The composer and conductor Jaroslav Krcek studied at the Bohuslav Jeremias School of Music in Ceske Budejovice, and then he enterd the State Conservatoire in Prague where he studied composition with Miloslav Kabelac and conducting with Bohumir Liska (completed in 1962). Jaroslav Krcek began his professional career as music editor of the Czechoslovak Radio in Pilsen, after that he was employed as music director at the Supraphon recording company. Since 1973 he has devoted himself exclusively to composing and performing. He is a co-founder of the innovative Chorea Bohemica ensemble (1967), later he became an artistic leader of the ensemble Musica Bohemica (1975). As an acknowledged composer and performing artist, Krcek is known to collaborate with other ensembles (Capella Istropolitana), with prominent Prague theatres and with recording companies both in Czechoslovakia and abroad.
The stylistic clarity of Krcek' s music proceeds from the synthesis of the following sources: First of all he was interested in folk music of the 18th and 19th centuries. He is the author of several hundred of folksongs' and folk dances' arrangements, some of which have been awarded prizes in the international radio competition (Prix de musique folklorique de Radio Bratislava). Another significant source of inspiration was for him the early Czech music (the medieval and Renaissance sources, 16th century hymn books and baroque music as a whole). He has also reconstructed or newly designed many old musical instruments which add specific sounds to his compositions. In the sixties he became well acquainted with the then currents in contemporary music, and thanks to his teacher, Miloslav Kabelac, Krcek has acquired a profound knowledge of the structure and inner logic of musical work as a prerequisite for mastering various compositional techniques.
It is at the intersection of these three sources (early music, folk music of Bohemia and Moravia, the "New Music") where one can find the key to comprehending the wide spectrum of musical genres which is characteristic for Jaroslsav Krcek's output. In terms of its developmental process, his work resembles a pyramid, with the lines of folk and ancient music as well as that of the composer' s own experiments converging towards the top. In this sense, the historical background of his music tends to disappear, while experiments cease to be mere experiments. What remains is lively music. In the 1960s and early 1970s Krcek's musical interests seemed to be branching off into many directions. Since the second half of the 1970s, however, he has been gravitating towards more compact and meditative positions. In his later works, he tends to set ancient, or historical texts to music more frequently, e.g. in recent years there were several premieres of Jaroslav Krcek's works inspired by highly philosophical or sacred texts (e.g. his Symphony No 4 'Desiderata', which was premiered at the 'Prague Premieres 2005', or his sacred opera Bread out of Stones a. o.).
Piano Quartet, for two violins, viola and piano (1965), CRo Pilsen 15'
Music for Viola and Piano (1968) 10'
Music for Viola, Bassoon and Piano (1977), CHF 12'
Suita semplice, for flute, piccolo, oboe, Es clarinet, bassoon, solo voice without text, two violins, viola, violoncello, double bass, harp and tarrogato (1979), r SU 23'
Music for Trio - oboe, clarinet, bassoon, (1985) 10'
Baroque Suite for Oboe, Violin, Violoncello, Double-bass and Harpsichord (1989) 10'
Musica per Musica Bohemica, for chamber ensemble (1990)9'
Four Renaissance Miniatures for flute, clarinet and piano /also a version for flute, violin, violoncello and piano/ (1996)
Trio for oboe, violoncello and piano (1998) 10'
Four Miniatures for guitar, oboe, flute and violoncello (2003)
Orchestral and Vocal-Orchestral Compositions
Three Dance Etudes, for large orchestra (1961) 9'
Three Jazz Etudes for large orchestra (1962) 10'
Fanfares for Wind Orchestra (1965) 3'
Variations for Symphony Orchestra (1965), CR Plzen 14'
Hussar Ballad for Orchestra (1967), CR Plzen 16'
Music for Orchestra (1970), CR Praha 18'
Symphony No 1 (1974), o SU 23'
Ad Radicibus. Suite for symphony orchestra to the motives of the oldest Czech songs (1982) 25'
Symphony No 2 for tenor, mixed choir and symphony orchestra on Latin version of ancient Coptic manuscripts (1983, chamber version 1985), CD PA 28'
Three Dances in an Ancient Style for String Orchestra and Percussion Instruments (1983), Pa 15'
Aria for String Orchestra (1986) 4'
