Czech Ensemble Baroque: The last concert of the Bach on Mozart! cycle and F. X. Richter

22 May 2019, 6:00
Czech Ensemble Baroque: The last concert of the Bach on Mozart! cycle and F. X. Richter

As part of the final concert of the Bach on Mozart! cycle we will hear Baroque music by F. X. Richter in the St. Johns' Church. The Czech Ensemble Baroque will end the 7th season of the cycle with three rediscovered compositions by this distinguished Baroque composer, which have never been played over the last twenty five years. The concert will be conducted by the founder of the ensemble, Roman Válek.

Franz Xaver Richter, a native of Holešov, violinist, music teacher, singer and Baroque composer, influenced such great personalities as Mozart or Haydn. This year, he would be celebrating his 310th birthday. In his honour, the Czech Ensemble Baroque for the first time in modern history rehearsed his motet Miserere mei Deus, a concerto for harpsichord and orchestra in G major, and especially the celebrated cantata Super Flumina Babylonis, which was Richter's most successful work during his life. The concert will take place on Wednesday 29 May at 7:30 pm in the St. Johns' Church (at the Monastery of Friars Minor).

F. X. Richter was born on 1 December 1709, probably in Holešov. His religious as well as secular compositions enjoyed great esteem in their time and were published in a number of European countries. He also excelled as a teacher of composition and many prominent musicians were among his pupils. He was one of the leaders of the so-called Mannheim Music School, and from 1769 he served as the bandmaster of the Strasbourg Cathedral, which was one of Europe's most prestigious music positions of that time. His chamber and orchestral works contributed to the development of the classical instrumental style. He died on 12 September 1789. It is said that his Requiem, which he had composed for his own funeral, was performed over his coffin during the funeral rites; the story also says that he had carefully reviewed the score even on the day of his passing away.

The Czech Ensemble Baroque has been concentrating on this composer for several years and now crowns its efforts with three modern-time world premieres in a single concert. The newly discovered cantata Super Flumina Babylonis [Over the Rivers of Babylon] was Richter's most successful work during his life. It even won the prestigious Mercure de France award. The concert will also feature Miserere in F minor and a partially reconstructed Concerto for harpsichord in G major, the soloist in which will be Barbara Maria Willi. With this concert, the Czech Ensemble Baroque concludes a series of recordings and world premieres of Richter's works, which it has systematically devoted itself to since 2014. “Super Flumina Babylonis is a grandiose cantata for solos, choir and orchestra. Richter uses various composition forms and elements in it – solo arias, duets, virtuoso violin passages, extensive double fugues and choirs, but in addition to Baroque elements, also some features  of the Mannheim Sturm und Drang and emotional style,says Roman Válek, conductor and founder of the ensemble.

Photo from archive of the ensemble



No comment added yet..

Electronic music, big beat and clubbing go together - but that’s only a small part of the truth. In fact electronic music was here long before clubbing, and thanks to enlightened teachers at JAMU it was doing very well indeed in Brno as early as the 1960s. That is, long before synthesizers and sequencers appeared on rock podiums, long before any old band had a computer, long before the first dance parties in glittering halls and dark cellars. Today electronic music is one of music’s most omnipresent genres: neither dance parties nor contemporary operas can do without it. Electronic big beat music has occupied reggae and swing, remixing is a daily affair, Brno artists have learned to sell instruments they built themselves to the whole world and to amplify an old knitting machine. As early as 1907 the composer Ferruccio Busoni dreamt of the future potential of electronic music, but not even his imagination and genius could have anticipated what Thaddeus Cahill’s first weird experiment with an immense electrical organ would lead to one day.  more

After Easter, an official statement that ruined every folklore lover's day appeared on social networks and in the media. The folklore festival in Strážnice will not take place this year. The reasons are well known to everyone. Yesterday, another wave of coronavirus lockdown easement began, and this was not the only reason why we talked to Martin Šimša, director of the National Institute of Folk Culture (NÚLK) in Strážnice. Well, is there really a reason for mourning? What can we look forward to in the immediate future? And when is the best time to visit the castle park and the open-air museum in Strážnice? These questions, and not only these, will be answered in the following interview.  more

Although cultural life has suffered significantly in the last two months, people's desire for an artistic experience has not faded. On the contrary – art and its role in our lives are perhaps needed even more than before. Hence, although concert halls are empty and listeners are forced to visit them only through recordings of their favourite concerts, a number of well-made music media  created (not only) in the beginning of the year helps to bridge over this unfortunate period.  more

”It’s a long journey to the West, / Pointless, fruitless is the longing,” began the first cowboy song recording issued by R. A. Dvorský’s publishing house in 1939. The theme and tone reflect the “tramping” movement, with its idealized vision of “America” and its unspoiled “nature”, which led Czechs to take to the woods, where they hiked, met round campfires and sang songs modelled on American folk songs and country music. So widespread was the tramping phenomenon that it made its way into popular music, where it long remained. Over time, the romance of the cowboy and the idea of a free life on the Great Plains found their way not only into songs sung by such late twenti- eth-century stars as Karel Gott, Helena Vondráčková and Waldemar Matuška but into social life itself: very few countries in Europe have such liberal laws when it comes to sleeping overnight, or even setting up camp, in the woods. In the past young people in Brno could choose whether to be “city slickers” hooked on discotheques or “wander- ers”, who would head for the main train station every Friday afternoon or Saturday and from there set out on the first train for wherever in the countryside it was heading to.  more

Bands that have been present on the scene for several decades have two options: Either they make a living from their own substance, and therefore from hits of the past. Or they are still trying to come up with something new, sometimes with the wishes of conservative fans in spite of it. The "Brno-based" group Poutníci (meaning Pilgrims in Czech), who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, are somewhere halfway in between. They still play Panenka [The Doll], which the audience demands, but fortunately they didn't get stuck and – maybe after a long time, but still – they come up with a new serial album, which should not pass unbeknown to the fans of Czech country and bluegrass.  more