Jaký vztah měl muzikolog Vladimír Helfert k tvorbě Josefa Suka?
WHAT WAS THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE MUSICOLOGIST VLADIMIR HELFERT TO THE COMPOSITIONS OF JOSEF SUK?
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Was the musicologist Vladimír Helfert an adversary of Josef Suk’s works or not? The answer is given by following the development of Helfert’s opinion during the period 1912–1936. As a young musicologist, member of the editorial board of the journal Smetana, and a close co-worker of Zdeněk Nejedlý, Helfert was strongly influenced by him. At that time, he disliked the compositions of Antonín Dvořák (whose work he considered to be an outcome of an already outdated, uncultured and thoughtless musicianship) and also Leoš Janáček, and he was a determined adversary of the works of Josef Suk, which, at that time, he evidently did not understand (see the totally negative judgement of his symphony Asrael, the piano cycle Životem a snem [Things lived and dreamt], and others). Only after World War I and settling in Brno (1919), did Helfert gradually separate himself from Nejedlý’s influence and broke away from his opinions. Consequently he forsook his former aversion to the music of Dvořák and Suk, about whom he, in his book Česká moderní hudba [Czech Modern Music] (1936), had already written very positively. At that period, indeed, also other co-workers of the journal Smetana (Josef Bartoš, Otakar Zich) abandoned their former negative opinion of Suk’s music; only Z. Nejedlý further escalated his contest against Suk (and the Bohemian Quartet) after the foundation of the independent Czechoslovakia (1918). In contradiction to Nejedlý, and due to Helfert, Masaryk University in Brno awarded Suk the title Doctor Honoris Causa on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday.
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