Three Czech Dances (Martinů)

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Three Czech Dances (H. 154) is a set of three solo piano pieces written by the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů, written in 1926, premiered in 1927, and published in 1929.

Bohuslav Martinů Czech composer

Bohuslav Jan Martinů was a Czech composer of modern classical music. Martinů wrote 6 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. After leaving Czechoslovakia in 1923 for Paris, Martinů 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 works Half-time and La Bagarre. He also adopted jazz idioms, for instance in his La revue de cuisine.

Out of the three pieces in the set, two were given the names of traditional Czech dances, Obkročák ("Stepping Round"), and Dupák ("Stomp Dance"), while the third was named Polka. The total duration is approximately ten minutes.

All three pieces have dedications, the first to John Herman, the second to Molié Denyse, and the third to Jeane Mortier. Mortier premiered the entire work, although in segments. The second and third pieces were premiered on 7 March 1927, while the third was premiered on 17 March 1927. Both premier performances took place in Paris.

The manuscript is currently in storage at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in the Max Eschig depository. Eschig was the publisher of the first edition, in Paris, with copyright attributes to Max Eschig, Paris. This edition is still the only one in print.

Max Eschig was a Czech-born French music publisher who published many of the leading French composers of the twentieth century, later also including many East European and Latin American composers.

An earlier autograph can also be found in the Martinu Centre located in Polička.

Polička Town in Czech Republic

Polička is a town on the Bohemia-Moravia borderline in the Pardubice Region of the Czech Republic. The population is around 8,700. The elevation of the town is 555 m.

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