The work of the Slovak composer, organist, pianist, teacher and priest Ján Levoslav Bella (1843–1936) is not only one of the many manifestations of mature Romanticism in music, melding contrasting elements of the musical idiom of his time into an artistically integral vision of appreciable worth, but in terms of modern history constitutes also one of the essential pillars of Slovak musical culture. If, in the course of a rich and eventful life, it was in churches and schools in the Habsburg Empire that Bella was most engaged, his dreams were of concert halls and opera houses, venues to which his works won only sporadic and difficult entrée. But a man is defined as much by his dreams as by his daily work, and thus Bella’s oeuvre covers the whole gamut of Romantic forms and genres. In the catalogue of his output music for the church stands alongside that for the opera house, works for the salon alongside those for student performers, music for the most accomplished virtuosi and the best ensembles alongside music written for children and amateur orchestras.
The endeavour of this complete edition of the work of Ján Levoslav Bella is to make his bequest available to the widest possible community of music lovers and thus supply one of the lacunae in the musical map of central Europe and in modern Slovak history.
Currently, the Complete Works of Ján Levoslav Bella comprises the following volumes:
Jaroslav and Laura (opera fragment)Updated: 12. 09. 2017