Jaroslav Novotný

Already during his studies, Jaroslav Novotný (1886–1918) established himself as a promising composer of the “Novák School”, but his life ended prematurely in the whirlwind of events during the First World War – he died as a Czechoslovak Legionnaire during a skirmish with Bolshevik forces. He was the first composer in Bohemia to react in an original manner to stimuli from the Second Viennese School already at a time when their language was just taking shape.

Cosmic Songs

ed. Ondřej Maňour

Novotný’s Písně kosmické (Cosmic Songs), op. 8, composed in 1914 to poems from a collection with the same title by Jan Neruda, mark the beginning of his mature creative period, and while they were underappreciated by his contemporaries, they prefigured the further development of European music. To this day, the collection has been neither performed nor published, and this has undoubtedly deprived the development of Czech modern music of valuable impulses.