Celebration of trombonist Mojda Bártek’s 80th birthday was truly “švarný”

3 May 2022, 2:00
Celebration of trombonist Mojda Bártek’s 80th birthday was truly “švarný”

Brno musicians are talented in various genres, and they’re generally long-lived and vital individuals. This was resoundingly clear during the jubilee celebration of Mojmír Bártek, a teacher, composer, arranger, and above all a virtuoso trombone player. The jubilee concert, dubbed Mojda Bártek 80, was prepared by his friends under the direction of B-Side Band trumpeter and bandleader Josef Buchta. Despite the birthday boy’s open and (sometimes emotional) enjoyment of the two and a half hour program, he still remained an active participant of the entire musical production except for brief moments of rest. He performed as the author of many compositions, but above all as a player, trombone in hand and fully committed.

Even before joining the Sono Centrum, the Brno Conservatory’s Big Band, founded in 2010 and still led by the jubilarian, was used to winning. Bártek and those present in the hall (mostly musicians) were moved by the welcome: the camera followed the celebrant arriving in a limousine and being transported by lift to the stage, where everything was projected on a large horizontal screen. The star of the evening arrived, took a bow, and the whole hall sang him the Czech “Happy Birthday to you, dear Mojdo” in chorus. The red-faced native of Moravian Wallachia spent his childhood and youth in Vsetín, where he graduated from high school. He then moved to Brno to attend the State Conservatory, where he studied his hallmark trombone (1963-1967). Already during his studies, he was active in the orchestra of Mirko Foret, and before graduation he was offered a position in the Gustav Brom Orchestra, where he became a principal player and remained for 42 years (1967-2009). This brief biography was accompanied by photographic documentation and projected on the screen behind the stage (Mojda with his trombone, but also Mojda at the cottage, on skis, playing tennis, etc.), together with individual pieces of the evening’s first musical formation – Bártek’s tribal Trombone Summit. A four-piece trombone band, backed by a three-piece rhythm section (keyboard, bass, and drums played by the family tradition successor, his son Ctibor Bártek), played four of Mojda’s compositions: V zatáčce, Chalupářský valčík, Talíř cukroví, and Který to víc roztočí.

mojda_bartek_foto_TINO_03

A recorded greeting from Mojda’s friend Helena Vondráčková brought a bit of outside perspective to the evening; Helena sincerely regretted the clash of the concert date with her concert tour and sang him a “Happy Birthday to You”. This was followed by a performance of The Young Pekáč, which Bártek founded in 1989 originally as a student combo at the Folk School of Art in Modřice. It has gradually developed into a band which brings together students (and graduates) of various musical and non-musical disciplines of Brno secondary schools and universities with a taste for jazz, swing, and other related genres. There were several instrumentals and two sung compositions: Contact, the bossa nova PeLaBa, Basin Street Blues performed by Miriam Kalichová, Ježek’s song Život je jen náhoda performed by Hedvika Šlápotová, and finally an instrumental tribute to the Wallachian queen of folk singing Jarmila Šuláková A vy pání muzikanti, during which the birthday boy played the bass grand piano.

