Stone mantras under the mammoth: Brno Contemporary Orchestra’s concert at Anthropos

18 November 2021, 1:00
Stone mantras under the mammoth: Brno Contemporary Orchestra’s concert at Anthropos

Brno Contemporary Orchestra will once again perform in a non-traditional space. This time they will play under the direction of conductor Pavel Šnajdr at Anthropos in Brno. They will present spectacular compositions by Italian composer Fausto Romitelli, a post-modern chamber cantata by Miloslav Ištvan, the work entitled Hours of the Past by the recently deceased Lithuanian composer Bronius Kutavičius and a composition by Michal Rataj, composed directly for BCO.

Our ancestors and forefathers hunted mammoths not only for subsistence. They built dwellings from the bones and made tools and cult objects from the tusks. The mighty animals were depicted in cave paintings and in many places worshipped as the creators of the Earth. Thousands of years later, the tips of mammoth tusks protruded from the permafrost, giving them their name. Today, as part of the global warming caused by human civilisation, mammoths frozen ages ago are coming to the surface whole. The second concert of the tenth gala season of ‘We are the world’ is dedicated to Anthropos, where they explore the life and death of our ancestors and forebears, as well as the cycle of the rise and fall of civilisations,” explains the artistic administrator Viktor PantůčekThe concert has been announced to take place on 22 November 2021 at Anthropos, starting at 7.30 p.m.

2001’s composition Amok/Koma by Italian composer Fausto Romitelli is based on alternating frenzy and contemplation. Two extreme positions of human existence. The composition Music from Nothing by Michal Rataj is a musical reminiscence of the current pandemic nothingness and has been made directly for BCO and Martin Opršál who will play the marimba. The ensemble premiered it this year at the Ostravské dny nové hudby (Ostrava Days of New Music) festival. In the chamber oratorio Já, Jákob (I, Jacob) by Miloslav Ištvan based on the lyrics by poet Vítězslav Gardavský and on the Holy Bible, the age-old conflict between the spiritual (divine) and materialistic approach to life is addressed. La sabbia del tempo (The Sands of Time) from 1991 belongs to an early phase of Romitelli’s work and shows a more obvious fascination with French spectralism. The quiet composition evokes a sense of suspended time, when peace and tranquillity spread out, everything is quiet and empty, only the sand in the hourglass keeps sinking. The end of the concert will belong to the composition Hours of the Past by the recently deceased Lithuanian composer Bronius Kutavičius.

Concert programme:

Stone Mantras - concert under the mammoth

Fausto Romitelli – Amok Koma
Michal Rataj – Music from Nothing
Miloslav Ištvan – Já, Jákob (I, Jacob)
Fausto Romitelli – The Sands of Time
Bronius Kutavičius – Hours of the Past

Irena Troupová – soprano
Otakar Blaha – recitation
Martin Opršál – marimba
Brno Contemporary Orchestra – Pavel Šnajdr – conductor

Photograph: FB page of the ensemble

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