Music of Karel Husa
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR592     Release Date: 2007-01-01
Foerster Woodwind Quintet; Prague Symphony Orchestra; Stockholm Radio Symphony Orchestra; Karel Husa, Conductor; Western Brass Quintet: Donald Bullock, trumpet; Stephen Jones, trumpet; Connie Klausmeier, horn; Russell Brown, trombone; Robert Whaley, tuba

Karel Husa’s triumphant return to his native Czechoslovakia in February 1990 to conduct the orchestra version of his Music for Prague, was the culmination of a distinguished career as an American-based composer of international reputation. Though it had been forty-four years since he left his homeland, Husa’s prodigious musical output since then has been infused by his ties, both spiritual and political, to Czechoslovakia. No work shows greater evidence of this than Music for Prague (1968) a distressing but ultimately hopeful memorial to the city’s Russian invasion. It was originally scored for wind band and is perhaps Husa’s most popular work. Humanitarian themes play an important role in other major Husa works including Apotheosis of This Earth (1970), An American Te Deum (1976) both for chorus and wind ensemble, and the ballet The Trojan Women (1980).

Born in Prague, in 1921, Husa studied music at the Prague Conservatory and Academy where his first composition teacher was Jaroslav Ridky. He left Czechoslovakia in 1946 on a scholarship from the French government to study in Paris where he remained until 1954. While in Paris, Husa studied composition with Boulanger and Honegger, and conducting with Eugène Bigot, Jean Fournet, and André Cluytens. Among the notable works of this period were his first two string quartets dating from 1948 and 1953 respectively. (His String Quartet No. 3 earned him the Pulitzer Prize in 1969.)

Though the Academy of Musical Arts in Prague awarded Husa his doctorate in 1947 while he was in Paris, the demands of his burgeoning career and the continual political upheavals in Czechoslovakia resulted in his prolonged state as an expatriate. Husa left Paris in 1954 to accept a faculty position at Cornell University.

Upon his arrival back in Prague in 1990 in an interview for the newsletter Music News from Prague, Husa commented on being an American citizen with Czech roots: “I belong to Czechoslovakia and to America. This double allegiance is in me and it will always be that way.” As the compositions on this disc display, Husa’s unique double allegiance is surely in his music as well.


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

Various Artists

Music of Karel Husa

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

Symphony No. 1: I. Allegro misterioso - Allegro assai
Karel Husa
Buy
Symphony No. 1: II. Grave attacca; III. Poco piu no, Con Moto, Maestoso
Karel Husa
Buy
Serenade: I. The Mountain
Karel Husa
Buy
Serenade: II. The Night
Karel Husa
Buy
Serenade: III. The Dance
Karel Husa
Buy
Landscapes: I. Northern Woods
Karel Husa
Buy
Landscapes: II. Northern Lakes
Karel Husa
Buy
Landscapes: III. Voyageurs
Karel Husa
Buy
Mosaïques
Karel Husa
Buy