Symphony No. 3 "Jan Amos", for orchestra, reciter and mixed choir, text by J. A. Komensky and Zd. Barborka (1990) 90'
Symphony No. 4 "Desiderata" (The Wisdom of Life) for mezzosoprano and chamber orchestra, based on anonymous English texts from 17th century (2000), CD ArcoDiva 23'
Symphony No. 5 "Renaissance" for symphony orchestra (2007)
Lento and Allegro. Concerto grosso for two flutes and strings (1961) 12'
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1979), CHF, o Su 15'
Concerto for Oboe, Harp and Chamber Orchestra (1980), o Su 10'
Cantatas and Melodramas
Snowdrifts. Composition for a reciter, flute, violin, piano and chamber orchestra, text by Jindrich Pecka (1961), CR Plzen 13'
Specta et audi. Composition for alto, girls choir and orchestra to words by Sappho and Zd. Barborka (1967), CR Plzen 13'
Conversations with Time. A concerto for two voices and five instruments, text by J. Pecka (1977), CR Plzen 70'
Let's Rejoice, Let's Be Merry. Czech year in the poetry of folk nursery rhymes and songs for soli, choir and chamber orchestra (1979), CR Praha,o SU 46'
Testamenti. A vocal-instrumental suite to words from Latin sentences for soprano, tenor and chamber orchestra (1984), CD PA 17'
O lux mundi. Cantata for tenor solo, female choir and two chamber ensembles to words by Jan Amos Komensky, Comenius (1985), o Su 15'
Ballads for Soli, Mixed Choir and Chamber Orchestra (1986) 60'
Ne tempori crederis. Cantata for chamber mixed choir and orchestra on statements by Greek sages in the Latin translation by Erasmus of Rotterdam (1986) 16'
Christmas Mass, for Soli, Choir and chamber orchestra (1990), CD PA 23'
Czech Mass, for Soli, Choir and chamber orchestra (1991) 20'
Mass No 4 "Latin" for orchestra, mixed choir and solo soprano (1996)
Folk Christmas Mass [Mass No 6] for soprano, tenor, choir and chamber orchestra (2001) 21'
Variations on a Single Word for Mixed Choir (1961) 4'
Nightingales and a Drummer. Composition on folk poetry for mixed choir and percussion instruments (1968) 10'
Songs with the vozembouch or Variation on the theme of the song "I Am a Squire" for children' s choir and vozembouch /a staff topped with a bow hung with rattles/ (1968), Su 8'
Babble for Children's Choir, Flute, Vibraphone and Percussion Instruments (1971) 9'
Nursery Rhymes for Children s Choir, Viola, Harp, Strings, Bagpipes and Percussion Instruments (1975) 5'
Hey, My Dear. A suite on folk poetry for children's choir and piano (1986) 10'
Guess, Just Guess. A suite for children's choir and chamber orchestra, text by J. Pecka (1986) 8'
Chamber Vocal Compositions
Dandlings. A suite for soprano, girls choir and chamber ensemble, text by J. Pecka (1960), CR Plzen 12'
Spring Rains. Five songs for baritone and chamber ensemble, text by J. Pecka (1961), CR Plzen 10'
Songs about the War I, for solo singing and chamber ensemble [flute, piccolo, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, percussion instruments, harp, two violins, double-bass and tarrogato], (1966), r Su 12'
Amore. Four pieces for flute, soprano and harp, without text (1967) 3'
Concerto e gioco, for viola, harp, clarinet and soprano, without text (1968), o SU 10'
Nightingale Sonatas Which Are Used by That Bird in Its Song. Composition for soprano, flute and harp to baroque text by Jan Korinek (1975) 7'
Songs about the War II, for solo singing and chamber ensemble (1975), r Su 13'
Ten Folk Songs, for Voices and Piano (1976), Su 20'
Maiestas Carolina. A cycle of songs commemorating Charles IV on texts by J. Pecka (1977) 17'
Over the Cradle. Three lullabies for soprano and chamber ensemble, text by J. Pecka (1986) 6'
Three Songs of Love for Tenor and Chamber Ensemble on a Biblical Text (1986), CD PA 8'
Works for Stage
Raab the Harlot. An electronic opera on a libretto by Zdenek Barborka (1971), CR Plzen, o Pa 54'
Students Vigils. A dance fresco on motives from medieval students poetry. Libretto by Alena Skalova, text arrangements by J. Pecka (1979) 20'
A Ship of Fools. A suite for the stage on motives from a book of the same name by Sebastian Brant, written in 1949. Libretto by Alena Skalova (1984) 25'
Bread out of Stones. A sacral opera for symphony orchestra, mixed choir, tenor and mezzosoprano to the libretto of composer (2003), CD ArcoDiva 37'
In The Shadow of Cross. A chamber opera in two acts to the libretto of Josef Novotny (2005)
The Romance of Jecminek. The whole-evening ballet for large symphony orchestra. Libretto: V. Nezval - Jindrich Pecka (2004)