About the Event
In this highly‐anticipated concert, hear the mellifluous sounds of classical music by Antonín Dvořák and Bedrich Smetana at Berlin's treasured and world‐renowned Konzerthaus Berlin.
With their program 'Slavonic Romanticism' the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Prague under the baton of Martin Peschik presents the most famous and beautiful compositions of Smetana and Dvořák, the most prominent representatives of classical, Czech music and another compositional genius, Peter I. Tchaikovsky, whose setting of the tragic love story 'Romeo and Juliet' belongs to the most important pieces of the Romantic period, likewise Smetana's timeless classic 'The Moldau' is heard. The second part of the concert features Antonín Dvořák's 9th Symphony 'From the New World,' composed in New York. The Czech Symphony Orchestra plays with great intensity befitting the Romantic period, making this program a unique concert experience.
- Bedrich Smetana – Selected works
- Antonín Dvořák – Selected works
|Orchestra:||Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Prague|
The Konzerthaus Berlin is a concert hall situated on the Gendarmenmarkt, the most beautiful square in the city. Built in 1821, the structure initially served as a theater. Severely damaged in the Second World War, it was rebuilt as a concert hall in 1977, with a neoclassical interior, and changed its name to reflect its new function in 1994. Consistently numbered among the top five concert halls in the world, the Konzerthaus hosts around 500 performances every year, ranging from symphony and chamber concerts featuring international stars to new music and children's concerts.
Antonin Dvorak is considered to be one of the most well-known and prominent Czechs in the world, as his musical work gained international recognition already during his lifetime. He was born in 1841 in a small Czech village into a butcher’s family. At the age of 6, Dvorak started taking violin lessons and it immediately became obvious that the boy had exceptional talent in music. Later in life, he was learning to master piano and organ as well as simultaneously working in a slaughterhouse. After Dvorak turned 16, he was admitted to the Organ School in Prague that trained future professional composers. After graduating, he stayed in Prague, joined Karel Komzak’s orchestra and started actively composing his own music. However, he struggled to make ends meet and always had to work on the side by playing music in churches and giving private music lessons. Finally, 1874 became a turning point in his life when he won a financial grant from an Austrian Prize competition for his 15 submitted works. This allowed him to quit the orchestra and devote himself fully to composing. During this period, he wrote his Slavonic Dances, Moravian Duets and Violin Concerto, which brought him sweeping success. In 1892 he was invited to teach at the New York National Conservatory, where he stayed until 1895 before returning home. He started teaching at the Prague conservatory and later became its director. Until his death in 1904, he had been a successful and well-loved composer, both in his homeland and around the whole world.
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.