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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » D » Drdla, Franz



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Franz Drdla (11/28/1868 - 9/03/1944)

After completing his formal training, Drdla lived and worked almost exclusively in Vienna, becoming known predominantly as a composer: his works were championed by Jan Kubelík, Marie Hall, Mischa Elman and Joseph Szigeti, amongst others. His compositional style, as with a number of his contemporaries, reflects his middle-European ethnicity in a fusion of rustic Hungarian and Bohemian melodies with the elegance of Western-looking Vienna. His 1923–1925 tour of the USA, however, seemed to result in a fascination with the jazz genre, which he attempted to liken to his own experience of folk music:

‘Folk music of this type (if you want to call the artificialities of jazz folk music) seems to spring into existence after times of great deprivation such as those that accompany great wars. The Waltz, for instance, seemed to spring into international currency just after the French Revolution, as a kind of irrepressible expression of joy and liberty from restriction…At the end of the great war, American ragtime simply went wild and that was jazz. Like many things it proved very infectious and soon the whole world was inoculated. European nations should not condemn American jazz as long as its perpetrators seem to enjoy it even more at times than the native Americans.’

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