mojda_bartek_foto_TINO_02

The subsequent intermission, originally intended for the reconstruction of the stage for the production of the Gustav Brom Radio Big Band, was prolonged for almost an hour due to electrical problems, and even then the problem could not be solved. The second half of the concert took place in a merciful twilight, with only the orchestral players’ music stands being illuminated, and the audience missed out on a dramaturgically composed sequence of historical video recordings intended for screening between each live number of the program. When the theme song of the Gustav Brom Orchestra, now the Gustav Brom Radio Big Band conducted by Vlado Valovič, was played, however, the audience perked up and settled down in anticipation of the next program. With a few exceptions, it had been prepared as a tribute to the “golden generation” of musicians of the Gustav Brom Orchestra from the 1960s to the 1980s (including Hnilička, Audes, Kočí, Novák, Tropp), among whom Mojmír Bártek undoubtedly ranked not only as an excellent trombonist, but also as a composer and arranger. This was made clear by the opening instrumental Strécovská dvanáctka, during which Mojmír took a trombone solo. The line of congratulations was symbolically opened by the long-time singer and orchestra manager Tibor Lenský with a Czech version of Irving Berlin’s hit Cheek to Cheek První duben, followed by a somewhat clumsy version of George Gershwin’s Summertime performed by Zuzana Gamboa. The composition Oblak, as a symbolic greeting to the Brno Conservatory Big Band, was performed by soloist Ivana Húšťavová on alto saxophone accompanied by the “bromos”. Other congratulators were the somewhat indisposed but determined Laďa Kerndl with Armstrong’s hit What a Wonderful World and Helena Blehárová with Kainar’s Černá kára. As a reminder of the annual summer jazz school where he used to go to teach during the holidays, Mojmír Bártek composed Na shledanou ve Frýdlantě, in which he took another trombone solo. A reminder of the peak period of the Gustav Brom Orchestra and Bártek’s tenure in its ranks was the performance of Jitka Zelenka, a long-time singer of the band. She chose the Czech song Smích je lék and an adaptation of Kurt Weill’s former hit Mackie Messer, with Jiří Suchý writing the lyrics for Miloš Kopecký. The final song, Sedmikrásky nad Brnem, was sung by all the singers together with the completely filled hall of the Sono Centrum. There were many performers, and Mojmír Bártek was the celebrant as well as the unquestionable main star of the evening. It was simply “švarný”, as he loves to say himself.

The evening was consecrated and deftly accompanied by the program head of Czech Radio Brno, Jiří Kokmotos, who also managed the recording made by Czech Radio’s audio equipment. The show should premiere on July 5 this year.

Photo by TINO

Comments

Reply

No comment added yet..

The latest addition to the concert series organized by the Brno-based Ensemble Opera Diversa is a chamber recital by violinist Milan Paľa and pianist Katarína Paľová entitled “Repentance”. The program, which took place on Sunday 30 October at Villa Stiassni, presented works by composers Valentin Bibik and the recently deceased Roman Berger, whose Adagio No. 2 "Repentance" (Pokánie) inspired the title of the evening.  more

Lidověk is the first solo album by Matěj Metoděj Štrunc, a young actor, singer and musician originally from Brno, frontman of the band Ateliér, and son of dulcimer player Dalibor and violinist Katerina Štrunc from the bands Cimbal Classic and Javory. The apple really did not fall far from the tree, but at the same time it came closer to other trees and colored itself with original colors.  more

The Brazilian singer-songwriter with (not only) Japanese roots Luiz Murá first appeared in Moravia five years ago, when he performed at the Folk Holidays in Náměšt' with his then international band Miramundo. This summer he came to Brno. Not as a musician, but as an organizer of club concerts in Barcelona, where he has been living for the last few years. As an official foreign delegate he participated in the two-day Central European Jazz Showcase at the Husa na provázku theatre. During his stay in Brno, we asked the likeable world traveler, who is still first and foremost a musician, a few questions. Not least because Luiz's previous stay in Moravia was reflected in his latest solo album.  more

The Latvian instrumental band Very Cool People recently released an album with the long title 50 Years of Influence + 30 Years of Cool Equals 13 Years of Music Hooliganism. In a few days they will come to Brno to present it – they’ll play on 17th September in Music Lab club. And besides the songs from the aforementioned album, you’ll also get to hear the complete new songs from the yet-to-be-released projects. The band, led by guitarist Elvijs Grafcovs, who answers our questions, has plenty of them.  more

After a covid break, the streets of Brno were once again filled with costumes from various parts of Moravia as well as other European countries. On the first day of September, the International Folklore Festival Brno began. Like the vast majority of festivals and regular events that could not take place in the last two years, the IFF also had a break due to government measures. And that is why this year’s festival chose the telling subtitle “We Live”. This time BROLN provided the opening concert in the courtyard of the New Town Hall, and there were two special reasons for this.  more

