General information
Title CZČtyři věty
Title ENFour Movements
Title DEVier Sätze
Title FRQuatre mouvements [auth.]
CategoryWorks for Keyboards
Halbreich number170
Parts of the composition (movements)1. Poco moderato - Allegretto - Tempo I; 2. Allegro; 3. Adagio 4. Allegro
Durata6' 40''
Dedicatee Šafránek, Miloš
Diplomatic transcription of the dedicationÁ Monsieur | Milos Safranek
Note on the dedicationMiloš Šafránek
Place of compositionParis
Year of origin1929
Initiation of composition1929
Completion of composition23.03.1929
First performance
Autograph deposition
InstitutionBohuslav Martinů Centre in Polička
OwnerCentrum Bohuslava Martinů v Poličce
CopyrightBärenreiter Praha
Purchase linkbuy
Supraphon, Prague, 1979
Call number at the BM Institute: 1085
Specification of the edition: 1st edition
Details of this edition
References Related writings
Documents in the Library
Note Date of origin: Easter 1929.
About the composition

Four Movements, H 170, originated during Easter 1929, i. e. seven months before Black Friday at the New York stock exchange (October 24, 1929), which marked the end of the "Roaring Twenties" and the beginning of the global economic crisis. The precise dating in the autograph of Four Movements (March 23, 1929) would suggest that Martinů composed all of them within a single day. These pieces too were only published after the composer's death (in 1979), and we know neither the date nor the venue of their premiere. The slow parts surprise with their intimacy, lyricism, and Czech undertones, in places reminiscent of Leoš Janáček's piano miniatures, elsewhere Bedřich Smetana's piano works. We can only speculate as to whether the wittingly Czech tone relates to the dedication: "A monsieur Miloš Šafránek", referring to the nascent friendship (which would be lifelong) between Martinů and Miloš Šafránek, the cultural attaché to the Czechoslovak Embassy in Paris. The notable Czecholosvak diplomat aided many Czech and Slovak artists and also championed Bohuslav Martinů's works - from the end of the 1920s, he virtually dedicated the whole of his life to lending a helping hand to a composer not overly experienced in practical matters. Foreshadowed here is the change which finds its full blossom in the ballet The Chap-Book, H 214. from 1931–32. In the fast parts (No. 2 and 4), however, Four Movements is a work typical of the Paris-era Martinů.

Aleš Březina, Martinů / Jeux, © 2008 Supraphon

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