Slovak Composers After 1900

Zuzana Martináková
Marek Piaček (born 1972) studied flute with Dagmar Zsapková at Conservatory, composition privately with Ladislav Burlas, at VŠMU with Ilja Zeljenka (1989–1994), later electro-acoustic music in the Experimental Studio of the Slovak Radio, privately with Juraj Ďuriš. In 1990 and 1991 he attended compositional seminars in Boswill (Switzerland) and in 1993 a summer semester at the Trent University in Nottingham. In the first compositional attempts he was inspired by the classics of the 20th century music, later he found his own expression, which is hardly subsumable in one of the defined styles and which belongs more to the unconventional kind of music. His creation reflects a great knowledge of various styles of the 20th century music, older European periods and contemporary philosophical currents. He has formed the opinion that the result of the compositional process is more important than the originality of the musical material. He has realized that the contemporary world tends to recycle used materials and also the musical material can be recycled in a similar way. Piaček’s compositions are like collages of various allusions on banalities in music, quotations of various styles and historical periods being put together in an unconventional way. He says that he “remakes” or “re-composes” the music, which is around us (to this music belongs also the music of the past and at the same time of the present). The originality of materials and personality of composers have lost the sense and it is necessary “to overcome the institution of the composer”.(1) Piaček’s creations reflect the playfulness, pleasure from making music and also the sense of humour, which represents for him the only possibility how to see a problem more complex and from the distance. Selection of works: Dancing Penguin for vibraphone and piano (1991), Melodies and Rhythms for Shoko and Hidemi for clarinet and piano (1991), Speranza angelica – music for flute and piano (1993), Franzl for chamber ensemble (1993), Corrado for chamber ensemble (1993), C'era una volta... – an absurd lesson (1993), !Ahora fuera de burlas! en homenaje a (martin) burlas for chamber ensemble (1994), Die schöne Glenn-Millerin for chamber ensemble (1995), Even More Magic Moments for wind trio (1995), Učiteľka očami detí (Teacher as Seen By Children, 1995), Johann! for violin, violoncello and accordion (1996), Mladý bratislavský sólista (Young Bratislava Soloist) for violin solo (1996), Piekną miałaś twarz ale już nie masz (You Had a Lovely Face, But Now It’s Lost its Grace) for accordion solo (1997), Happy Mainstream for recorder and French horn (1997), Na kamennom námestí (On the Rocky Square) for chamber ensemble (1997), A csapláros kislánya for violin and piano (1997), Suita alla (požoň) for chamber ensemble (1998), Jar prišla (Spring Has Come) for double bass and piano/accordion (1998), Suite in the Manner of Požoň for chamber ensemble (1998), Skladateľ, skladateľ, našiel si správny smer (Composer, Composer, You Have Found the Right Way) for violin and piano (1998), Was ich nicht mit meinem Herzen sagen kann for chamber ensemble (1998), symphony Nuntium Magnum (1999), Mild Mind for organ (2000), Escape from Slovakia – Escape from Paradise for flute and accordion (2000), Air Force for tape (2000; the composer says that this composition “is one of remixes or re-compositions: this time it is a remake of the music by J. S. Bach by means of various computer programmes and the Chinese Book of Changes I Ching”2), Kindermusikverein for flute, violin, accordion and piano (2000, inspired by the first volume of Bach’s Tempered Piano and by the theoretic works of H. Werner and F. Jöde), Urban Songs, a song cycle for Požoň Sentimentál (2000, co-author is Egon Bondy). For his electro-acoustic composition Flauto dolce ‘91 (realised in the Experimental Studio of the Slovak Radio in Bratislava with the technical and artistic collaboration of Juraj Ďuriš) Piaček gained the first prize in the Competition of Luigi Russolo in Varese and the honourable mention IREM (International Rostrum of Electro-acoustic Music) in Arhuse in Denmark in 1992. Marek Piaček has also written the opera The Last Flight – 12 Regards on M.R.Š. to the subject of the Slovak national hero general Milan Rastislav Štefánik (2001).

1) Smetanová, O.: Inštitúciu skladateľ je potrebné prekonať. O hudbe, banalitách Požoni a ďalších kontextoch s Markom Piačekom (Institution of Composer is Necessary to Overcome. About Music, Banalities Požoni and other Contexts with Marek Piaček). In: Hudobný život, 1997, No 13-14, 7.
2) In: Programme bulletin Večery novej hudby 2000 (Evenings of New music 2000), 36.