In Brno's National Theatre last week 'the halls were alive' with the sound of Britain's Royal Opera. Under the direction of David Pountney, and the baton of Christian von Gehren, members of the Royal Opera were in the Czech Republic's second city to perform the lesser-known first version of Bohuslav Martinu's 'Greek Passion'. Some 48 years after its completion, this was its Czech premiere. Rosie Johnston explains exactly what took so long...
The internationally renowned Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena this week released a gorgeous new album of arias and cantonatos. Entitled Lamento, it features little-known music by the Bach family; in many ways it allows Kozena to take up and explore the themes of a successful earlier CD, a selection of arias by Johann Sebastian Bach which was her debut on the Deutsche Grammophon label in 1999.
Prague Castle is more than just a pretty place - it also plays host to a wide array of cultural events, including this year some 18 exhibitions, 30 musical events and almost 100 theatre performances. The Castle authorities have just presented their rich cultural programme for 2005, and visitors won't be disappointed; they can look forward to everything from Charles IV's burial shroud to theatre from the Japanese Imperial court.
For many years Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's operatic work Zaide was regarded as a fragment. More than an hour of music was preserved but that was only the arias. Originally they were linked by spoken text, none of which survived. The German musicologist and conductor Andreas Kroeper, who now lives in the Czech Republic, says he has found the missing text and has proved it belonged to Zaide.
Today we look at the least known of the founding trilogy of Czech classical music in the 19th century, that's Zdenek Fibich, who is now remembered very much in the shadow of his better known contemporaries, Smetana and Dvorak. I'm joined by musicologist Patricia Goodson. Could you tell me something about Zdenek Fibich, who he was?
Welcome to a special Christmas Eve programme from Radio Prague. I'm David Vaughan. Continuing a tradition that we started last year, we're going to be meeting members of a school choir here in Prague. They're pupils from the Akademicke Gymnazium, just off Wenceslas Square, one of the oldest grammar schools in the world and a school with a rich tradition. Last year we heard Christmas Carols, but this year we'll bring you something a little different. As the centenary year of the death of the great Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak, draws to a close,
"Hey Master, get up, quickly!" Those are the opening words of the most famous piece of Czech Christmas Music. Composed by a small-town teacher, Jakub Jan Ryba, in 1896, "Ceska mse vanocni" or "Czech Christmas Mass" has the structure of a classic pastoral mass - only it is not located at Jesus Christ's birthplace but somewhere in snow-covered Central Bohemia. The lyrics describe a village scene where a farm hand wakes up his master to tell him about a strange heavenly light. The master is a little morose at first but then he gets up to have a look and
Today we remember an extraordinary Czech musician, Zuzana Navarova, who died last week of cancer at the tragically early age of 45. Her band Nerez became hugely popular in the 1980s. This was a time of growing popularity of singer song-writers, but Zuzana Navarova was different. Music critic Petr Doruzka remembers:
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