This week we take a look at an established Czech band November 2nd, whose red-headed front-woman and song writer Saša Langošová combines rock, country and pop in her melodic and often fiery songs. Although it has not really found a place in the Czech mainstream music world, November 2nd has been steadily making music for over 10 years, exploring different genres and working with international big names like Suzanne Vega, Tchad Blake, Doug Yowell or Steve Walsh.
Joan Baez will perform at the Grand Hall at Prague’s Lucerna on October 16, the promoter of the concert has announced. The US folk singer, who is 73, has performed several times in the city since the fall of Communism. She has a number of connections with this part of the world, including a long-term friendship with the late president Václav Havel, whom she first visited in 1988, and was a vocal supporter of Czechoslovak dissidents.
A concert at Prague’s Rudolfinum on Saturday marked the 70th anniversary of the biggest mass murder of Czechoslovak citizens during WWII. On the night of March 8, close to 3,800 prisoners from Terezín – men, women and children were transported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and gassed. The commemorative concert included the works of Jewish composers who were murdered at Auschwitz. The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra performed them under conductor Libor Pešek and in cooperation with the pianist Martin Kasík, violinist Pavel Šporcl, members of the Disman Radio Children’s Choir, Czech Radio Children´s Choir and Prague Philharmonic Choir.
The rock and blues singer and song writer Michal Prokop has been part of the Czech music scene for over 50 years. With their clever lyrics, his songs have always appealed to sophisticated audiences but he has also scored a series of major hits. While strictly apolitical during the communist era, Michal Prokop went into politics in the 1990s but quit, and recorded his latest album which came out in 2012.
Karel Kryl was one of the most significant Czech anti-communist protest singers. His sparse and poetic songs such as Bratříčku zavírej vrátka (Close the Gate, Little Brother), written in direct response to the Soviet invasion, reflected the frustrations of many Czechoslovaks in the 1970s and ‘80s. This year sees two important anniversaries relating to the singer-songwriter: Monday is the 20th anniversary of his death, while the 70th anniversary of his birth falls in April.
In this week’s Sunday Music Show we listen to music by the soulful a capella group Yellow Sisters and speak with one of its four members Bára Vaculíková (and her young daughter). Antonia, Bára, Hawa and Leňa have been singing together since 2005, using their versatile voices to create full, rhythmical and often playful music.
Most dedicated listeners but also more casual fans of classical music have at some point wondered about the sound of early musical instruments once played by the great composers. The question of how historic instruments might have sounded veritably haunted Russian pianist Anton Rubinstein, who lamented that while some instruments that had survived in museums they had long lost their original colour and tone. The result was that nobody really knew any longer which techniques had been used in their production, or what their exact sound was like. That
Ana Maria Janků was born in Argentina, but her link to her roots and in particular to Czech classical music is strong, thanks to the influence of her Czech parents. Today she is taking her own and her parent’s Czech legacy further by promoting Czech music at the Czech cultural centre in Buenos Aires. When she visited Radio Prague’s studio a few days ago we spoke about the fulfillment this brings her and why her work at the center has become the pivot of her life.
Organisers have confirmed that legendary American singer and musician Patti Smith will headline this year’s Trutnoff Open Air Festival in the Czech Republic. Trutnoff (the spelling changed this year) has a 30 year-long tradition in the Czech Republic and former Czechoslovakia. Organisers made the announcement ahead of a related event on Monday at Prague’s Archa Theatre, celebrating renowned British bluesman John Mayall’s 80 birthday.
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Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’