Friday, March 2, 2012: Decent, Frail Dimension

Jiří Hlaváč, Leonid Gorochov, Lada Valešová

Leonid Gorochov, cello, Lada Valešová, piano, and Jiří Hlaváč, clarinet perform Mrs Bodorová's La Speranza

That Human and Decent, Frail Dimension

Hope provides our life with its human and decent, albeit frail, dimension.

This is the inspiration for composer Sylvie Bodorová’s La Speranza for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano, performed recently at the Czech Chamber Music Society’s concert. It featured Jiří Hlaváč, clarinet; Leonid Gorochov, cello, and Lada Valešová, piano.

The piece, a 1993 commission of Warwick Festival director Richard Phillips, is a single-movement, six-minute dialogue among the cello, clarinet, and piano. Each instrument takes its turn to express deep emotion and glorious colors, as you can see in the video below:

Mrs Bodorová had hope in mind as the theme – more specifically, hope connected with youth and its great desire to “conquer the world,” according to the program notes. “It is hope that provides our life with its human and decent, albeit frail, dimension,” the composer explains.

Mrs Bodorová’s works are, fortunately, being recognized during her own lifetime (she was born in 1954), and you can find her compositions on concert programs around Prague. They’re worth looking for.

Her credentials include studies at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno and at the Academy of Music (HAMU) in Prague, and as composer in residence at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Since the early ’80s her works have been performed on all continents, including Antarctica, where her Homage to Columbus for guitar was played. She has been awarded several competition prizes and many prestigious commissions, particularly from the Warwick, the Prague Spring, and the International Litomyšl Smetana festivals. One of her best-known compositions is the Terezín Ghetto Requiem.

Mrs Bodorová was a member of “Quattro” — a group of prestigious Czech composers, including the late composers Otmar Mácha, Luboš Fišer, and Zdeněk Lukáš, whom you have read about previously on Opus Osm. — oo

– Mary Matz

Photo Credits: Miroslav Setnička

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