General information
Title CZKoncert pro klavír a orchestr č. 1
Subtitle CZD dur
Title ENConcerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1
Subtitle ENin D major
Title DEKonzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr. 1
Subtitle DEin D-dur
SubcategoryPiano Concertos
Halbreich number149
Parts of the composition (movements)1. Allegro moderato; 2. Andante; 3. Allegro
Durata27' 15''
Instruments2220-2210-Archi (44322)
Solo voicePf
Dedicatee Heřman, Jan
Note on the dedicationJan Heřman
Place of compositionPolička
Year of origin1925
Initiation of composition08/1925
Completion of composition09/1925
First performance
Performer Heřman, Jan
Manzer, Robert
Date of the first performance21.11.1926
Location of the first performancePrague
Note on the first performanceJan Heřman (Pf); Robert Manzer (cond.)
Ensemble Česká filharmonie (Czech Philharmonic)
Česká filharmonie
Autograph deposition
Note on the autograph depostitionAutograph missing (formerly by Charlotte Martinů in Vieux Moulin). *** Copy in foreign hand in private property in Prague. *** Piano reduction by Karel Šolc (completed 31.10.1925) deposited at the Bohuslav Martinů Centre in Polička (property of NBM).
CopyrightSchott Music, Mainz
Purchase linkbuy
Panton, Prague, 1968
Call number at the BM Institute: 1023
Specification of the edition: 1st edition, piano reduction
Details of this edition
Panton, Prague, 1968
Call number at the BM Institute: 1023 CS
Specification of the edition: Manuscript copy score
Details of this edition
Panton, Prague, 1968
Call number at the BM Institute: 1023 klavir
Specification of the edition: Piano part, copy of a manuscript copy
Details of this edition
Schott Music GmbH & Co., Mainz, 1968
Call number at the BM Institute: 1023a,b
Specification of the edition: Re-edition of the 1st edition (1968); piano reduction
Details of this edition
References Related writings
Documents in the Library
Note Martinů dedicated the autograph piano reduction to Lucette Descaves after the Paris premiere (11.02.1928, Descaves Lucette and Colonne Orchester, cond. Gabriel Pierné).
About the composition

In 1923 Bohuslav Martinů moved to Paris, where he established contact with his future teacher Albert Roussel. There he soaked up influences from modern music of the time and was able to achieve a synthesis of efforts by the European avant-garde with the intellectual and expressive traditions of Czech music. These influences are evident in the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1, H 149, dedicated to Jan Heřman. Martinů's enchantment with avant-garde Paris and (especially in the third movement) with jazz radiates from this work. It was written during the summer months of 1925 and, as shown by the manuscript of the piano part, the composer considered a different title - Fantasy - which however he rejected in the end. Apart from its jazz inspiration, the work is also an example of Martinů's returns to the past - to the times of Mozart and Mozart's predecessors. Unlike the brilliantly-conceived piano concertos of the Romantic period, here was born a playful concerto that does not aspire to the extreme contrasts of sonata form but accents wit and a flowing musical stream, with the natural consequences in terms of expression. Remarkable here are points in common between modern sensibility and contrapuntal technique. Classical form is wed with modern dynamics, harmony, and thematic development. The premiere was given on 21 November 1926 by the already-famous Jan Heřman and the Czech Philharmonic under the baton of Robert Manzer. In Paris, the work was first performed on 11 February 1928 in the Concerts Colonne, and Martinů commented on the occasion as follows: "It was glorious: the theater was crammed, full of people. Mrs. Osuská was there, almost the whole diplomatic delegation and the consul, all the critics, Czech ones and many French ones as well, and it had a great success. Mademoiselle Descaves played very nicely, although she is still quite a young girl, and she performed it from memory. The conductor Pierné is something of an old man now, gray. Everywhere he praises me. He was very satisfied and I was, too. [...] I had a box seat and among those who came to me there was my teacher Roussel. [...] He said that no new work had scored such a success in these concerts in a long time." Critics of the time shared that opinion.

Lenka Foltýnová, programme of the Bohuslav Martinů Festival's concert, December 7, 2003

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