Bohuslav Martinů's correspondence to his family in Polička is out now

The first part of the correspondence by Bohuslav Martinů to his family in Polička is presented in a new Czech-English book prepared by Jaromír Synek and Gabriela Všetičková. The monograph “Dear all I. Bohuslav Martinůs letters to his family in Polička until 1931” is published by the Palacký University Olomouc.

The monograph is the first volume in a new series that will encompass the correspondence of the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů with his family in Polička. This volume contains 61 of the oldest items of correspondence (letters, postcards, and one telegram) from the time of his studies at the Prague Conservatoire in 1906–1910 until the end of 1931. The correspondence is one-sided as only letters sent by Bohuslav Martinů to his family were preserved; the composer did not keep the letters he received from his family due to the large volume of his correspondence overall. Even so, these documents are unique and authentic expressions, in which Martinů remarks on both his personal and his professional life – with the aim to share his news, intentions, and opinions firstly with his closest relatives but secondly also, through them, to a broader circle of his friends in Polička and Czechoslovakia.

The Czech version provides an exact diplomatic transcription of Martinů’s manuscript letters, that is, in a form as true to the original as possible; the publication also contains facsimiles of the correspondence. Comprehensive annotations aim to place information within the letters into their historical context on the basis of contemporary sources, related correspondence, current research, and fieldwork. The Czech-English format of the publication offers foreign researchers and readers equal access to these documents.

The book is available here.