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Honour to Czech patrons

A. Michna, V. Pelikán, A. Mentzel etc.

This programme begins with the Christian greeting “Laudetur Jesus Christus” by Bohuslav Matěj Černohorský, Czech baroque composer.  Above all, however, we focus on the temple works of early and high Baroque, which were composed to honor Czech patrons.  In addition to the Missa Sancti Wenceslai by Adam Michna, the program of the Missa Sancti Adalberti, whose author is the Piarist monk Vojtěch (Adalbert) Pelikán, or Litany to the Czech patrons by Antonín Celestin Mentzel.

Cast: 12 singers, 2 trumpets, 3 violins, 2 violas, cello, double bass, harpsichord/organ, conductor

Program duration: 90 minutes

 

Old Czech Christmas music

A. Michna, V. K. Hollan Rovenský, F. X Brixi, J. Schreier, J. J. Ryba etc.

Christmas pastorals of Czech countryside composers from 18th century, led by Jakub Jan Ryba, became a symbol of our Christmas. We complement them with charming songs from Czech Baroque hymn books  and selected parts from Czech and Moravian pastoral masses.

Cast: 4 singers, 2 violas, violoncello, organ

Program duration: 60 minutes

 

G. F. Händel: Old testament

arias from Samson, Solomon, Athalia, Belshazzar, Joshua etc.

Georg Friedrich Händel, one of the Masters of Baroque music, is the author of an extremely large number of works, including about 25 oratorios. In this program we present virtuoso soprano arias from oratorios with Old Testament themes (can also be interpreted as themes from the Hebrew Bible). These dramatic biblical stories are told in an unconventional chamber cast.

Cast: soprano, violin, harpsichord

Program duration: 60 minutes

Pearls of Baroque opera

G. F. Händel, A. Vivaldi, N. Porpora, G. Bononcini etc.

We present a selection of Italian operas here by prominent Baroque composers accompanied by a harpsichord. These are lyrical and colorature arias for soprano, alto arias, which in their time belonged mainly to castrates, and also love duets .

Cast: soprano, mezzosoprano, harpsichord

Program duration: 60 minutes

Leçons de Ténèbres

François Couperin

“A dark hours” written in three parts by Couperin as liturgical music for a Easter Wednesday. This liturgy began at night, in the light of fifteen candles that were gradually extinguished. The text is the Old Testament lamentations of the prophet Jeremiah over the captured and ravaged Jerusalem, which in their devolved meaning also mean lamentation over the crucified Jesus. This ecclesiastical composition captures the last years of the reign of Louis XIV. The parts of the hours are interspersed with Couperin’s compositions for harpsichord and suites for viola da gamba by Marin Marais, also the court composer of the Sun King.

Cast: 2 sopranos, viola da gamba, theorbo, harpsichord/ organ

Program duration: 60 minutes

The Prophets have spoken

Czech Brethren hymn books of 15th and 16th century

The program is named after Jiří Rychnovský’s four-voice song (1540-1615) and presents old Czech Reformation music. It was formed mainly in the Hussite and Czech Brethren hymnbooks, which record a gradual transition from medieval motets to vocal polyphony. We are selecting some songs from them with Advent a Christmas atmosphere.

Cast: 3 singers, flute, cither

Program duration: 60 minutes

Sweeter than roses

G. Carissimi, H. Purcell, G. F. Händel, A. Vivaldi, M. Lambert etc.

Here we present chamber music across Baroque Europe. The title of this varied program, based on the song of the same name by Henry Purcell, is intended to evoke his melodious and beauty. We chose cantatas, songs, duets and chamber instrumental compositions by prominent Italian, German, English and French authors.

Cast: soprano, tenore, flute, violin, theorbo, viola da gamba, harpsichord

Program duration: 60 minutes

One day of the king of France

A. Campra, M. P. Montéclair, L.-N. Clérambault etc.

How could the day of Louis XIV or his descendant look like? In this program we present sacred music, chamber compositions, cantatas and opera arias by two generations of French Baroque composers, closely connected with the royal court.

Cast: soprano, flute, violin, theorbo, viola da gamba, harpsichord

Program duration: 60 minutes

l’Amfiparnaso

The work of the moden composer Orazio Vecchi is a remarkable manifestation of the tradition Italian music theater of the late Renaissance. It is subtitled “comedia harmonica”, for which we now use the term madrigal comedy. The main protagonists of this genre were characters from the traditional comedia dell’arte. L’Amfiparnaso with her own scenery, costumes and author masks (Emilia Karlović) is presented in cooperation with the dancing and theatrical group En Garde! We translated the first Italian verses to madrigals into Czech and English.

