symfonická báseň podle Jaroslava Vrchlického
řada D / svazek 8
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Not for the first time, Janáček found inspiration in the poetry of Jaroslav Vrchlický (1853–1912). This time it was the Balada blanická (The Ballad of Blaník), part of the collection Selské balady (Peasant Ballads) from 1885. And in this case as with many times before in the history of music, Janáček’s work is part of a longer chain of impulses – the poet himself explained the birth of his collection as being inspired by Josef Svátek’s study Selské vzpoury v Čechách (Peasant Uprisings in Bohemia), but he reserved himself some leeway in recounting the historical events. This poetic license is especially evident in this instance, that is, the legend of the Knights of Blaník.
The central motif – an army of knights long asleep under the mountain bring salvation in the darkest hour – is found in many forms in various cultures and periods of history. One of the most well-known and evidently the oldest versions is the legend of King Arthur. In Czech cultural history the story is linked with Blaník Mountain (638m), which stands between Benešov and Vlašim, and has been shaped by various political and social factors, often contradictory ones.
The Ballad of Blaník (introduction)
On Good Friday when the Passion is said
the mountain Blaník gapes open every year.
Woe, woe unto those who stray there
He who does must wait one full year
and those are lucky, who when the time is ended
if they do not miss the terrible hour
when again in sorrow the Passion is said
and Blaník opens wide on Good Friday.
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