At the penultimate concert of its tenth year jubilee staged in the Fresco Room of the Comenium Elementary School, the Olomouc Baroque Festival presented an evening with the Musica Florea ensemble. The musicians, conducted by cellist Marek Štryncl, performed a selection of compositions by forgotten classical and early romantic composers Karl Kohaut, Jan Ladislav Dusík and Johann Nepomuk Hummel. The choice of composers was not random – this year it is 210 years since Dusík’s death and 185 years since Hummel’s death. Performing with the ensemble’s core members – violinist Magdalena Malá and Simona Tydlitátová, violist Lýdie Cillerová, cellist Marek Štryncl and bass player Ondřej Štajnochra – was Petra Matějová on the fortepiano.  more

The album Zavrzlama by Bosnian band Divanhana is so far in continuous sequence, the second best world recording of 2022 according to the panel of radio publicists of World Music Charts Europe. Divanhana will perform as part of the Lednice-Valtice Music Festival on 26 August in Hlohovec and a day later in Břeclav – Charvátská Nová Ves. The band’s pianist, Neven Tunjíč, is here to answer our questions.  more

On 18 and 19 August, the tenth anniversary edition of the Olomouc Baroque Music Festival included a unique dramaturgical treat in its program – one of the most historically important Czech operas which, however, does not appear much on the stages of opera houses or music halls. This is Dráteník (The Tinker), the first original Czech opera composed by František Škroup to a libretto by Josef Krasoslav Chmelenský. It was directed by Kateřina Křivánková, with costumes and set by Sylva Marková and music by Marek Čermák, and performed by the Volantes Orchestra, the festival’s resident ensemble. Singing roles were taken up by Matúš Šimko (Dráteník/Škroup), Lenka Cafourková Ďuricová (Růžena), Vincenc Ignác Novotný (Vojtěch), Zuzana Badárová (Liduška), Aleš Janiga (Květenský), Jiří Miroslav Procházka (Lána), and Martin Vodrážka (Kůl). The purely dramatic roles of Chmelenský – the aforementioned author of the libretto – and Hranatý the guard were played by Martin Mihál. The reviewer visited the premiere performance.  more

For the seventh time, the multi-genre music festival Brno Music Marathon proved that with precise organization and a little luck, an astonishing amount of music can be packed into one long weekend. From Thursday to Sunday (11-14 August), selected music halls, squares, courtyards, and city streets were filled with the artistic creations of countless bands, ensembles, and specific musical groups of all genres and styles. Lovers of rock, world music, jazz, artistic music, folklore, and improvised music were in for a treat. However, this year’s edition differed from the previous one in one crucial respect: 2022 introduced the first ever artist in residence of the festival, the violinist, flautist, and pianist Anna Fusekmore

For the sixth time, the Music Marathon has stirred up the streets, squares, and many spaces in Brno with all sorts of musical genres. These are not necessarily just concert venues, however. The Hausopera ensemble, for example, took their opera The Eternal Miss Pale to the Zeman Café on Friday 12 August. In three weekend performances there, they will complete their “Trilogy for the City”, a custom-made project for Brno that recalls its pros, cons, and above all some of its functionalist buildings.  more

As part of the Ibérica Festival, Catalan singer-songwriter Magalí Sare performed with guitarist Sebastià Gris from Mallorca on 17 June 2022 in Brno. The following interview was conducted immediately after the concert.  more

Just like every year, the Znojmo Music Festival brought its visitors an opera of its own production. For this year's 18th edition, subtitled Returning Home and Our Guardian Angels, the organizers prepared a stage performance of Joseph Haydn's oratorio The Return of Tobias. The Old Testament story about a tested marriage and a blind father was performed by the Czech Ensemble Baroque under the baton of Roman Válek and directed by Tomáš Ondřej Pilař at the premiere on 15 July 2022 (this performance was visited by this author) in the riding hall of the Louka Monastery – the reprise and last performances will take place on the following two days. Shira Patchornik (Sarah), Lucie Kaňková (d'Azaria), Dagmar Šašková (Anna), Theodore Browne (Tobias), and Adam Plachetka (Tobit) performed the solo roles. Costumes were designed by Ivana Ševčíková Miklošková, choreography by Martin Šinták, and lighting design by Tomáš Příkrýmore

