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End of the 61st Season. Polina Osetinskaya and Matthew Barley Appear with the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra
The end of the season is approaching and the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra has only two subscription programmes to present. The first of these will be Views of the Past by the former child prodigy Polina Osetinskaya, and after that the Season Soloist with British classics, in which this year’s season soloist, Matthew Barley, will perform.
Melodies interwoven with the poetry of Jewish poets from the interwar a war periods in the spaces of Interiér NEST. The works of the Brno native Pavel Haas, Viktor Ullman, Hans Krása and Gideon Klein will be heard. Part of the musical-commemorative programme will be the world premiere of the composition Mea Culpa by Jiří Miroslav Procházka. The programme is loosely based on the idea of the Year of Reconciliation from 2015.
The Brno group Anatoli focuses on the interpretation of Greek traditional music and the genre of rebetiko. The group has been playing for more than five years, and during that time a number of musicians of a wide variety of nationalities have passed through its ranks while its core has always been made up of Brno Greeks. The new album in the Stará Pekárna club.
The Brno singer and author Jana Jun Šrámková claims that the name of their new album Ve vlasech (In Hair) has nothing to do with her profession of hairdressing. And it is true that more than scissors or curling tongs in this case hair is linked to the wind, which is penetrating and was already blowing on Jana’s previous album Nahá (Naked). However in the lyrics of the new disc it is water rather than wind that is the important constant. In individual songs rapids, paddles, boats and the ocean appear. But that is not the most important information. Although words are important in Jana’s compositions, the new album continues in the line established by the previous discs Intimně (2010) and Nahá (2014). Above the story is feelings, drawing with syllables, misty scenery, sketched with voices and coloured in by other instruments.
The retro comedy musical Viki kráčí za štěstím (which might be translated as Viki Seeks Her Fortune), premiered in the Brno Municipal Theatre, in many ways represents a journey back in time. He audience returns to the work of Milan Uhde and Miloš Štědroň, which has now been supplemented by the work of the composer Karel Cón. On the surface it is an excursion into a true story which took place at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s, or the era of the swinging music of the sweet sixties. The same creative team led by director Juraj Nvota that was introduced five years ago on the same stage with the romantic musical Divá Bara now parades in front of the audience again.
The Jazzfest festival is coming to an end and after refreshment from the Czech and European scene came the genuine, almost classic American blues. The seventy-two-year-old giant Steve Gadd came to Brno with the guitarist Michael Landau, bass guitarist Jimmy Johnson, trumpeter Walt Fowler and on the piano and Fender Rhodes was Kevin Hayes.
The parade of European and world saxophonists at this year's Jazzfest Brno festival stylishly concluded with virtuoso technique and inventiveness linking the various branches of jazz - the respected Austrian sideman and soloist Harald Harry Sokal with his Groove trio and the New York legend Chris Potter, who led his Quartet on the stage of the Sono Centre with his latest project - the album The Dreamer Is The Dream.
As happened last year, this year’s Easter Festival of Religious Music, with the subtitle of ‘Witness’, ended with the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno. The Church of St. John on Minoritská street resounded to a work that was very close to the main theme of the festival – the story of Paul of Tarsus in the shape of Mendelssohn’s oratorio St. Paul.
In the week before Easter JazzFest entered its second half. Another series of concerts linking various forms of jazz from traditional through jazz-rock to funk begun with an evening of Brno and Prague jazz legends in CED Husa na provázku and followed by a double concert of the Jiří Šimek guitar trio and the stellar Poogie Bell Band with their unmistakeable (and resounding) frontman on his drum kit.