Jan Hanuš

Jan Hanuš

Jan Hanuš (May 2, 1915 - July 30, 2004) was an extremely prolific Czech composer of the 20th century. Almost every category of composition is represented among his works, many of which are overtly political, expressing in turn anti-Nazi, anti-Fascist and anti-Communist sentiments.


Hanuš studied composition independently with Otakar Jeremiáš while attending school at the Prague Conservatory. He then worked as an editor and an editor-in-chief of several major publishing houses. It is notable to mention that as an editor he has signed the editions of the collected works of Antonín Dvořák and Zdeněk Fibich, both of whom he later emulated in his works. Hanus's young productions had their dominants in passionately pathetic, philosophic and patriotic aims, such exhibited in his opera "The Flames". The first post-war decade witnessed lyricism, near to national tradition, but since the late fifties a new tendency of dramaticism in his works arose and a musically expressive innovation, reaching as far as the combination of traditional classics with electronics (exhibited in the opera "The Torch of Prometheus") was born. The seventies and eighties were the periods of synthesis of all his preceding advances. Much of Hanuš's works are inspired by the work of Czech authors, most notably Jaroslav Seifert.

After the Velvet revolution in 1989 Hanuš returned all the honours bestowed on him by the Communist regime. In 1999 Václav Havel rewarded Hanuš with a 'Za zásluhy' medal. During the 1950s Hanuš bravely and publicly defended his friend Rudolf Margolius who was the victim of the Slánský trial.

See also

* Rudolf Margolius

election of Works


*"The Flames". Opera-rhapsody on the text by Hanuš and J. Pokorny, op 14 (1944)
*"Salt above Gold". Ballet in five pictures after the popular fairy-tale by Bozena Nemcova, op. 28 (1953)
*"Othello". Dance drama in 7 pictures after Shakespeare, op. 36 (1955)
*"The Servant of Two Masters". Opera in 5 pictures after the comedy by Goldoni, libretto J. Pokorny, op. 42 (1958)
*"The Torch of Prometheus". Opera in 3 parts on the motifs of Aischylos, libretto J. Pokorny, op. 54 (1961)
*"The Fairy-tale of One Night". Opera on the motifs of a fairy-tale from A Thousand and one Nights, libretto J. Pokorny, op. 62 (1961)
*"Labyrinth". Dance meditations on the motifs of Dante's Divine Comedy, op. 98 (1980)
*"Contention over a Goddess". Opera burlesque in Prologue and three pictures after Aristophanes, libretto J. Hanus, op. 105 (1983)


*"1st Symphony in E Major". for large orchestra and alto solo, on the text of the sequence Stabat mater by Jacopon da Todi, op. 12 (1942)
*"2nd Symphony in G Major", op. 26 (1951)
*"3rd Symphony in D Minor" (The World's Truth, dedicated to the memory of his friend Rudolf Margolius), op.38 (1956)
*"4th Symphony", op. 49 (1960)
*"5th Symphony", op. 58 (1964)
*"6th Symphony", op. 92 (1978)
*"7th Symphony", for orchestra, mixed choir, soprano and baritone solo on Latin sacred texts, op. 116 (1989)

Orchestral Works

*"1st Suite from the ballet Salt above Gold", for orchestra, op. 28a (1952)
*"Concertante Symphony" for organ, harp, timpani and strings, op. 31 (1953)
*"Peter and Lucia". Symphonic fantasia after the story by Roland, op. 35 (1955)
*"1st Suite from the ballet Othello", op. 36a (1956)
*"2nd Suite from the ballet Othello", op.36b (1956)
*"Galeria Goldoni". Partia buffa for small orchestra and prepared piano, op. 42a (1977)
*"The Secret Trumpeter". Overture for trumpet solo and orchestra after the theme of Whiteman, op. 53 (1961)
*"Fragments from Prometheia", 1st Suite for symphonic orchestra and electronic sounds, op. 54a (1964)
*"Concerto doppio" for oboe, harp and orchestra, op.59 (1965)
*"Concerto grosso" for large brass orchestra, op. 71 (1971)
*"Prague Nocturnes" (Notturni di Praga) for chamber orchestra, op. 75 (1972)
*"Three Essays". Symphonic triptych, op. 86 (1975)
*"Three Dantesque Preludes from the ballet Labyrinth" for orchestra, op. 98a (1983)
*"Variations and Collages for orchestra", op. 99 (1982)
*"Passacaglia concertante for two violoncellos", celesta and chamber strings, op. 102 (1984)
*"Variations in the Manner of Aristophanes", for small orchestra and piano, op. 105a (1987)
*"Towers of Babylon", symphonic parable about pride, fall and recognition for orchestra, op. 122 (1995)
*"Eulogy". Idyll - one movement sinfonietta for orchestra and soprano solo to words by Ladislav Stehlik, op. 16 (1945)

olo and Orchestral Works

*"Concerto for violin and orchestra", op. 112 (1986)
*"Concerto-fantasia for violoncello and orchestra", op. 117 (1990)


* [http://www.musica.cz/comp/hanus.htm Extended Biography and Full List of Works]

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