Moyzes was a pupil of Vitezslav Novak. It was Novak
who pointed out Slovak ethnic music as a valuable referential resource.
So it proved. Moyzes found the nation's folk music a fecund source of
inspiration and this is certainly evident in the Seventh Symphony.
Symphony No. 7: Everything is laid out with
clarity and without coagulation of texture. This is atmospheric music
against which a pastoral tragedy is played out. Harp and flute are to
the fore in the first movement. The gentle Bartokian snap of the scherzo
has a determined drivingly rhythmic blade. While this is music of structure
and forwardly moving purpose the approach is essentially that of Kodaly
and of Sibelius (compare the woodwind writing with the Finn's in his
symphonies 3 and 4). Moyzes develops a disturbing and searching approach
in the Largo. I have commented, in reviews of previous issues
in the series, on Moyzes' largos. In this one, especially at moments
such as 03.40, Moyzes expresses himself in tones similar to Shostakovich.
The finale is rather a mish-mash. It is natural that such movements
will recycle material from earlier movements but this does not seem
fully synthesised and rather lets the side down. Picturesque though.
The Eighth Symphony was sparked by the USSR
invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Unsurprisingly the composer moves
from the legato pastoral style to a much more disjointed floor-plan.
This is a symphony of micro-episodes and the knowing music speaks of
alienation and discontinuity. This is far more barbaric than his earlier
creations and may be likened to Malcolm Arnold (symphonies 7 and 9)
in sour and dismal prophecy. Even the final lento leading into
allegro is mildewed, barkbrod and haughty. The violin solo at
7.20 sings the lullaby of the bereft rather than of contentment.
Essential notes supplied by Ivan Marton.
This is the fourth issue in the Marco Polo series of
the twelve Moyzes symphonies. Not the place to start your Moyzes Odyssey
but a tidy way of showing Moyzes' migration from pastoral perfection
to the acrid tragedy of an uncaring century.
Earlier issues in this series. Each has been reviewed
for this site:-
Alexander MOYZES Symphonies 1 and 2 Marco Polo
Alexander MOYZES Symphonies 3 and 4 Marco Polo 8.225089
Alexander MOYZES Symphonies 5 and 6 Marco Polo 8.225090
Alexander Moyzes Symphonies 9 and 10 Marco Polo 8.225092