Zdeněk Liška

Zdeněk Liška (16 March 1922 – 13 August 1983) was a Czech composer who produced a large number of film scores across a prolific career that started in the 1950s. He was revelatory in his contribution to the development of electronic music. His music in this field is noticeable and dramatic, based on a unique musical feeling achieved using quite unusual instrumental combinations and various electronic and electroacoustic techniques.

BiographyEdit

Zdeněk Liška was born on 16 March 1922 in Smečno near Kladno in central Bohemia.[1] His father and grandfather were amateur municipal musicians. As a child he learned to play the accordion and the violin; while in high school, he composed his first song.[2]

He studied composition and conducting at Prague Conservatory under Rudolf Karel, Otakar Šín, Metod Doležil, and Karel Janeček. He graduated from the Conservatory in 1944.[2] After a brief stint as a conductor of an amateur orchestra in Slaný and as a teacher at a Humpolec music school, he joined the Zlín Film Studios in 1945.[2]

WorksEdit

Liška worked notably with animator Jan Švankmajer, scoring several of his earlier short films: Punch and Judy (1966), Et Cetera (1966), Historia Naturae (Suita) (1967), The Flat (1968), Don Juan (1969), The Ossuary (1970), Jabberwocky (1971), and Leonardo's Diary (1972), and later The Castle of Otranto (1979). Liška's music for Švankmajer's Historia Naturae (Suita), The Flat, and The Ossuary was also featured in the 1984 short film by American animators the Brothers Quay entitled The Cabinet of Jan Švankmajer.

He also created a great number of iconic scores for important live-action films of the Czech New Wave including The Shop on Main Street, Marketa Lazarová, The Valley of the Bees, Fruit of Paradise and Ikarie XB-1.

In addition to his feature-film work, Liška wrote music for the travel documentary films of Hanzelka and Zikmund, for Laterna Magika, for twelve of Karel Zeman's Mr. Prokouk films, and for various popular science short films.[1] The main theme he wrote for the heavily propagandist television series Thirty Cases of Major Zeman is still widely remembered in the Czech Republic, where it is often played by rock bands.[3]

In the mid-twentieth century, he was among the most well-known Czech film composers[1] and the foremost Czech composer of fantasy film scores.[4] He was noted for his skill with musical characterizations and humor in music, as well as his creative use of electronic music techniques.[1] His score for Death Is Called Engelchen won a prize in a competition for the best Czechoslovak feature-length film score of 1963.[1]

Selected filmographyEdit

Year Film
1950 Pára nad hrncem
1952 Poklad Ptačího ostrova
1953 Z Argentiny do Mexika
Afrika I, II
1956 Míček Flíček
1957 Tam na konečné
Nové světy - selection of archive music
1958 Vynález zkázy
Muž mnoha tváří
1959 Probuzení
1960 Higher Principle
The White Dove
Laterna magika II.
1961 The Fabulous Baron Munchausen
The Devil's Trap
Labyrint srdce
Spadla s měsíce
1962 Půlnoční mše
1963 Cesta hlubokým lesem
Tři zlaté vlasy děda Vševěda
Ikarie XB-1
Death Is Called Engelchen
1964 Čintamani a podvodník
Obžalovaný
Jak dělat podobiznu ptáka
1965 The Shop on Main Street
Sběrné surovosti
1966 Poklad byzantského kupce
Lidé z maringotek
Anděl blažené smrti
1967 Údolí včel
Zmluva s diablom
Útěk
Marketa Lazarová
1968 The Cremator
Maratón
Spravedlnost pro Selvina (TV)
The Sinful People of Prague (TV series)
1969 Adelheid
Birds, Orphans and Fools
Touha zvaná Anada
Ovoce stromů rajských jíme
1970 Partie krásného dragouna
Medená veža
1971 Smrt černého krále
Pěnička a Paraplíčko
Orlie pierko
1972 Vlak do stanice Nebe
Ukradená bitva
1973 The Legend of the Silver Fir
Hriech Kataríny Padychovej
1974 Kto odchádza v daždi
Poslední ples na rožnovské plovárně
Jáchyme, hoď ho do stroje!
1975 Tak láska začíná
Nevěsta s nejkrásnějšíma očima
1976 Smoke on the Potato Fields
Smrt mouchy
Odysseus a hvězdy
1977 Volání rodu
Na Veliké řece
Osada Havranů
Shadows of a Hot Summer
Příběh lásky a cti
Hodina pravdy
1978 Silnější než strach
Čekání na déšť
Setkání v červenci
1979 A poběžím až na kraj světa
Smrť šitá na mieru
1980 Signum laudis
1981 Kam zmizel kurýr

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Gardavský, Čeněk (1965), Contemporary Czechoslovak Composers, Prague: Panton, pp. 280–281
  2. ^ a b c Maryáš, Jaroslav (2009), Zdeněk Liška a jeho hudba ve filmu Karla Zemana Vynález zkázy (PDF) (dissertation), Brno: Masaryk University, pp. 11–14, retrieved 4 June 2014
  3. ^ Richter, Jan (14 April 2011), "The film score genius Zdeněk Liška", Radio Prague, retrieved 23 June 2014
  4. ^ Larson, Randall D. (1985), Musique Fantastique: A Survey of Film Music in the Fantastic Cinema, Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, p. 216

External linksEdit