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Bohuslav Martinů and Lucie Rosen: the Path to Fantasia for Theremin

Bohuslav Martinů and Lucie Rosen in New York.

Although Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů does not enjoy the same fame as other composers of the same period, he certainly has a prominent place in twentieth-century music. He is also well known by theremin enthusiasts thanks to Fantasia for theremin, oboe, piano, and string quartet, the composition commissioned to him in 1944 by Lucie Bigelow Rosen. Let’s try to understand a little more about him and follow the path that led him from a Moravian village to Manhattan, where the fortuitous meeting took place.

Fantasia for Theremin, Oboe, Piano, and String Quartet

Lydia Kavina
Fantasia for Theremin, Oboe, Piano, and String Quartet
Lydia KavinaFantasia for Theremin, Oboe, Piano, and String Quartet
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“Fantasia for theremin, oboe, piano, and string quartet” by Bohuslav Martinů taken from the unpublished VHS cassette by Lydia Kavina “Concerto per Theremin. Live in Italy” (2000).

Theremin – Lydia Kavina
Violin – Roberto Mazzola*
Violin – Angela Ferrando*
Viola – Alessandro Ghè*
Cello – Giulio Glavina*
Oboe – Stefania Tedesco
Piano – Mauro Cavalieri D’Oro
* Columbus Orchestra (Italy)

Lydia Kavina’s Theremin made by Anthony J. Henk (U.K.)

Recorded live in Colletta di Castelbianco (SV), Italy, in 1998.

Solo from RocketShip X-M

Samuel Hoffman
Solo from RocketShip X-M
Samuel HoffmanSolo from RocketShip X-M
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Theremin solo by Samuel Hoffman from the soundtrack of “Rocketship X-M” (1950.)

Shueh-li Ong: Music From Another Land

Shueh-li Ong with her synthesizers, Theremin and Guqin

An interview with polystrumentist, singer and composer Shueh-li Ong. “Music From Another Land” is not the typical “theremin album” you’d expect from musicians like Lydia Kavina, Pamelia Kurstin or Peter Pringle, to name a few. Although there is a good amount of well-played theremin, it just doesn’t play the leading role. In fact, the feeling […]

Serenata (for intonarumori and other instruments)

Luigi Russolo
Serenata (for intonarumori and other instruments)
Luigi RussoloSerenata (for intonarumori and other instruments)
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From a 1924 record. The music was composed by Antonio Russolo, brother of Luigi.

Corale (for intonarumori and other instruments)

Luigi Russolo
Corale (for intonarumori and other instruments)
Luigi RussoloCorale (for intonarumori and other instruments)
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From a 1924 record. The music was composed by Antonio Russolo, brother of Luigi.

Luigi Russolo Exhibition at Mart, Italy

Luigi Russolo at the Russolophone.

An exhibition announced as the “first large-scale anthological of [Luigi] Russolo” is something that a Futurism fanatic and Russolo worshipper like me can’t miss. Moreover, the info page at Mart‘s web site said: Reconstructions of his “Noisemakers” […] will be put on show for the express purpose of enabling the public to interact with them. I […]