When Bohuslav Martinu died in 1959 in Switzerland —the latest in a long series of exiles—the remarkable Czech left a legacy of nearly 400 completed works. He wrote last and usually without correction, an unrellectiveness that didn’t endear him to his teachers at the Prague Conservatory and Organ School, from which the 20 year-old was expelled in 1910 for lack of application.
There was to be no lack in the years that lollowed. Having avoided military service on the Eastern Front, he made his way in 1923 to Paris to study with the Neo-ClassicistAlben Roussel. This, along with hefty doses of jazz and Stravinsky, effectively inoculated Martinu against the more obvious avant-garde temptations of the time.
Not enough, though, to avoid one brutal epidemic. The Nazis tagged him a ‘musical degenerate‘ lor his love of Slavic and jazz rhythms, and Martinu and his wile were forced to llee, visa-less, to New York.
In 1943, he wrote his
‘Memorial to Lidice‘, in disgust at the mass murder oi the Czech village, and returned to Prague immediately alter the War, but the Communist takeover drove him away again. In 1953, apparently written out, he settled in Nice, but returned to the US two years later for his greatest triumph, the Boston premiere oi ‘Fantaisies Symphoniques', a sixth and last symphony, completed just betore his departure lor France. in 1956, he went to teach in Rome, and died of cancer in Liestal three years later.
Martinu had a naturalness of touch and confidence of nature that ruled out Romantic agonies or grand ‘experimental' gestures. Though the symphonies and the seven string quartets are, along with the cantata ‘Gilgamesh’, the most substantial recorded works, it is worth hunting for some of the slighter pieces, such as the jazzy ‘Revue de Cuisine‘ (1927),
Thanks to hiss-and-crackle experts Supraphon, the Prague-based label, collecting Martinu is comparatively inexpensive, although it is maybe
ironic that the city which more or less spurned his music early in life should have cornered it once he was gone. (Brian Morton)
The Martinu Symphonies, Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Bryden Thomson: Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 6 Oct, 24 Nov, 1 Dec, 12 Jan, 2 Feb, 6 April; City Hall, Glasgow, 7 Oct, 25, 30 Nov, 2 Dec, 13 Jan, 3 Feb, 7April.
ROCKSS JAZZ41 FOLK42 CLASSICAL43
‘7. I”: 13/ *1 it“ . V
The new crop of Glasgow hard rock bands is strengthened further with the release of Blood, Fire and Love by The Almighty. to be released by Polydor the day that the band support The Ramones at the Barrowland.
Playing there is ‘a dream come true‘ for Scots-Irish singer and rhythm guitarist Ricky Warwick. ‘1 think Glasgow might be the hardest. ‘cause I‘ve a funny feeling there‘ll be more old punk rockers coming to see them in Glasgow than anywhere else. but hopefully because we‘re a Glasgow band it might make things a bit easier. and I think there‘ll be a lot of kids into hard rock coming to see The Ramones as well.‘
Before forming the band, Warwick played session guitar for New Model Army — a group whose attitudes one would imagine being slightly at odds with The Almighty’s.
‘I just met (NMA‘s) Slade the Leveller about ten minutes ago, funnin enough. It‘s the first time I‘ve seen him in about a year. and he looked me up and down. with this look of total disgust. as if to say. What the fuck‘ve you done. and said. “I read your Sounds interview — what‘s happened‘."‘.
‘The stuff I‘m doing with The Almighty is the stuffl always wanted to do. I love good hard rock‘n‘roll, I
, r157; "
love singing about women. singing about going out and having a good time. I was never sort of into responsibility or political ideals or stuff like that, which is what I suppose New Model Army are about‘
A couple of months ago, the band managed to extricate themselves from a potentially dangerous situation, when the Hell‘s Angels grumbled that their logo was a little too close to the winged skull symbol they regarded as their own. With an unerring sense ofdiplomacy The Almighty modified their design to accommodate the Angels‘ requirements, and all has been quiet on that from since.
