Resources for Loss

Cello Sonata No. 2, H. 286, III by Bohuslav Martinû, contributed by Anthony Choi (2021)

Martinû wrote this sonata in 1941, right after fleeing Paris because of the Nazi invasion. However, his true home was Policka, Czech Republic, where he could not return due to his ties with the Czech resistance. He moved to New York, in the U.S., where he stayed until 1953.

Right from the start, the movement is full of conflict and energy. It tears between major, minor, and modal keys extremely quickly, almost as though the music is conveying a flurry of emotions all at once, making it impossible to identify just one. However, the cellist eventually begins a melody (at 0:31) that sounds very much like a folk song, which is very representative of Martinû's Czech roots. I believe he works these tunes into his piece as a protest: no matter what happens, his home will live on through his music. I believe this is a powerful realization, and might even be an important message for others who are moving forward after a loss of home.

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