The Easter Festival of Sacred Music: Singer Pur, Ensemble Musikfabrik, the Brno Filharmonic and Dennis Russell Davies

19 March 2018, 3:00
The Easter Festival of Sacred Music: Singer Pur, Ensemble Musikfabrik, the Brno Filharmonic and Dennis Russell Davies

The Easter Festival of Sacred Music enters its 27th year with the topic Garden and Vineyard. As part of the festival, we will get to see the German groups Singer Pur and the Ensemble Musikfabrik, followed by Motus Harmonicus, Cappella Mariana, Vox Iuvenalis, the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno and the Brno Philharmonic under new upcoming principal conductor Dennis Russell Davies.

This year’s 27th Easter Festival of Liturgical Music was inspired by the emblems of the garden and its treasures. “The symbols of flowers and their practical uses are deeply connected to the Christian tradition. Our knowledge of these meanings and the connections between different flowers and the liturgical year is however slowly being lost. The Easter Festival aims to remind people of these meanings,” says the festival’s programme director Vladimír Maňas.

The festival starts at the Mount of Olives with Beethoven’s oratorio, followed by the vigil in the Garden of Gethsemane (Wolfgang Rihm’s Vigil) and returns to folk tradition in walking beyond the city walls to the art nouveau Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary) on Křenová street, where we will be able to listen to the Passio secundum Joannem (Passion of St. John) to the tunes of Moravian folk songs. “This concert includes two unprecedented things. It is the first time the festival has joined with folk music and the first time it has been held in the art nouveau church on Křenová street, which is stunning, and its floral paintings are brilliant for this year’s topic,” says the director of the Brno Philharmonic, which is organising the festival, Marie Kučerová.

The festival’s programme director also mentions the ensembles that will be performing. “For example, Wolfgang Rihm’s Vigil promises an intensive hour-long experienced culminating in a strong catharsis, even more so when presented by two of the best German ensembles, Singer Pur and Ensemble Musikfabrik. Another concert, entitled Resurrexit Sicut Dixit, will offer the festival premiere of the reconstructed organ in St. Thomas Church. The audience will get to see the top Austrian organist Konstantin Revemaier, who will present the Brno premiere of the extensive sonata by Edward Elgar,” adds Maňas.

As part of the final concert of the festival, the incoming principal conductor Dennis Russel Davies will perform for the first time in Brno. “The first piece of the evening will be Te Deum by Arvo Pärt, which is one of the best, by coincidence premiered by Davies in 1985. It will be followed by David Matthews’ The New Fire, created specifically for the festival and symbolising the bringing of light to the church. The evening will be completed by Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass,” says Kučerová. It is by no means a coincidence that the concert takes place at the Basilica in Brno’s Old Town. “Caring for the Old Town Church’s garden gave Johann Mendel the key to understanding the laws of heredity. And as for the musical connection: Leoš Janáček conducted the requiem for abbot Mendel here in 1884,” says Maňas.

The festival will take place from 25 March to 8 April 2018.

Photo Petr Francán



No comment added yet..

After reconstruction the building of Czech Radio Brno has a new studio. Studio VII was figuratively baptised with the concert Living Notes from the series of folk concerts On a Moravian Note on Czech Radio Brno and Zlin. The musical dedication was made by the Horňácko group of Petr Mička, whose bandmaster is also one of the radio station’s editors. As guests they introduced the very talented young singers Anička Mičková and Janíček Pavlík and the Horňácko folk legend Martin Hrbáč. You can see the whole more than hour-long programme on the Czech Radio YouTube channel.  more

To record an album of famous jazz standards translated into Czech and yet not only to not come up short, but even to come across naturally and as much as possible even originally, is extremely demanding. Darek Neumann, “a kind of Brno character” (as stated in the booklet of the album) has managed it. The fact that it successfully balanced on the very borders of sentiment and pure blues, is much down to the lyrics of Ester Kočičková.  more

The mandolin player Martin Krajíček plays in various genres of groups. He has his own acoustic trio, is a member of the Jitka Šuranská Trio, plays in the “Mexican” group Mariachi Espuelas and in Cimbal Classica, plays klezmer and also teaches the mandolin. Since last year he has also been the organiser of the Mandolin Festival in Boskovice. This year it will take place from 8 to 10 June.  more

The group D.N.A. Brno, winners of the final of Porta in 2011, after a gap of four years have brought out a new album. Alongside a new surname for the bass guitarist (but it is still the same Barbora who years ago cofounded the then children’s and girls’ group) there was an important change in the line-up. Ondra Bojanovský (son of Aleš Bojanovský of FT Prima) has become a new member, playing rhythmic instruments. This has made it possible for the former percussionist Lenka Ručková to move over to the piano. Otherwise they remain as they were: D.N.A. is a group of young people, mostly classically trained, who like folk as well as classical. On the musical side they play it masterfully – there can be no objections to their skill, which is made evident in individual songs. The actual repertoire already on the last album has grown up from the childhood years and the innovation is of course, in this respect, a bit more mature. The band has not surprised us with any a sudden shift. But the result is a bit more mature and confident. And what has also been added are serious but at the same time credible themes.  more

This year Miloš Štědroň is taking part as artist in residence at the festival Concentus Moraviae. This was a welcome pretext for an interview. It covered his musical beginnings, his path to a musical education, his artistic development and his famous teachers, his inclination to the legacy of the musical avant-garde as well as why he suddenly kept a certain distance from it, how he dedicated himself to faithful and successful cooperation with the Theatre Goose on a String as well as how he was affected by the political changes of the period, how he overcame their pressure, how he worked with today’s interviewer a banned playwright, how he wrote for the wonderful Due Boemi di Praga, how he taught music and the history of music and worked as a populariser, how he knowledgably interpreted ancient music, but also Leoš Janáček, how he worked as an editor, how he became a significant and famous cultural figure, and not just in Brno, and how all the tasks he set himself in his varied and rich creative life were and are being fulfilled, and the joy he has had from it all.  more