Wenzel Johann Tomaschek, nebo Václav Jan Tomášek? Německy mluvící Čech aneb život na hranici dvou jazyků
WENZEL JOHANN TOMASCHEK, OR VACLAV JAN TOMASEK? A GERMAN- SPEAKING CZECH, OR LIFE ON THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN TWO LANGUAGES
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One of the current goals of research concerning the Czech national rebirth is clarification of the coexistence of Czech and German cultures in the Czech lands during the first half of the nineteenth century. V. J. Tomasek (1774-1850), one of the most important musicians of this period, was a Czech not only officially: he felt himself to be Czech, and supported the Czech language and culture. However, as an adult he probably spoke and wrote more in German, as confirmed by preserved writings of his such as correspondence, his autobiography, reviews, a catalogue of pupils, and his last will and testament. Moreover, in his vocal compositions, which form the main part of his output, most of the texts he set to music are in German. Tomasek himself commented on his relation to the Czech language and Czech culture very briefly; testimony to his warm but modest patriotism is found in recollections written by his brother-in-law K. V. Hansgirg and his friend P. A. Klar. Tomasek's cultural and national orientation is also documented by his contacts with Czech patriots and his work with the magazine Ost und West, which was intended for the Czech and Czech-German intelligentsia. Characteristic of Tomasek is patriotism attached to a geographical territory, whereby what was most important was his relationship to the land, its history, and its culture.
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