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HANS KRÁSA

(* 30.11.1899 Prague + 18.9.1944 Osvětim)


Hans Krása was born in Prague in the Czech-German family. He made his first attempts at composing in his childhood, these compositions however have been lost. His teacher in the Prague Conservatory was Alexander Zemlinsky with whom Krása later moved to the newly established Deutsche Akademie fur Musik und darstellende Kunst. He absorbed much of Prague's cultural ambience and life, dominated to a certain extent by the Mahler cult. Of great importance was the work of Vitězslav Novák. Krása's first major compositions were affected by these basic stylistic influences. He spent successful creative time in Paris and Berlin but Prague seemed to be his strongest support and attraction. He was a repetiteur in the New German Theatre in Prague, associating himself with the German intellectuals and with Czech artists, painters in particular. The 1930s witnessed some of Krása's greatest works for voices and orchestra. Because of Krása's antifascist sentiment was interned in the Teresienstadt ghetto, on August 1942. He used a piano score to write a new instrumentation of the opera for children Brundibar, which had as many as 55 performances there. The success scored by the opera stimulated him to further work. In the midst of omnipresent death Krása wrote his String Trio (Tanz), Passacaglis and Fugue, Three songs for soprano, clarinet, viola and cello. On the night of October 16th 1944 Krása was herded into railway wagon and taken away.

Text: Musica Bona