Founded 1974
Jiří Bělohlávek
Graham Melville-Mason
Antonín Dvořák III
Radomil Eliška
Markéta Hallová
Miloš Jurkovič
Radoslav Kvapil
Alena Němcová
Míla Smetáčková
Zuzana Růžičková

News from the Dvořák Society for Czech and Slovak Music

Works by Vilém Tauský and Karel Janovický to be performed at Thirteenth Commemoration Concert, Kolín, Czech Republic on 23 September 2012


Karel Janovický

     The Dvořák Society is pleased to announce a concert to be held at the Synagogue of Kolín, in the Czech Republic on 23 September 2012. Full details are given below in the official notice of the event, but we would like to draw attention to works by our late Vice-President Vilém Tauský (Coventry — meditation for string orchestra) and by our member Karel Janovický (Four Songs to Wordsworth’s poetry).

We would also like to add to the information about the book referred to in the programme flyer. This is published by the Dvořák Society and has the title Vilém Tauský CBE FGSM 1910 – 2004 (details). It was compiled by another Society member Richard Beith. Karel Janovický made a substantial contribution to the success of the book, writing material on Tauský’s childhood in Moravia and early career in Brno (the period 1910 – 1939) and his post-war life and career in Britain (1945 – 2004). In Brno, Tauský studied composition, orchestration and conducting at the Janáček Conservatoire. His graduation piece, an orchestral Sinfonietta, secured him a place at the Master School of the Prague Conservatoire where his professor of composition was Josef Suk. To the British general public, Tauský is today (perhaps unfairly) best remembered for his time at the helm of the BBC Concert Orchestra with its focus on light music, but in fact he conducted a great deal of more serious music (including a cycle of all six Martinů Symphonies in 1955 and the British staged première of Dvořák’s opera Rusalka in 1959). He also continued composing and taught at the Guildhall School of Music in London.


given under the auspices of

the Congregation Emanuel,
Denver, Colorado, USA,

the Manetto Hill Jewish Center,
Plainview (Long Island), New York, USA,

Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue, London, Great Britain,

Dvořák Society for Czech and Slovak Music, Great Britain

and the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic

in the Synagogue of Kolín, Czech Republic,
on Sunday 23 September 2012 at 4.00 pm

This event is, concurrently, the 5th concert in the 48th series of
the local Music Friends Circle.
It continues a tradition established here by Mrs Ishka Lichter to honour the memory of the broad Jewish community at Kolín.

Giacobe Basevi Cervetto (1682 – 1783)
      Sonata in F major

George Frideric Handel (1685 – 1759)
      Israel in Egypt — air from the oratorio
      David’s Song from the anthem ‘I will magnify thee’

Vilém Tauský (1910 – 2004)
      Coventry — meditation for string orchestra


Karel Janovický (*1930)
      Four Songs to Wordsworth’s poetry, in a translation by Zdeněk Hron,
      for baritone and string orchestra

George Frideric Handel (1685 – 1759)
      Solomon — sinfonia from the oratorio
      Solomon — air from the oratorio

Giacobe Basevi Cervetto (1682 – 1783)
      Sonata in A minor

George Frideric Handel (1685 – 1759)
      Semele — duet from the oratorio

Petr Nouzovský — violoncello
Markéta Dvořáková — mezzo-soprano
Petr Matuszek — baritone
Conductor, harpsichord: Vítězslav Podrazil

— information

Four composers who found a new homeland in Great Britain.

Two Jewish composers:
      Giacobe Basevi Cervetto (1682 – 1783) and Vilém Tauský (1910 – 2004)
and their contemporaries:
      George Frideric Handel (1685 – 1759) and Karel Janovický (*1930).

Vilém Tauský escaped from the Nazis in 1939, first to Paris, then, in 1940, via Yugoslavia, to Great Britain where he directed the Czechoslovak Army’s military orchestra. Thereafter he lived in Great Britain permanently, having paid only some occasional visits to his native country.

  • Coventry — meditation for string orchestra
    It was composed shortly after the blitz on Coventry on 14 – 15 November 1940. Mr Tauský was one of the Free Czech Soldiers sent in from their base at Leamington with Field Ambulances to help clear up after the raid.
  • ‘… we were sent to Coventry, but there was no Coventry. Everywhere you looked there was only the tower of the old cathedral standing out against the night sky. With bodies lying around and the burning it was only the tower which seemed to offer a symbol of hope…’
  • (Vilém Tauský)

Karel Janovický — composer, pianist and publicist, he left Bohemia after the victory of totalitarianism in 1948. From 1962 he worked at the BBC, between 1980 and 1990 he led the BBC’s Czechoslovak Department. As a member of the Dvořák Society in Great Britain he was instrumental in publishing, in English, a book on Vilém Tauský.
Karel Janovický will be attending the concert, and the book on Vilém Tauský will be presented there.
The Four Songs to Wordsworth’s poetry, which will be premièred, are dedicated to the Atlantis Orchestra.

Both Giacobe Basevi Cervetto and George Frideric Handel came to England under less dramatic circumstances.

G. F. Handel is a generally known and acknowledged composer.
His contemporary G. B. Cervetto, a virtuoso violoncellist and composer, is practically unknown, although the artistic value of his works is comparable with those by the leading representatives of the Baroque era. His name can be found in a variety of forms: Giacomo Basevi detto il Cervetto, Giacobo Cervetto, Giacomo Cervetto, Jaques Cervetto, Giacobbe Bassevi…  

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