General information
Title CZHora tří světel
Subtitle CZpro mužský sbor a varhany
Title ENMount of Three Lights [auth.]
Subtitle ENfor male choir and organ [auth.]
Title DEDer Berg der drei Lichter
Subtitle DEfür Männerchor und Orgel
Title FRLe mont des trois lumières
Subtitle FRpour choeur d'hommes et orgue
CategoryVocal Music
SubcategoryCantatas without Instrumental Accompaniment or with Single Instruments
Halbreich number and suffix349
Parts of composition (movements)
InstrumentsOrg, Coro maschile (TTBB)
Solo voiceT Bar B Sp
List of characters
Dedicatee Haghe Sanghers
Diplomatic transcription of dedication
Note on dedicationDedicated to Die Haghe Sanghers (according to H. Halbreich's catalogue).
Place of composition
Year of origin1954
Initiation of composition20.11.1954
Finishing of composition25.11.1954
Last modification of composition
First performance
Date of first performance03.10.1955
Location of first performanceBern
Ensemble Die Haghe Sanghers
Haghe Sanghers
Autograph deposition
InstitutionBibliothèque nationale de France
Deposition location
OwnerÉditions Max Eschig, Paris
Note on manuscriptFacsimile of the autograph score is located at the Bohuslav Martinů Centre in Polička (obtained from Eschig). *** Reproduction of the score is probably held by a private owner in Germany. *** Copy of the score in a foreign hand is located in the archive of Academic Singing Association Moravan (APS Moravan).
Place of issue
PublisherÉditions Max Eschig
Year of publication1992
CopyrightÉditions Max Eschig, Paris
NoteEnglish and Czech lyrics: Henry Vollam Morton(EN); Czech folk song (from a collection of František Bartoš) and the Gospel of Matthew. *** Revision of the organ part: Bedřich Janáček.

The Mountain of Three Lights

The Mountain of Three Lights cantata was written in November 1954, at the request of the all male choir, "Den Haag Singers". The piece surprises with its polystylistic quality, found not only in the music but also in the verses. In the case of the Christmas folk song “What Does It Mean All Far and Near”, adapted from Bartoš’s collection of folk songs, Martinů only used original text which he set to music, making use of pedal point and Lydian fourth, two features characteristic of Czech pastoral music. Similarly, Martinů’s use of unadorned melody of the spiritual song "We Came To Your Dome" is backed by equally plain four voiced organ accompaniment, and some of the closing verses are highlighted by fermatas, reminiscent of the choir interpretation of the choral during the mass. When the musical background was unavailable, which is the case of the texts selected into The Mountain of Three Lights from the H. V. Morton’s book "In the Steps of the Master" and from the St. Matthew’s Gospel, Martinů composed rich music with the fantasticism and asymetric quality typical of his later works. The result is an impressive collage of different styles of European music, distanced both in time and function, the whole outcome of which Miloš Šafránek well decribed as a “simple village mass.”


Aleš Březina



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