George Fiala – Chamber Music for Five Wind Instruments – Toronto Woodwind Ensemble – 1966 – CBC Radio –
Back up to Canada this weekend for a performance by the Toronto Wind Ensemble in this 1966 CBC Radio recording of Chamber Music For Five Wind Instruments by the Ukraine/Canadian Composer George Fiala.
To quote the Canadian Encyclopedia:
George (Joseph) Fiala, composer, pianist, organist, producer (born 31 March 1922 in Kiev, Ukraine; died 6 January 2017 in Montréal, QC). Naturalized Canadian 1955; D MUS musicology (Akademische Hochschule für Musik, Berlin) 1945. Both his parents were pianists, and he began studying the piano at seven. In 1934 he took piano lessons from K. Mikhailoff and began learning theory and composition. A mazurka he composed was selected in 1935 for a collection of pieces by children published in Moscow. At the Tchaikovsky Cons in Kiev he studied 1939-41 under the Ukrainian composers Groudine, Lev Revutsky, Boris Liatoshynsky, and Andrew Olkhovsky. He was able to exchange ideas with Prokofiev, Shostakovitch, and Khatchaturian when they conducted their works in Kiev, and these meetings influenced his artistic development.
Fiala’s activities were interrupted by the German occupation during World War II. He went to Berlin where under difficult circumstances he continued his studies in composition with Hansmaria Dombrowski, a pupil of Pfitzner, and took courses in conducting with Wilhelm Furtwängler. His doctoral thesis dealt with the problems of symphonic composition in Soviet Russia.
When the war ended Fiala settled in Belgium and studied with the composer Léon Jongen, director of the Brussels Cons. A scholarship from the Vatican in 1946 enabled him to concentrate exclusively on composition for three years. He produced about 40 works, including his Symphony No. 2 and his Piano Concerto No. 3. During his years in Belgium he took part as a composer, pianist, and conductor in the Séminaire des arts directed by André Souris in Brussels and thus came into contact with the new Parisian school represented mainly by Boulez, Nigg, and Leibowitz.
Fiala emigrated to Canada in 1949 and settled in Montreal where he remained except for 1959-60 which he spent in Sydney, Australia. In addition to his activities as composer, pianist, organist, and teacher, he also produced programs 1967-87 for the Russian section of RCI.
Fiala composed over 200 works of which about 15 have been published. His numerous commissions were from, among others, the MACQ (Montreal), the Guelph Spring Festival (Sinfonietta concertata, premiered by Joseph Macerollo with Kelsey Jones and the McGill Chamber Orchestra in 1972), the Canada Council and the Ukrainian Committee of Canada (Concerto for violin, premiered by Steven Staryk and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in 1974), the CBC (Symphony No. 4, the ‘Ukrainian’), the Ukrainian National Association of the US (Festive Overture premiered in 1984 at Carnegie Hall in New York by the American SO under Wolodymyr Kolesnyk), the Alberta Ukrainian Commemorative Society (The Kurelek Suite premiered in 1985 by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and Concerto Cantata premiered in 1987 by Christina Petrowska), Edmonton’s St Basil Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral (The Millennium Liturgy premiered in 1987 by the cathedral choir under Elizabeth Anderson), and the Montreal International Competition (Capriccio and Musique Concertante).
So now you know. To familiarize yourself, hit the play button, get comfy and have a listen.
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