Symphony No. 4 : Work information

Bohuslav (Jan) Martinu ( Music, Images,)
Performed by
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Bryden Thomson (Conductor)

This work

Work name
Symphony No. 4
Work number

This recording

Brian Couzens
Ralph Couzens
Recording date
1989-09-07 00:00:00

Track listing

  • Poco moderato 7:12 min
  • Allegro vivo - Trio. Moderato - Allegro vivo 9:14 min
  • Largo 8:44 min
  • Poco allegro 7:50 min

The Composers

Bohuslav (Jan) Martinu

Bohuslav Martinù December 8, 1890—August 28, 1959) was a prolific Bohemian Czech composer, who wrote six symphonies, 15 operas, 14 ballet scores and a large body of orchestral, chamber, vocal and instrumental works.

He became a violinist in the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and taught music in his home town. In 1923 Martinù left Czechoslovakia for Paris, and deliberately withdrew from the Romantic style in which he had been trained. In the 1930s he experimented with expressionism and constructivism, and became an admirer of current European technical developments, exemplified by his orchestral sentences Half-time and La Bagarre. He also adopted jazz idioms, for instance in his Kuchyòské revue ("Kitchen Revue"). Of the post-war avant-garde styles, neo-classicism influenced him the most. He continued to use Czech folk melodies throughout his oeuvre, usually nursery rhymes — for instance in Otvírání studánek ("The Opening of the Wells").

He emigrated to the United States in 1941, fleeing the German invasion of France. Although as a composer he was successful in America, receiving many commissions, he became homesick for Czechoslovakia. He never returned to his native country, and he died in Switzerland.