The closing of Rheingau Music Festival with Czech and Slovak artists
This year the 23rd Rheingau Music Festival had 154 concerts, which took place at 42 different venues, with unbelievable 120 000 listeners. The closing concert of the festival was opera sacra Marie Magdaleine by Jules Massenet in the sold out Eberbach monastery basilica. The Czech and Slovak artists under the baton of Leoš Svárovský had a great success, and the concert ended by long standing ovations.
The artists were Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno (chorusmaster Petr Fiala), Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, Adriana Kohútková as Magdaleine, Jana Sýkorová as Martha, Tomáš Černý as Jesus and excellent Gustáv Beláček as Judas.
Reviews are here (PDF).
Biennale Bamberg 2010 and Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno
The Bamberg Symphony Orchestra presented their new summer Festival: from 16 till 25 July 2010, the Biennale Bamberg focused on the late Mahler. On occasion of the 100th jubilee of the world premiere of Mahler's Symphony No. 8 “Symphony of a Thousand”, this exceptional and rarely performed piece was programmed.
The Symphony of a Thousand was performed in Bamberg seventeen years ago, at the occasion of opening of the new concert hall. This year cast was with solo singers Manuela Uhl, Michaela Kaune, Marisol Montalvo, Lioba Braun, Janina Baechle, Stefan Vinke, Michael Nagy, Albert Dohmen, Choir of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra (chorus master Celso Antunes), Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno (chorusmaster Petr Fiala), Windsbacher Knabenchor (chorusmaster Karl-Friedrich Beringer), under the baton of the Bamberger Symphony Orchestra chief conductor Jonathan Nott.
This special event was broadcasted by Bavarian Radio, and will be released on CD in cooperation with Tudor label.
The excellent cast shall meet once more in June 2011, when they will perform the Symphony of a Thousand in the biggest opera house in Germany – Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden.
It is said about the concert hall: „Das Festspielhaus Baden-Baden ist mehr als Foyer, Eingangsbereich und Bühne. In diesen Räumen werden Träume gelebt!“
Daphnis et Chloé at international festival Grafenegg in Lower Austria
Lower Austria is region where culture receives huge support. Many cultural events take place in the nice castle Grafenegg and park area, which surrounds the castle. The events happen on the open-air arena “Wolkenturm“ and also in the newly built concert hall and in the reconstructed building of the castle riding-hall (Reitschule).
Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno frequently performs at this festival and receives warm welcome every time. This year Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno performed Ravel Daphnis et Chloé with Tonkünstler Orchester and under the baton of Jun Märkl.
As Prélude to evening concert, the choir performed in the former riding hall parts from opera sacra by J. Massenet Maria Magdaleine. This piece is not very known, but always receives warm welcome at the concerts.
Jakub Klecker at the Carniarmonie festival in Italy
Jakub Klecker conducted in the second half of this August three concerts in Northern Italy. Invited by the Carniarmonie Festival, he had chance to cooperate with the Orchestra Mitteleuropea, and three renowned soloists – Hugues Leclere (piano), Darko Brlek (clarinet) and Pierre Hommage (violin).
Each concert had a different programme presenting one concerto and one symphony by composers as L. v. Beethoven, M. Bruch, W. A. Mozart, F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and F. Chopin.
The concerts took place in the nice and sold out venues of the area called Carnia (between Eastern Dolomites and the Carnic Alps) and were a great success of the young Czech conductor, the orchestra and the soli.
Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno sang Schumann and Mahler in The Hague
In June Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno visited Dutch city The Hague where together with Het Residentie Orkest under the baton of principal conductor of the orchestra and world famous artist Neeme Järvi performed Schumann‘s Cantata Des Sängers Fluch op. 139 and Das klagende Lied by Gustav Mahler. Final concert of the orchestra season was dedicated to Mahler‘s jubilée and the sublime tones flew in Dr Anton Philipszaal during both evenings. All concert participants were awarded by well deserved and warm clapping.
Budapest Operetta and Musical Theatre was not discouraged by the unfavorable weather in Croatian Zagreb
Beginning of July the first edition of the Operetta Festival started in Croatian Zagreb. Open air stage was built in the historical city center – Gradec. From the hill platform the visitors had not only magnificent view over the historical city but the setting itself created as well cozy corner where the audience could savor the performance of the Budapest Operetta and Musical Theatre.
Budapest Theatre brought the fancy program cocktail mixed of classical operetta melodies (Kálmán, Lehár, J. Strauss, Offenbach a.o.) and young singers‘ & dancers’ ensemble moved the otherwise untold audience to sing and swing in the rhythm of famous operetta melodies. The performance of the Hungarian artists was the real top of the Festival and gave the proof the „flickering“ music genre still can find its fans.
The “magician” Eschenbach conducted Mahler
„I have been conducting Mahler pieces for already forty years, but I haven't worked with such perfectly prepared choir yet“, told Christoph Eschenbach to chorusmaster Petr Fiala when the concert in Rudolfinum was over.
