Monday, November 7, 2011:Sweets Surprise

Pralinky, with surprise

Sweets Surprise

What in the world could P(ou)r Alin-k-a possibly have to do with a Czech chocolate candy? And moreover, with classical music? And what is it?

The answer to this riddle is a dash of rum concealed in a sweet, milk chocolate, bite-sized Czech praline, as you can see in the photo. The word Pralinka [Praline] is concealed in the title, which is a short composition by HAMU music academy student Tomáš Krejča.

He wrote it for his violinist cousin Alina (nicknamed Alinka in Czech) for her graduation concert at the Conservatory of Music in České Budějovice.

He tells Opus Osm, “My piece is the same as this piece of candy: For someone, it could be sweet, for others its contents could be a surprise, for others, something fresh, and for others, a bit of energy.”

Furthermore, just like a praline, Mr Krejča’s composition conceals a surprise inside. “The piece is played as one piece,” he says, “but if you listen carefully you can hear the four-part structure similar to the sonata form with a coda.”

You can hear P(ou)r Alin-k-a live this Wed, Nov 9 at 7:30 pm at HAMU as part of “Svár Teorie s Praxí?” ["The Conflict of Theory and Practice?”] concert. In this annual event, composers go head-to-head with music theorists, the pedagogues and their students.

“Of course there is no real purpose for the conflict,” Mr Krejča assures us. In fact it’s a kind of celebration, because each year the session of original compositions is dedicated to a late Czech music theoretician who deeply influenced the progress of Czech music theory.

In addition to holding this concert, the pedagogues of the Department of Music Theory and History publish a collection of texts devoted to the chosen theoretician. This year that’s Zdeněk Skuherský (1830-1892).

A closeup view of Markéta Mazourová's marimba -- and proper marimba technique

But don’t worry, the evening won’t be packed with theory and rhetoric. It’s a concert, after all. And several friends whom you’ve already met in the pages of Opus Osm will be contributing to the music. Markéta Mazourová, who taught our writer Fred Rooks (left) to play the marimba in one lesson (Opus Osm, Nov 29, 2010), will play the marimba and the vibrafon.

Composer/conductor Marios Christou (International Festival of Orthodox Music) will offer his composition První Modlitba pro Solový Klarinet [First Prayer for Solo Clarinet].

And the rest of the original compositions will be performed by the other excellent, accomplished musicians connected with HAMU. The evening will be one sweet treat – for your ears. – 00

– Mary Matz

Photo Credits: Miroslav Setnička

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