Last year they were the stars of Brasil Fest Brno. This year they will be welcomed to Náměšt’ nad Oslavou, where they will perform on 25 July at the Folk Holidays as part of an evening called Poetry in Every Song. In the meantime, they have played at the WOMEX world music fair in Portugal and the sold-out spring festival Budapest Ritmo. Above all, they were awarded the prestigious prize of Songlines magazine, today’s most respected periodical in world music. They call themselves Ayom, and alongside Brazilian singer Jabu Morales, they are made up of musicians from Angola, Greece, and Italy. Our questions were answered by accordionist and composer Alberto Becucci, guitarist Pedro Bastos João, and of course the charismatic singer and drummer.  more

On Friday, 29 July, at the Folk Holidays in Náměšt’ nad Oslavou, the group L’Alba from Corsica will perform, combining traditional Mediterranean polyphony with the music of many nations, not only from southern Europe. Its album A Principiu, released last March, was voted by the World Music Charts Europe jury as the sixth best album from around the world in 2021. guitarist and vocalist Ghjuvanfrancescu Mattei answers our questions on behalf of L’Alba.  more

This year’s 27th edition of the Concentus Moraviae Festival is history after almost a month of music. The gala closing concert at the Zlín Congress Centre presented a program of songs by Ernest Chausson, Igor Stravinsky, Johannes Brahms, Richard Strauss, Leoš Janáček and Antonín Dvořák. Magdalena Kožená, mezzo-soprano and patron of the show, performed as a soloist. She was joined by pianist and conductor Sir Simon Rattle, flutist and this year’s Artist in Residence Kaspar Zehnder, violinist Giovanni Guzzo, violinist Rahel Maria Rilling, violist Amihai Grosz, cellist Dávid Adorján, and clarinettist Christopher Richards. Dvořák’s songs were specially arranged for this ensemble by the English composer and conductor Duncan Ward.  more

Editorial

The upcoming premiere of ProART Company is a multi-genre stage project based on Seifert’s poem “A Song about Viktorka”. The poem is transcribed into a love letter by Jaroslav Seifert addressed to Božena Němcová. The story of the famous book character from Němcová’s pen is mirrored here against the background of the writer’s letters. The Brno premiere will take place in the former Brno penitentiary Káznice na Cejlu.  more

The Janáček Brno International Opera and Music Festival enters its eighth year this year. In addition to the rich main musical program, visitors can get to know Leoš Janáček from many different angles. Accompanying activities are provided by TIC BRNO.  more

Janáček’s opera at the Brno National Theater (NdB) has been shortlisted for this year’s The International Opera Awards. The NdB’s production of The Greek Passion, directed by Jiří Heřman, has been nominated in the “New Production” category.  more

JazzFestBrno has announced the names of the main stars of the next edition. The main announcements of the festival’s headliners will be the singer and pianist Diana Krall, and for the first time ever the iconic string ensemble Kronos Quartet, celebrating 50 years on the scene, will perform at the festival. Other personalities of the 22nd edition of the festival will include guitarist John Scofield, pianist Tigran Hamasyan, and double bassist Dave Holland.  more

The Military Art Ensemble Ondráš announces a vacancy for the position of cello player in the professional part of the ensemble.  more

The largest brass ensemble in the Czech Republic will celebrate five years of its existence today at Besední dům. The evening will also include the launch of their new CD.  more

The Italian rapper and performer M¥SS KETA, who has been hiding her face and identity throughout her career, will perform in Brno. She will present her show for her new album Club Topperia at the Fléda club for the Czech premiere. The rapper has been hiding her face and identity her whole career.  more

The unique project of the NdB 2, specifically the new junior company Ballet of the Brno National Theater, is the very first of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe. It started its premiere season this September. The composite evening consists of three choreographies called Uroboros, Na krásném modrém… and Vodníkmore

The Janáček Opera of the Brno National Theater is filling positions in its choir. The audition is announced for tenor and 2nd bass voices.  more

The National Theatre Ballet is hosting another world star - Anastasia Matvienko will perform in Brno as Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty next week.  more