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€ 5,00

Product ID: CP4 CMA82125
By Vilém Tauský

20th Century
Line Up:
Viola (Solo: Viola)
Level: 2

Performance Score

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Songlist (1)

  1. Essay



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Vilém Tauský

Vilém Tauský CBE was a Czech conductor and composer who, from the advent of the Second World War, lived and worked in the UK, one of a significant group of émigré composers and musicians who settled there. Vilém Tauský was from a musical family: his Viennese mother had sung Mozart at the Vienna State Opera under Gustav Mahler, and her cousin was the operetta composer Leo Fall.[1] Tauský studied with Leoš Janáček and later became a repetiteur at the Brno Opera. His other teachers included Vilém Petrzelka (composition) and Zdeněk Chalabala (conducting). At the age of nineteen he conducted Puccini's Turandot in Brno on short notice in place of Chalabala, who had become ill. Tauský was of Jewish ancestry, and the rise of the Nazis forced him to move to France. He later volunteered for service with the Free Czech Army. He eventually reached the UK in 1940 after the fall of France, arriving with other soldiers on a Yugoslav coal ship to Newport, Monmouthshire. He served musical functions in the Czechoslovak Army in exile, as a military band conductor in France. Bohuslav Martinů composed his Field Mass for Tauský and his regimental band, but the fall of France prevented them from giving the premiere. He continued as a band and choir leader in the UK. During the Coventry Blitz on the night of 14 November 1940, Tausky was based ten miles away in Leamington Spa with the Czech Free Army. His unit was mobilized to search the ruins for survivors. He wrote his Coventry Meditation for strings to commemorate the civilian casualties and the destruction of the Cathedral. The work was first performed by the Menges Quartet on 17 March 1942 at a Myra Hess National Gallery Concert in London. During the conflict he was awarded a Czech Military Cross, followed by the Czech Order of Merit at the end of the war.
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