The Czech Philharmonic and the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of Gustav Mahler on 7th July concert, where they performed Mahler 2nd Symphony “Resurrection”. The Rudolfinum Hall was sold out, and listeners experienced the “magic” of the world renowned conductor who specializes on Mahler. Thanks to Maestro Eschenbach the orchestra, choir and both the vocal soloists (soprano Simona Houda Šaturová and alto Yvonne Naef) succeeded to convey to the audience that “divine spark” of resurrection hidden in Mahler music.
The title of the concert was Tribute to Gustav Mahler, and it was tribute on the highest artistic level this time.
Sophia Jaffé performed with Solisti Veneti orchestra in Padua
Violinist Sophia Jaffé and the renowned Italian orchestra I Solisti Veneti performed together on June 29th in Padua, in the frameworks of the Veneto Festival. It was there first cooperation, and hopefully beginning of further cooperation. In the St. Catherine church they performed under the baton of Claudio Scimone Mendelssohn Violin Concerto No. 1 in D minor – piece, that the composer wrote in the age of thirteen. After this piece the audience called back the soloist to play two encores.
Richard Wagner Festival Wels 2010
The premiere of Richard Wagner Tristan and Isolda opened this year’s Richard Wagner Festival in Wels. The second programme offered to the audience was Lohengrin, the production of 2009 year. Many admirers of R. Wagner music arrived to Wels, small town in Austria, and completely sold out the local theatre Greif. Renowned soloists under the baton of Maestro Ralf Weikert, Bruckner Orchester Linz, Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg and the Slovak Philharmonic Choir performed on the highest level. Together with the production of Herbert Adler, staging and costumes of Dietmar Solt they convinced that opera can be interesting not only by music, but also visually. These were also the reasons why all the performances were fully sold out.
OÖ Nachrichten: "Wonderful Tristan and Isolde."
Wiener Zeitung: „Stimmglanz – klein Bayreuth.“ (on Lohengrin)
Sophia Jaffé debut in Wiener Konzerthaus and Konzertverein Klagenfurt
„Ein Konzert auf ganz hohem künstlerischem Niveau, vielleicht sogar das Spitzenkonzert des Jahres: Mit dem Engagement des Bruckner Orchester Linz unter der Leitung des famosen amerikanischen Dirigenten Dennis Russell Davis setzte der Musikverein Kärnten einen fulminanten Schlusspunkt unter das heurige Programm. Den ersten Teil des glanzvollen Abends prägte die 30-jährige Berlinerin Sophia Jaffé: Das kaum spielbare, weil unglaublich diffizil komponierte 2. Violinkonzert von Dimitri Schostakowitsch meisterte der neue Stern am Geigerhimmel mit Bravour: Die Ausnahmegeigerin demonstrierte ihre ganz große Klase – mühelos leicht spielte sie das mit schwierigen Passagen gespickte Violinkonzert.“
Kärntner Tageszeitung 18. 6. 2010
Daphnis et Chloé at the Janáček’s May Festival
The International Music Festival Janáček May Ostrava is important part of cultural life not only of the Moravian Silesian region, but of Czech Republic. This year the festival brought to the region such renowned artists as conductor Z. Mácal, bass singer and lutist J. Frederiksen and Polish composer K. Penderecki – in the role of conductor.
The Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno showed their best form at this year’s festival. Together with the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava and under the baton of Maestro Libor Pešek, they received excellent critical acclaim of the performance with Ravel ballet suites from Daphnis et Chloé:
“The concert was one of the best events of this year’s Janáček May festival. The Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra, excellently performing under the inspirational and concentrated leadership of Libor Pešek, the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno, together with the ballet solo (Ravel) created an unique atmosphere and very impressive evening.” (ja)
The concert showed that muses have not died
The title of this news is from the newspaper article of Mr. Vladimir Čech, published in “Mladá fronta dnes”. The article refers about the concert, that took place in Zlín on May 13th.
The concert was in the framework of Talentinum Festival (it is organized by Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra), and the soloist was the “prodigy child from 1982 year” pianist Igor Ardašev, who performed Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor.
Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Tomáš Hanus accompanied Igor Ardašev. Together with the Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 in the second part of the concert, they did excellent concert.
Read the excerpt from the above mentioned article: “Igor Ardašev, virtuoso of the piano, uncovered many secrets of the score by his playing. The conductor Tomáš Hanus stressed, especially in first movement, the melancholy of the piece. The success of the concert was convincing, Igor Ardašev played two nice encores – Suk Idyll and Rachmaninov Preludium in C minor.”
Read the whole article here.
The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra back in the Kölner Philharmonie
After their successful concert in 2008, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra was invited again this May to perform in this nice and inspiring venue. The orchestra with their chief conductor Vladimír Válek prepared an interesting programme – Beethoven overture Leonore III., Beethoven Violin Concerto and A. Dvořák 8th Symphony.
