Leoš Janáček: Background information when reading 1Q84

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  • First Published:
    Oct 2011, 944 pages
    Jan 2013, 1184 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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Beyond the Book:
Leoš Janáček

Most of Haruki Murakami's novels reference Western music, and 1Q84 is no exception. Czech composer Leoš Janáček's symphonic poem Sinfonietta features prominently throughout.

Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) was born in Hukvaldy, Moravia, in what was once known as the Austrian Empire. He is considered one of the early Czech nationalist composers, following in the footsteps of Bedřich Smetana and Antonin Dvořák (with whom he was close friends).

Leos JanacekMost of his work has its roots in Slavic folk music, although his style is celebrated as highly original. His first compositions were choral, and he is known primarily for his vocal works, including nine operas. Jenůfa (1904), his most celebrated opus, is often referred to as the "Moravian national opera."

Although he produced significant works in his 20s, Janáček's music wasn't accepted by the critics (or the public) until he was in his 50s, when performances of Jenůfa ...

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