The Bärenreiter Praha publishing house has been putting together its Complete Critical Edition of Works by Miloslav Kabelác (1908 - 1979) since 1999. To mark the 100th anniversary of the composer's birth, two titles have been published, now established repertoire works both in the Czech Republic and chiefly abroad, which will complete the 4th series of the critical edition - Eight Inventions for Percussion Instruments and Otto ricercari for Percussion Instruments.
The cycle Eight Inventions, one of Kabelác's most famous works, was written in 1962 for the French ensemble Les Percussions de Strasbourg. The inventions were sometimes combined with a ballet performance, which was the case for the Strasbourg premiere. However, Kabelác clearly favoured a purely instrumental, concert performance of the work, which was subsequently undertaken by numerous ensembles, presently including the Prague Percussion Ensemble and another Czech ensemble, Dama-Dama.
The piece was written for six players and a large group of percussion instruments - the instruments required vary from one movement to the next. Here, Kabelác uses new proportional notation in a form which is essentially his own invention. The eight parts treat different intellectual, formal, sound and rhythmic-metric issues; the cycle as a whole reflects musical inspiration from outside Europe.
For the sake of clarity, the inventions are always performed from the score. Its new critical edition, with detailed commentary from the editor, corresponds to the autograph with the exception of isolated minor deviations which the composer wrote into the score for the Panton edition (1966, 2nd edition, 1971) after the work's premiere.