Thursday, June 9, 2011:Playing (with) Dvořák

Museum personnel assemble a large Dvořák puzzle in one of the children's corners of the new exhibit

Playing (with) Dvořák

This is a description of the newly-opened exhibit which was described by Opus Osm in our “What’s Coming?” article May 5.

A new exhibit opened yesterday at the Czech Museum of Music.

It’s what all exhibitions should be like. Why?

Because if you want to get your hands on interactive, multi-media displays as a way to get drawn into Dvořák — the man, the music — you can do it here.

If you prefer to peruse documents such as old family photos, original music manuscripts and scores, or to watch a 1941 German news reel on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Dvořák’s birth, you can do that here.

You can bring your kids to the exhibition with no fears. You can organize a school trip to the museum and rest assured your students will learn something. You can study the maestro’s original notes, letters, and photographs and soak up the special atmosphere of the time period of Dvořák’s life.

Or you can enjoy a series of Dvořák concerts and workshops, surrounded by his artifacts (starting this fall).

Fun way to access information: turn the city signs for pictures of places where Dvořák conducted

You can even lounge on the pillows in a large, moon-shaped alcove while you watch how the sound waves from Dvořák’s music make the water in two tiny “ponds” ripple, with shining reflections dancing on the ceiling. That, and the nearby, original blue-green costume of the “vodník” (water ogre) from his opera Rusalka help you get the “feel” for the maestro’s intentions for the work.

Perhaps best of all (for many of us), all the signage and explanatory panels are rendered in both Czech and in English. (All of them. The full texts. We checked.)

In short, the rich variety of the inter-active, multi-media displays makes Dvořák seem like a real man. Someone you might know from down the street.

Which can help you understand and appreciate his music even more.

The Antonín Dvořák Exhibition was organized by the National Museum and the Czech Museum of Music, curated and authored by Eva Velická of the Antonín Dvořák Museum in Prague. It marks the 170th anniversary of the composer’s birth, and is slated to run until Feb 29, 2012. — oo

Disclaimer: Opus Osm’s editor reads the museum script in English for the recorded spoken-word audio portions of the exhibit.

– Mary Matz

Photo Credits: Miroslav Setnička

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