The St. Wenceslas Music Festival (SWMF) offers unusual opportunities to set out in the Moravian-Silesian Region for top-notch classical music and folklore projects. Due to its year-long Musical Journeys series, it calls on the cultural and technical gems of the region for the chance to hear them sing.
AUTUMN MUSICAL REFLECTION
The next concert will be a performance of popular Dvořák’s Bible Songs arranged for the Ostrava based Stadler Clarinet Quartet and the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre’s bass Martin Gurbaľ. This year the award-winning quartet performs with a new line-up – Zbigniew Kaleta (first clarinet/saxophonist and soloist of NOSPR in Katowice) on first chair, and Jiří Porubiak, a member of the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra in Zlín, on bass clarinet. The new energy of the clarinet masters will spice up the Dvořák programme with their Early Hungarian Dances and parts of Bach’s most popular works — The Art of Fugue and St. Matthew Passion — in novel arrangements perfect for E-flat clarinet, clarinet, and bass clarinet (15, 16 October).
In mid-November, the churches will sound with the Soul of the Baroque: Bach/Händel/Zelenka project by three of Moravian-Silesian’s top interpreters Dřízgová–Františák–Kozák. The trio of true masters of Baroque music will unite with three exceptional Moravian-Silesian artists. The great soprano Eva Dřízgová-Jirušová, the acclaimed clarinettist Igor Františák, and the young piano virtuoso and organist Marek Kozák (born in Brušperk) are making ripples in the contemporary Czech scene waters and will perform. Mr. Kozák has achieved a number of impressive results in a wide range of competitions, including the most prestigious such as the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, the Prague Spring Festival, the European Piano Competition in Bremen, and the Busoni Competition in Bolzano (18, 19, 20 November).
ADVENT WITH BAROQUE ENSEMBLES AND PUPPETS
Ensemble Inégal will perform Michna’s The Czech Lute, a popular song cycle from 1653, in a historically informed performance on replicas of period instruments. It is the most famous collection of the Czech Baroque music composed by Adam Václav Michna of Otradovice (author of the Christmas carol Chtíc, aby spal). Thanks to the unique discovery of a violin part, the most famous Baroque collection of Czech origin has been reconstructed (26 November).
“Christmas belongs to children” – and therefore one of the three most prestigious Czech early music ensembles Collegium Marianum together with the great puppeteers from the Buchty a loutky (Puppets and Cake) ensemble will present the Bohemian Christmas show. It was originally performed by the pupils of the Jesuit college and combined two scenes known from other Christmas plays – the shepherd scene and the Three Kings scene. SWMF presents it in a charming version, indeed in an attempt to reconnect not only the magical stories but also families and friends with traditional values in the Advent time (8 and 9 December).
FOLKLORE CHRISTMAS STAR: MILITARY ART ENSEMBLE ONDRÁŠ
Military Art Ensemble Ondráš ranks among the absolute top of folklore ensembles in our country. Their Path of the Light is a musical series telling the story of the birth of Jesus Christ and folk Christmas. Its musical base is popular old Czech and Moravian carols, which, however, will be performed in unique orchestral and vocal arrangements. Listeners can look forward to a colourful journey to the birth of Christ, as well as to a human understanding of this miracle event (6 December).
This is indeed something to look forward to! For more information and online tickets see www.shf.cz