Cast: 5 singers, 3 actors, reciter, viola da gamba, theorbo, harpsichord

Program duration: 55 minutes

Lent period in baroque Prague

F. I. A Tůma, A. Caldara, A. Lotti, G. Jacob etc.

Before Easter, the bark of Prague’s churches were resounded with a large number of works by both domestic and foreign artists who were connected with Prague. We chose mainly two magnificent Stabat Mater (F. I. A. Tůma, A. Caldara), but also smaller, remarkable and almost unknown works by Czech Baroque authors.

Cast: 4/8/12 singers, 2 violins, viola, trombone, cello, double bass, organ/ harpsichord

Program duration: 70 minutes

Angelus Domini

O. di Lasso, G. P. da Palestrina, T. L. de Victoria, W. Byrd, T. Tallis etc.

In this programme, we introduce sacred pieces of the most important composers of vocal polyphony across Europe. The show is based on hymns, antiphons and biblical texts set to music in the 16th century, which liturgically fall into the Advent period.

Cast: 12 singers, organ

Pragram duration: 60 minutes

Italian opera in Mozart's Prague

J. G. Naumann, P. Anfossi, F. Zannetti, G. Gazzaniga, D. Cimarosa etc.

This programme presents the rich world of Italian opera, specifically the genre of the opera buffa (or dramma giocoso). Selected arias of various characters come from operas that were mostly performed on the stage of Thunovsky or Nostic theater in the 1780s and 1790s, but most of them had their premieres in Italy or in Vienna and Dresden.

Cast: soprano, 5 violins, 3 violas, 2 horns, 2 bassoons, 2 oboes, cello, doublebass, harpsichord

Program duration: 60 minutes

Claudio Monteverdi: Birth of baroque music

The personality of Claudio Monteverdi, a composer standing on the border between traditional Renaissance style and new musical era, doesn’t have to be introduced much. He is best known for his accomplishment of madrigal and as one of the founders of the opera, who contributed significantly to the birth of the Baroque style. In the first half of the programme we present selected compositions from the collections of Selva morale e spirituale and Messa a quatro voci e Salmi. In the second half, works from the fourth and eighth Madrigal book and from the Scherzi musicali collection.

Cast: 6/ 12 singers, flute, violin, theorba, viola da gamba, harpsichord

Program duration: 70 minutes

A Rudolfine Prague's dream

J. H. Gallus, K. Harant, J. Campanus, , H. L. Hassler etc.

In the last third of the 16th century Prague became one of the main cultural centers of Europe. Rudolf II, who was eager to support science and culture, was surrounded by outstanding thinkers, scientists, artists, but also composers from all over Europe. Together with the instrumental ensemble Concerto Aventino, led by renowned flutist and conductor Jakub Kydlíček, we present secular and spiritual music by composers working in Mannerist Prague.

Cast: 12 singers, flute, cink, theorba, dulcian, harpsichord

Program duration: 60 minutes

Music and Dance of the renaissance Prague

J. Regnart, Ph. de Monte, T. Arbeau, C. Negri,  F. Caroso etc.

In this programme we are devoted to Prague during the reign of Rudof II. At this time we present exclusively secular music – madrigals, songs and popular dances of the late renaissance Prague.

Cast: 8 singers, 2 dancers, 2 flutes, viola da gamba, theorbo, harpsichord

Program duration: 70 minutes

Darkness has become

Renewed premiere of works by A. C. Mentzel (1684-1740),

The Broumov Monastery was one of the most important music centers of the Czech lands in the 18th century. As a techaer and regenschori Antonin Celestin Mentzel worked here all his life, whose compositions we present in this programme as world premiere. There will also be Lent songs by Gunther Jacob, a Benedictine priest and Mentzel’s contemporary, some of which have been preserved in the Broumov music collection.

Cast: 4/ 8/ 12 singers, 2 horns, 2 violins, cello, double bass, organ positive

Program duration: 60 minutes

Rorate coeli desuper

A. Reichenauer, G. Jacob, J. L. Oehlschlägel, A. C. Mentzel etc.

Rorates present a specific form of the morning Advent mass in honor of the Virgin Mary, typical for the Czech environment. That is why was the text of her entry antiphone “Rorate coeli desuper” popular with Czech composers, especially in the 18th century. In this programme we mainly present the works of less-known and rediscovered Czech Baroque composers.

Cast: 4/8/12 singers, 2 horns, 2 violins, cello, double bass, organ

Program duration: 60 minutes

Italian baroque cantata

G. Carissimi, A. Scarlatti, A. Vivaldi, G. F. Händel etc.

The main points of our program are three extensive cantatas of different  stages of the Baroque era. The secular cantata as a musical kind crystallized as early as the first half of the 17th century and its origin and development were closely related to the birth and formation of the opera. Cantata was cultivated mainly in the aristocratic salons and in the courts of high ecclesiastical dignitaries. The main center for this solo art (mostly accompanied only by basso continuo) was Italy.

Cast: soprano, harpsichord

Program duration: 60 minutes