On 16th January 2018, Supraphon will release an album called Hunting
Music of Old Czech Masters.
Hunting music is perhaps the best-known and most widespread genre that
resulted from the elevation of the “utility” application of melodised sound.
Signal hunting instruments had emerged by the early Middle Ages and for
centuries the hunting ritual served to inspire all kinds of works of art. The
most typical hunting-related signal instrument is the horn, one of the true
icons of the chase, emitting a lofty soft sound.
All the three composers presented – Jiří Družecký, Jan Nepomuk
Vent and Pavel Vranický – are representatives of high Classicism.
They also ranked among the “Czech music émigrés”, yet their lives clearly
reveal just how inappropriate this rather tendentious term is. Admittedly,
during the 18th century too people used to leave Bohemia and Moravia for
political and economic reasons. Yet these departures need not be accentuated and
interpreted in “national” terms, and, after all, the word “departure”
should be reconsidered too. When it comes to the three composers, they actually
made use of the opportunity to hold lucrative posts in the imperial capital, and
thus they did not even have to cross a border.
Collegium Musicum Pragensae, Prague Symphony Orchestra, conducted by