General information
Title CZToccata e due canzoni
Subtitle CZpro malý orchestr
Title ENToccata e due canzoni
Subtitle ENfor small orchestra
Title DEToccata e due canzoni
Subtitle DEfür kleines Orchester
Title FRToccata e due canzoni
Subtitle FRpour petit orchestre
CategoryOrchestral Music
SubcategoryWorks for Chamber or Small Orchestra
Halbreich number311
Parts of the composition (movements)1. Toccata: Allegro moderato; 2. Canzone No. 1: Andante moderato; 3. Canzone No. 2: Allegro (poco) - Adagio
Dedicatee Sacher, Paul
Basler Kammerorchester
Diplomatic transcription of the dedicationÀ Paul Sacher | et son Kammerorchestre de Bâle | pour le 20eme anniversaire. [1st title page] *** Dedicated to | Paul Sacher | and the Basel | Chamber Orchestra [2nd title page]
Note on the dedicationAutograph score contains two title pages.
Place of compositionNew York, NY
Place of composition 2Tanglewood, Massachusetts
Year of origin1946
Initiation of composition15.05.1946
Completion of composition03.10.1946
First performance
Performer Sacher, Paul
Date of the first performance21.01.1947
Location of the first performanceBasel, Switzerland
Ensemble Das Basler Kammerorchester
Basler Kammerorchester
Autograph deposition
InstitutionPaul Sacher Stiftung
OwnerPaul Sacher Stiftung
Note on the autograph depostitionReproduction of the autograph score and performing parts in a copyist's hand held by the Paul Sacher Stiftung as well. *** Second set of period performing parts is located at the B&H Hire Library.
CopyrightBoosey & Hawkes, London-New York
Purchase linkbuy
References Related writings
Documents in the Library
Note First movement completed on 01.06.1946, second movement on 25.06.1946, third movement on 03.10.1946. *** Title of the composition on the 1st title page of the autograph score: "Toccata et due canzoni"; on the 2nd title page: "Toccata et due canzoni".
About the composition

The Toccata e due canzoni. H 311, is evidence of Martinů's mature expression in which, as Virgil Thomson said, "the shining sounds of it sing as well as
shine, the instrumental complication is a part of the musical conception, not an icing laid over it." Martinů originally imagined both canzonas as "light, playful, and very simple songs". After some time, however, he found that regardless of his intention they were developing entirely in their own way and there was nothing he could do about it. The dark atmosphere of the second canzona was caused partly by outward circumstances: while composing it Martinů suffered a serious injury which resulted in a fractured skull, a hearing defect, and vertigo.

Aleš Březina, programme of the Bohuslav Martinů Festival's concert, December 10, 2001

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