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Classic Spectacular in St. Salvator Church

Prague, St. Salvator Church (Charles Bridge) — Main Hall

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About the Event

The Royal Czech Orchestra and three amazing soloists perform some of the most beautiful works of the Classical Repertoire in the stunningly beautiful St. Salvator Church of Prague.

Practical Information

Category A : Rows 1 to 6
Category B : Rows 7 to 13
Category C : Rows 14 to 20

Program

  • Marc‐Antoine Charpentier – Te Deum Prélude
  • Georg Friedrich Händel – Largo from opera Xerxes
  • Antonio Vivaldi – The Four Seasons Spring + Summer
  • Johann Sebastian Bach – Toccata and Fugue in D minor
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Requiem Lacrimosa
  • Johann Sebastian Bach – Air on the G String
  • Franz Schubert – Ave Maria
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Divertimento K136 Allegro
  • Bedrich Smetana – The Moldau
  • Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 5 — Allegro
Program is subject to change

Artists

Orchestra: Royal Czech Orchestra

The Royal Czech Orchestra traces its beginnings back to the 17th century, to the reign of Leopold I, King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor, who was a generous patron of the orchestra while also being a praiseworthy composer himself.

The Orchestra was reestablished after the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Today, the Royal Czech Orchestra features the most highly acclaimed professional musicians to be found in the Czech Republic.

Organ player: Robert Hugo
Violin: Viktor Mazáček
Soprano: Eva Müllerová

St. Salvator Church (Charles Bridge)

Saint Salvator Church is a part of the Klementinum, a vast complex of historic buildings in Prague. A major city landmark, the complex is located near the iconic Charles Bridge, and the church marks the entrance to Prague’s Old Town. Built in the 16th century by the Jesuits in the Gothic style, Baroque elements were added in the following centuries. Today, the church is deemed one of the most important examples of the early Baroque style in the Czech capital. The exuberant interior of this church is an ideal setting for a classical concert. St Salvator Church has two organs, which have been recently restored, and both are regularly played at highly popular concerts, run throughout the year.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Perhaps the most important composer of all time, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was an Austrian composer of the late 18th century. Born in 1756 in Salzburg, he showed prodigious musical talent from childhood. Beginning at five years of age, he composed more than 600 works, including concertos, symphonies, religious works and operas before his premature death at the age of 35. Hi influence over successive generations cannot be overestated - Ludwig van Beethoven wrote of Mozart "posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years”. Despite the immense success of his compositions, and the acclaim he received across Europe, Mozart achieved little financial security and rwas buried in an unmarked grave in Vienna's St Marx Cemetery.

Franz Schubert

During his rather short life, Franz Schubert, one of the fathers of romanticism in music, had always been an unappreciated genius who had never received public acclaim. Only his family and friends were delighted by his music, and most of his works were discovered and published only many years after his death. Franz Schubert was born on the 31th of March 1797 in the suburbs of Vienna. His father and eldest brother were amateur musicians and they taught him to play piano and violin. At the age of 11 Schubert was a singer in a choir at the Lichtenthal parish and later auditioned for Antonio Salieri and admitted to the emperor’s choir. During that period young Franz started composing his own works. However, after his voice broke he had to leave the choir and in 1814 he started working as a teacher in the same parish school as his father. He never stopped composing and 4 years later he decided to quit teaching and devote his life completely to music. He fell out with his father because of that and struggled to make ends meet. In 1818 Schubert went to Vienna, where he met Vogl. Together they gave private concerts in small aristocratic circles, mainly playing Lieder, which Schubert wrote around 600. Franz Schubert gave only one big public concert in his whole life in March 1828, which was very warmly received by the audience. However, his health was deteriorating and in November the same year he died of thyroid fever at the age of 31.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German pianist and composer of the late 18th century. He is well known as the most influential composers of all time as well as crucial figure to the Classical music scene. In fact, he demonstrated his musical talent at an early age, taking lessons from his father and composer/conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe. Later, he moved to Vienna where he gained the reputation of a virtuoso pianist by composing his popular masterpieces. He created his most admired works in his last 15 years of life, all the while being almost completely deaf.

