Dido / piano score - Jan Novák

Dido / klavírní výtah - Jan Novák

One of the best-known compositions by Jan Novák, cantata Dido for mezzosoprano, reciter, male voice choir and orchestra, is a result of Novak’s eminent interest in Latin and his excellent knowledge of this classical language. Novák mastered spoken and literary Latin; he was able to speak Latin fluently and write poetry in Latin.

The original subtitle of this cantata is of course in Latin: “Narratio, cantica, lamenta ex versibus Vergili composita vocum sonis instrumentorumque discripta”. The part crucial for the libretto is a central moment of the story of a tragic love of Carthaginian queen Dido to a mythical hero Aeneus, described in the 4th book of Virgil’s’ epic: With Aeneus’ fatal decision to leave loving Dido for a more important mission, Dido is plunged into despair because she feels to be betrayed twice; by Aeneus’ abandonment and by her own moral failure about her pointless resolution towards her late husband Sychaeus. On a funeral pyre with Aeneus fleet on the sea horizon she curves him and stabs herself with a dagger; a gift from Aeneus.

The cantata was composed for the 100th anniversary of the first Czech classic gymnasium in Brno (founded in 1867). Jan Novák and other interpreters who participated in the premiere (e.g. conductor of the premiere Jiří Waldhans) were graduates of the gymnasium. Beside Novák’s cantata, the premiere included also lyrical cantata by Alois Piňos (also a graduate of the school) “Ars amatoria” composed on lyrics by Ovid.

Orchestral score and parts only for hire at nakladatelstvi@rozhlas.cz

Other compositions by Jan Novák published in Czech Radio:
Aeolia for two Flutes and Piano
Capriccio for Violoncello and Orchestra
Capriccio for Violoncello and Orchestra - Piano score
Due preludi e fughe per flauto solo
Elegantiae tripudiorum
Elegantiae tripudiorum for Piano
IV Hymni christiani (for Piano and Vocal part ad libitum)
Choreae vernales for Flute and Piano
Choreae vernales for Flute and Guitar
Choreae vernales for Flute, String Orchestra and Harp with Celesta or Piano
Odarum concentus choro fidium
Panisci fistula
Prima sonata for Piano
Rotundelli for Violoncello and Piano
Scherzi pastorali for Clarinet (or Bass Clarinet) and Piano
Sonata brevis for Harpsichord
Sonata tribus for Flute, Violin and Piano
Sonatina for Flute and Piano
Strepitus festivi for Four French Horns
Tibia fugitiva for Flute solo
Toccata chromatica for Piano
Variations on the Theme by Bohuslav Martinů for two Pianos