Vilém Blodek (born as Vilém František Plodek, 3rd October 1834 Prague – 1st May 1874 Prague) studied flute with Antonín Eiser (1800–1876) and composition with Jan Bedřich Kittl (1808–1868) at the Prague Conservatory. After graduation in 1852 Blodek worked as a music teacher in the town of Lubycza (a part of Galicia at the time).
Having returned to Prague in 1855, he started his career as a concert pianist and he was also appointed conductor of the German Deutscher Männergesangsverein choir. In 1860 he became flute professor at the Prague Conservatory, having succeeded his former teacher Antonín Eiser. From 1869 onwards, however, a severe mental illness started to affect Blodek’s life, which eventually led to his hospitalization at the Na Kateřinkách asylum in Prague, where Blodek died at the age of 39.
Blodek is well-known mainly as the author of operas based on Karel Sabina’s librettos, namely In the Well (V Studni) (1866–1867) and Zítek (1869, unfinished). His Flute Concerto in D major (around 1862) has been part of the flute concert repertoire up to the present. He also wrote entr’actes for the Estates Theatre (from 1858 onwards), choral music, songs, religious music, etc.
Representative orchestral works include Overture in D major for grand orchestra (1852– 1854), Concert Overture in E major (1859), and Overture in E minor (from the early 1860s). Blodek’s oeuvre also includes pieces of a very specific genre, that of “music for pictures” (Music for Misty Pictures for grand orchestra; Music for Pictures of the Shakespearean Celebration for grand orchestra).
Titles for sale:
Symphony in D minor