Wed, May 4, 2011:Were You There?

A member of the audience tries conducting at a Prague Spring preview

Fun, Enjoyment, Socializing, Pleasure:
Can This Be Classical?

Classical music, opera, and ballet have their bad reps (American slang for reputations). Some people think classical = serious, stiff, unsmiling; intellectual, academic, snooty (American slang for socially superior); or emotional, unrealistic, even crazy.

And of course everyone knows that classical music is ‘only’ for people with grey hair.

It’s part of our mission at Opus Osm to show just how wrong — silly, in fact — these old-fashioned ideas are.

So here’s our own version of a Facebook wall to show you what audiences at classical concerts look like, and what they have been enjoying lately.

Take a look. Are you in the picture? Or maybe someone you know is.

If you don’t see yourself here, next time put yourself in the picture. Go to a performance of Czech classical music, opera, or ballet and send us a photo of you in the audience.

Next time, see you there!

Presentation by Pianists Ivan and Lukáš Klánský
April 21, Church of St Lawrence, Prague
(Series for Friends of Prague Spring)

A lively, entertaining conversation with these two renown pianists, father and son. Father is an internationally-known pianist who has recorded many CDs, and now teaches at the Prague Academy (HAMU). Son is a student at HAMU, also of piano, and performed his first concert at age 5. The informal evening of friendly conversation and spontaneous jokes and humor was moderated by Pavel Trojan, Jr. of  the Prague Spring International Music Festival. A small but enthusiastic audience audience asked several questions and thoroughly enjoyed two pieces played by the duo. (See Opus Osm article published April 25.)

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Songs for Good Friday (Zpěvy Velkého Pátku)
April 22, Czech Museum of Music, Prague
(Concert open to the public)

The key word for this concert was ‘moving.’ Easter is the most holy and highly observed religious period in the Czech Republic, with various observances starting on Thursday, through ‘Great’ Friday, Easter, and Easter Monday. This concert featured beautiful, traditional religious vocal music from the Baroque period. It included works by Czech hymnologists and composers Jan Josef Božan, Jan Dismas Zelenka, and Adam Václav Michna z Ostradovic. These aren’t exactly household names (American English for very common names) but thanks to their uplifting performance by  the Chorus of Ludus Musicus, more people have the opportunity to start to feel at home with them. The large audience was appreciative of the inspirational presentation, lingering for a few moments of afterglow following the last notes echoing through the three-story concert hall.

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The audience starts assembling for an evening of Egyptian music

Ambassadors’ Concert Series, Egyptian Marimba
April 26, Czech Museum of Music
(Concert by invitation)

This intriguing, energizing mix of Egyptian, European, and Asian-influenced music was brought to the mainly Czech audience under the auspices of Amal M Mourad, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt as part of the Ambassadors’ Concert Series. The amazed, enthusiastic audience was treated to a fascinating mix of Bach, Vivaldi, and Paganini, as well as Elwahab, Khayrat, and a traditional folk piece, all performed by Egyptian marimbist Nesma Abdel Aziz, with piano, percussion, and qanun accompaniment.

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Where Were You?

Send your description, similar to those above (plus a photo, if possible), to: editor@opusosm.com and help us spread the word about interesting live performances deserving attention! — oo

Photo Credits: Miroslav Setnička

One Comment

  1. Lynne DeMichele
    Posted May 12, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Egyptian marimbas??!! love it.

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