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.
In this week’s In Focus, we look at the success of a new Czech documentary called Fulmaya, the Girl with Skinny Legs. The film is a portrait of Slovak actress and musician Dorota Nvotová and how she chose a path less travelled: life in Nepal for six years where she worked as a guide and above all helped to raise funds for children at a local orphanage.
Piotrek Gawlinski unearths and scans rare and frequently stunning pictures of the Czech capital for his excellent historical photoblog Lost and Found in Prague. A Polish tour guide based in the city, Gawlinski uses his Tumblr account to draw attention to work by greats such as Josef Sudek but also provides a unique forum for pictures by unknown photographers who captured a now disappeared Prague.
Singer-songwriter Albert Černý is well-known to local guitar pop fans thanks to his former group, Charlie Straight. Indeed, their 2009 UK-inspired debut She’s A Good Swimmer won the Czech equivalent of a Grammy for album of the year. Now the rangy and charismatic frontman is back with a new band, Lake Malawi, who are just about to play their first live shows around the Czech Republic. On the eve of those shows, I spoke to Černý at our studios. Our conversation started with where it all started: his hometown of Třinec, one of the country’s most easterly
Six emerging designer talents from the Czech Republic are presenting their work at International Fashion Showcase 2014, which opens in London on Thursday. The two-week exhibition, held within London Fashion Week, will feature fresh new collections of garments, jewellery and accessories from across central Europe. I called the head of the Czech Centre in London Tereza Porybná to find out more.
Today, in Prague’s bookstores one can find titles in a number of world languages – English, German, Russian, French, and of course Czech. It is much harder these days, although not impossible, to find books published in Hebrew. But five hundred years ago, a little less than a century after the Gutenberg press was invented, the first Hebrew book in Central Europe, and possibly north of the Alps, was printed right here in Prague.
Jana Zielinski is a co-founder of Prague’s annual Designblok festival, which has done a huge amount to boost the profile of design in the Czech Republic in the last decade and a half. She also co-runs the gorgeous, spacious Křehký Gallery in an old industrial part of the Holešovice district – and it is there that our tour of “Jana Zielinski’s Prague” begins.