Soloist for the violin concerto was the renowned German artist – Sophia Jaffé, winner of several international competitions (1st prize at the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb and 3rd prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition 2005). The concert ended by standing ovations, which is not usual for the sophisticated audience in Cologne.
The regular cooperation between the Stuttgarter Philharmoniker with the chief conductor Gabriel Feltz, and the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno, lasts eight years. The high level of the joint concerts was confirmed by the two latest concerts in end April and beginning May in Stuttgart and Erlangen.
This year we celebrate G. Mahler life anniversary, on the programme of the concerts was Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, long and demanding piece composed in summer 1896. The concerts with Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Alexandra Petersamer, Aurelius Sängerknaben Calw children choir, Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno under the baton of Gabriel Feltz were very successful, and ended by long lasting ovations.
Sophia Jaffé’s debut with the State Opera Hannover Orchestra and with the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra
Sophia Jaffé performed in April in Hannover with the State Opera Hannover Orchestra, under the baton of Estonian conductress Anu Tali. On the programme was E. W. Korngold Violin Concerto.
The second concert in April was with the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Mikhel Kuetson. The orchestra perfectly accompanied Ms. Jaffé in A. Glazunov Violin Concerto A minor op. 82.
Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno at the opening concert of Dvořák’s Olomouc
Festival St. Maurice Church in Olomouc resounded with Antonín Dvořák Requiem music on May 13th. The opening concert of the Dvořák’s Olomouc Festival took place there. In the concert participated renowned and experienced performers – Moravian Philharmonic Olomouc under the baton of the chief conductor Petr Vronský, Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno with the chorusmaster Petr Fiala, Pavla Vykopalová (soprano), Kateřina Jalovcová (alto), Tomáš Černý (tenor) and Martin Gurbaľ (bass).
The festival concert ended by long lasting standing ovations. It is a pity that the concert was not broadcasted by radio or TV. The acoustics of the St. Maurice Church is perfect, and the possible TV broadcast would show also the wonderful interior decoration of the church.
The Storm with Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno
In the period between April 15th and 19th the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno performed in three concerts at the Prague Rudolfinum.
The first two concerts (on April 15th and 16th) were with the Czech Philharmonic, and the third one with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra.
The Czech Philharmonic concerts were under the baton of Ondrej Lenárd. After Janáček Sinfonietta, the concerts continued with rarely performed piece, The Storm by Vítězslav Novák. The vocal soli in this very demanding piece were Kateřina Kněžíková and Dana Burešová (soprano), Michal Lehotský (tenor), Roman Janál (baritone), Miloš Horák and Zdeněk Plech (bass).
At the concert with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra the choir performed in Dvořák Stabat Mater, under the baton of Vladimír Válek and with soli Zdena Kloubová (soprano), Andrea Kalivodová (alto), Michal Lehotský (tenor) and Zdeněk Plech (bass). All the three concerts were great success, and ended by long lasting ovations.
Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno at Prague Easter Festival
The renowned Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno performed at three concerts of the Prague Easter Festival. At the opening concert in Church of St. Simon and St. Jude (on March 30th 2010) the choir performed a cappella repertoire, mostly A. Bruckner sacred motets. By the way, the choir’s recording of Bruckner motets was awarded by ECHO Klassik 2007. The perfect acoustics of the church allowed the choir to work with all dynamic nuances of the human voice. The singers perfectly reacted to every tiny gesture of the chorusmaster and conductor Petr Fiala.
At the second and third concert (in Municipal House’s Smetana Hall), the choir performed Dvořák Stabat Mater with Prague Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Petr Altrichter. The artists brought to life Dvořák emotional and demanding piece in perfect performances, which ended by long lasting ovations.
The theme of „Night“ by Hamburg Philharmonic
The Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno was invited by the Hamburg Philharmonic to perform in two concerts in March 2010. The concerts took place in Laiszhalle concert hall under the baton of the Hamburg Philharmonic chief conductress Simone Young, and the motto of the programme was „Night“.
After Mozart Eine kleine Nachtmusik and Schonberg Verklärte Nacht came the pieces performed by the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno. First were Debussy Nocturnes, with the ladies choir singing the "Sirènes". The excellent concert concluded with Szymanowski Symphony No.3 – Song of the Night.
Jakub Klecker conducted the Prague Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Jakub Klecker led the Prague Symphony Orchestra in their Sunday concert for families in the end of March. The concert started with Dvořák unique cello concerto, excellent young Czech cellist Domimika Hošková playing the solo. The evening continued with the romantic Tchaikovsky 4th Symphony in F minor in the second half.
This first cooperation of the young conductor Jakub Klecker with the internationally renowned orchestra brought fresh and youthful performance of two often played pieces and vibrant energy to the Smetana Hall in Prague Municipal House.