Choral works are a significant part of Janácek’s oeuvre, especially for male and mixed choirs. Janácek wrote choral compositions throughout his whole life, ranging from occasional pieces to serious artistic endeavours. He was inspired by folk poetry as well as spiritual themes and set to music poems by Czech as well as foreign writers. His rich legacy of works for male choir on texts by Petr Bezruc best reflects the composer’s national consciousness and strong social feelings (the trilogy “Kantor Halfar”, “Marycka Magdónova”, and “70,000”).
Our catalogue covers most of Janácek’s choral compositions. The Complete Critical Edition of the Works of Leos Janácek as yet includes two volumes of works for male choir a cappella and will be expanded with a volume of works for female choir (C/3) to be released later this year. Janácek rarely composed for female choir. The war-torn year of 1916 contains the only brief period of his interest in this genre. In January 1916 he composed “Wolf Tracks” on a poem by Jaroslav Vrchlicky, followed in February by the choral cycle “Songs of Hradcany” and “Caspar Rutsky” on texts by Frantisek Serafínsky Procházka.
The scholarly-critical edition of works for female choir (BA 6865-01) edited by Milos Orson Stědroň and Jirí Zahrádka with the lyrics translated into English and German, a preface (Cz/Eng/Ger), and a critical report (Eng) will be published under the license of Editio Janácek Brno.