General information
Title CZInvence
Subtitle CZpro velký orchestr
Title ENInventions [auth.]
Subtitle ENfor large orchestra
Title DEInventions [auth.]
Subtitle DEfür grosses orchester
Title FRInventions [auth.]
Subtitle FRpour grand orchestre
CategoryOrchestral Music
SubcategoryWorks for Large Orchestra
Halbreich number234
Parts of the composition (movements)1. Allegro moderato; 2. Andante moderato; 3. Poco allegro
Durata12' 30''
Place of compositionParis
Year of origin1934
Initiation of composition1934
Completion of composition01/1934
First performance
Performer Piccardi, Oreste
Date of the first performance08.09.1934
Location of the first performanceVenice (Biennale)
Note on the first performanceOreste Piccardi (conductor)
Autograph deposition
InstitutionBohuslav Martinů Centre in Polička
OwnerCentrum Bohuslava Martinů v Poličce
CopyrightBärenreiter Praha
Purchase linkbuy
Melantrich, Prague, 1949
Call number at the BM Institute: 1011,a
Specification of the edition: 1st edition
Details of this edition
References Related writings
Documents in the Library
Note Date at the end of the autograph score: January 1934. Accoring to Charlotte Martinů's diary, the composition was completed on 12.02.1934.
About the composition

The Inventions for large orchestra, H 234, was completed by Bohuslav Martinů on February 12, 1934, in Paris. This firework of colorful ideas was warmly received at the Venice Film Festival at its premiere on September 8, 1934. According to the Venetian critics at the time, the composition was considered the most interesting work performed at the festival. The inventions were created in the middle of work on the opera The Plays of Mary, H 236, and thanks to the Venetian success, they brought an order from the local organizers for another orchestral composition –Tre ricercari, H 267 (completed in 1938).

The Inventions are written for a large orchestra, an important component here is the piano part, which evokes the solo concerto, especially in the second movement. The orchestral colors are softened, a detail conceived in witty sound shades comes together again in the foreground, together with a small-scale rhythm. An interesting orchestration does not work with harmonic "roughnesses", but instead provides a place for "fragile" dissonances, as used by the Impressionists in a somewhat different context. In the free second movement, the melodic axis is formed by a diatonic melody, which retains its song character in rhythm and phrasing. These "instrumental songs" shape the character of many of Bohuslav Martinů's future orchestral and chamber works in the coming decades.

Lenka Foltýnová, programme of the Bohuslav Martinů Festival's concert, December 11–12, 2003

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