The main talking point surrounding the band, though. is that they might not have had time to develop in the short length of time they’ve been together, and will consequently have difficulty following up Blood, Fire and Love. Warwick isn‘t having any of that — the two new songs they‘ve written. he says, have The Almighty sounding better than ever.
The Almighty support The Ramones at Barro wland, Glasgow on Monday 2. Th e_v will play Scottish dates as a headliner at the end of October/beginning of No vember.
The Rock Report, The List's annual guide to musicians in Central Scotland, will be given away free with our 10 Nov issue. It you run a studio, a PA or lighting hire firm, a music shop, a rehearsal room (details on these are desperately sought), an independent record label, a tape duplication business or any service which may be of use to musicians, please write to Alastair Mabbott and John Williamson at The List, 14 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TE, giving us as many relevant details as you can. Although, we will be conducting our own research, we know that there are services out there which should be included in our listings but slip through the net.
BOOK NOW ROCK
I GLASGOW BARROWLAND(041226 4679) The WonderStull, 14 Oct; Transvision Vamp,17 Oct; Gary Numan, 20 Oct; The Dogs D'Amour, 23 Oct; The Beautiful South. 26 Oct; All About Eve, 29 Oct; Fish, 30 Oct; lan McCulloch,1- Nov; The Primitives. 3 Nov; Jesus and Mary Chain, 4 Nov; The Wedding Present, 11 Nov; Lloyd Cole, 13 Nov; Marillion, 4 Dec.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (041 332 1846) David Essex. 24 Oct; Edwyn Collins, 26 Nov; Climie Fisher, 8 Nov; RandyTravis, 9 Nov; Lulu and Gerry and The Pacemakers, Nov10; Billie Jo Spears, 11 Nov; Nanci Grilllth, 14 Nov; Julia Fordham, 15 Nov.
I GLASGOW SECC (041 248 3000) Deacon Blue, 10 Dec; Erasure, 18 Jan; Simply Red, 21 Jan.
I LIVINGSTON FORUM (0506 419191)The Cult, 21 Nov; Aerosmith, 22 Nov.
I EDINBURGH ASSEMBLY ROOMS (031 557 6969)The Primitives, 2 Nov.
I EDINBURGH COASTERS (031 228 3252) The Macc Lads, Nov 1.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (031 557 2590)The Temptations, 15 Oct; Transvision Vamp, 16 Oct; The Fureys, 19 Oct; Anderson, Brulord, Wakeman & Howe, 21-22 Oct; Run Rig, 24—25 Oct; All About Eve, 28 Oct; 4 Nov; Motley Crue, 6 Nov; Spandau Ballet, 6 March. I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S HALL (031 668 2019) Fish, 23 Oct; The Dogs D’Amour, 24 Oct; Julia Fordham, 16 Nov.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (031 225 5756) 10,000 Maniacs, 5 Nov; Lloyd Cole, 14 Nov; Tammy Wynette, 18 Nov.
JAZZ & FOLK
I GLASGOW PAVILION (041 332 1846) The Fureys plus Davey Arthur, 18 Oct; Christy Moore, 19 Oct; Randy Travis, 9 Nov; Billie Joe Spears, 11 Nov; Nanci Griffiths. 14 Nov; The Corries, 24 Nov; Syd Lawrence Orchestra, 25 Nov.
I GLASGOW SECC(041248 3000) Don Williams, 24 Oct.
I EDINBURGH KING'S THEATRE (031 2291201) The Corrles, 16—18 Nov.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S HALL (031 668 2019) Bob Berg/Mike Stern Oulntet, 20 Oct; Andy Sheppard Big Band, 10 Nov; 29th Street Saxophone Quartet, 17 Nov; John McLaughlin Trio,1 Dec; Chris Barber Band, 8 use,
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (031 225 5756) Christ Moore, 21 Oct; The Wells Tones, 22 Oct; Lionel Hampton Big Band. 26 Oct; Clannad, 19 Nov; Syd Lawrence Orchestra, 27 Nov.
34 '1 he List 29 September - 12 October 1989