Witch
- Compositional styles of both men, including their similarities and interest in folk music
- Their career trajectories, how they differed, and their legacies to the next generation.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Compare and contrast the career shapes of the two composers
- List some of the distinctive features of the musical styles of each
- Summarise their importance to Czech musical life in the twentieth century
- Outline key features of the folk tales and stories they use in their works.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No prior knowledge of the subject is required. You do not need to read music to take this course (although we will look at music notation for time-to-time). You will be asked to do some reading in class and between sessions.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Tutor presentation and explanation, including handouts, powerpoint slides or writing on a whiteboard
Guided listening and watching of audio and audio-visual examples
Class discussion and debate
Listening and reading outside class is encouraged and once enrolled further online resources will be recommended.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring a notebook and pen.
You may wish to buy some of the music or books recommended in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
To find out more about music history classes and to read our year-long selection of courses, please see the blog post Music history: your guide to the 2019/20 programme which lists our full programme of classes ordered by term, and by day of the week. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.