Karel Bendl - Encyclopedia

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KAREL BENDL or Karl, (1838-1897), Bohemian composer, was born on the 16th of April 1838 at Prague. He studied at the organ school, and in 1858 had already composed a number of small choral works. In 1861 his Poletuje holubice won a prize and at once became a favourite with the local choral societies. In 1864 Bendl went to Brussels, where for a short time he held the post of second conductor of the opera. After visiting Amsterdam and Paris he returned to Prague. Here in 1865 he was appointed conductor of the choral society known as Hlahoe, and he held the post until 1879, when Baron Dervies engaged his services for his private band. Benda's first opera Lejla was successfully produced in 1868. It was followed by Bretislav a Jitka (1870), Stary Zenich, a comic opera (1883), Karel Skreta (1883), Dite Tabora, a prize opera (1892), and Matki Mila (1891). Other operas by Bendl are Indicka princezna, Cernohorci, a prize opera, and the two operas Carovny Kvet and Gina. His ballad Svanda dudak acquired much popularity; he published a mass in D minor for male voices and another mass for a mixed choir; two songs to Ave Maria; a violin sonata and a string quartet in F; and a quantity of songs and choruses, many of which have come to be regarded as national possessions of Bohemia. Bendl died on the 20th of September 1897 at Prague.

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