Bedrich Smetana

Bedrich Smetana is regarded as the father of Czech classical music, most known for his symphonic cycle My Homeland and opera The Bartered Bride. He was born in 1824 in Litomyšl, a town in Bohemia. Since childhood, Bedrich Smetana developed an affection for folk music and songs, which can be traced in his oeuvre. His father also played in a string quartet and taught young Bedrich to play the violin. However, the son preferred the piano and gave his first piano performance when he was only 6 years old. In 1943 Smetana set off to Prague where he attended the Prague Music Institute and became acquainted with Prague’s music life by attending numerous classical concerts. Back then he said: “…I shall one day be a Liszt in technique and a Mozart in composition!”. In 1848 he opened a private music school, which became very popular, especially among Czech nationalists – a movement that was thriving that year. Smetana was supporting the movement and wrote a few patriotic works, including two marches dedicated to the Citizens’ Army. However, the 1850’s were sorrowful years for the composer. He lost his three daughters, his wife was severely ill and the critics were giving unflattering reviews on his music. In 1856 he decided to start a new life in Gothenburg, Sweden, where he opened another music school, worked as a conductor of the Society for Classical Music and gained professional recognition. In his homeland, Smetana’s talent was finally acknowledged only in 1866 with the release of his opera "The Brandenburgers". Since then, his career saw ups and downs but reached its glorious peak when the public first heard his symphonic circle "Ma Vlast", which Smetana composed despite becoming deaf.

Georg Friedrich Händel

An English subject with German origins, Georg Handel was truly a musical pioneer, combining musical traditions of English, Italian and German composers. He was born in 1685 in Halle, Germany, into a very religious and conservative family. His father was dreaming for his son to become a lawyer and would not let young Georg play musical instruments at home. But the Duke Johann Adolf accidentally heard him playing in the chapel and convinced Georg's father to let his son receive a musical education. Thus, Handel became a pupil of the famous organ player and composer Friedrich Zachow. The first success came to Handel in 1705 when he moved to Hamburg and staged his two premiere operas, Almira and Nero, in the Oper am Gänsemarkt. Almira immediately became a highlight of the theatre and was performed around 20 times. Later next year Handel moved to Italy were he received high acclaim and was put on the same level as renowned Italian composers of the time. In 1710 Handel travelled to London where later he decided to settle down. There he wrote a sacred choral piece "Te Deum" that was played in St. Paul´s Cathedral at the ceremony devoted to signing the Utrecht Treaty. From that moment onwards he became the leading composer of England, as the country did not have any native prominent composers. His oeuvre was mainly focused on operas, but by 1730 the genre of Italian opera ceased to be popular and Handel´s success dwindled. During the last years of his life until his death in 1759 he was mainly composing oratorias, including his famous and magnificent Messiah.

Johann Sebastian Bach

The name Bach and the word musician had long been synonyms in Germany as the world saw 56 musicians from this kin. But it was Johann Sebastian Bach, a genius composer and virtuoso organ player, who shed lustre on his family name. He was born on th 31st of March 1685 in Eisenach, a small town in Thuringia. At the age of 10 he became an orphan and was brought up by his elder brother Johann Christoph, who was an organist in a neighbouring town. His brother was the one to teach music to the young Johann Sebastian. Later he moved to Luneburg where he attended a church school and mastered the techniques of playing violin, viola, piano and organ by the age of 17. Besides that, Bach was a choir singer and later after his voice broke he became a chanter’s assistant. In 1703 Bach was hired as a court musician in the chapel of Duke Johann Ernst III. He earned such a good reputation there that he was later invited to Arnstadt to be an organist at the New Church, where he wrote his best organ works. In 1723 he moved to Leipzig to be a chantor at St. Thomas Church where he stayed until his death of a stroke in 1750. In the year of his death he had undergone unsuccessful eye surgery which lead him to lose his eyesight. During that strenuous time his second wife Anna Magdalena helped him to write his last musical pieces. Bach’s artistic legacy is vast. He created compositions in all genres of the time: oratorias, cantatas, masses, motets, music for organ, piano and violin.

Antonio Vivaldi

Antonio Vivaldi went down in history as a creator of the instrumental concert genre and the father of orchestral music. He was born in Venice on the 4th of March 1678. Vivaldi was a weak and sickly child suffering from asthma, however could not stop him from devoting himself completely to music. His father, Giovanni Batista a professional violinist, taught his elder son Antonio to play the violin. With his father young Antonio met the best musicians of Venice of that time and gave concerts in local churches. He also worked as a violin teacher and later as a music director at the orphanage Ospedalle della Pieta. Meanwhile he composed concertos, sacred works and vocal music and in 1713 he achieved great recognition with his sacred choral music. Vivaldi got captivated by the world of opera and worked both as opera composer and impresario at the Teatro San Angelo. In 1717 he obtained a prestigious position by the prince court in Manua as a director of secular music and worked there until around 1720. During that time he composed his world-renowned masterpiece The Four Seasons. In the 1730's his career dwindled as his music became unfashionable and the great composer died in poverty. It took the world two centuries to rediscover and reevaluate Vivaldi’s music, as it was buried into oblivion after his death. In the early 20th century many previously unknown works were found and immediately captured the hearts of the music lovers.

Address

St. Salvator Church (Charles Bridge), Křižovnické náměstí, Prague, Czech Republic — Google Maps

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