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Janácek, Lachian Dances

Janácek, Lachian Dances

BashōSelected Composition

 

Leós Janácek, Lachian Dances

 

 

Program Notes

 

My friend Michaelene told me last night that the Lachian Dances are her favorite Janácek—so of course I had to listen to them today. Janácek composed these six dances in 1888: they are spirited and colorful. To see actual dances that follow these songs would be something else.

 

Here is Sir Charles Mackerras conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Janácek's Lachian Dances:

 

Leós Janácek, Lachian Dances

 

 

 Coda

 

Research for this post led to my trying to find a map of Lachia. It was not easy. It turns out that Lachia is a region of Silesia, mostly in the Czech Republic, on the mountainous border with Poland.

 

The poet Óndra Łysohorsky (1905 - 89) is considered the "bard" of the Lachs: he was a Czech poet from Silesia who wrote in the Lachian dialect instead of in Czech. He is credited with creating Lachian as a literary language. He spent time in Moscow, and was friends with Pasternak, who translated at least two of his poems into Russian. Unable to secure a teaching position because he did not write in Czech, Łysohorsky appealed directly to Stalin for help, and Stalin did help him—he quickly had a teaching position.

 

I could not find a single poem of Łysohorsky's translated into English (if any of my readers might know of a poem, I would be glad to read it).

 

 

 

 

I photographed "Out of the Flowers," the image above, on Temple Square in Salt Lake City (2006). The title is from the following haiku by Bashō:


The temple bell stops,
but the sound keeps coming
out of the flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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