Thursday, January 5, 2012:Family Fare
If you’re new to Prague classical music venues you may not know about a small, friendly concert hall offering quality performances. It’s the Atrium in Žižkov, formerly a Baroque church, now redone as concert and exhibition space. It’s a good place to bring the family for a pleasant introduction to classical music.
This Saturday (Jan 7) the warm, intimate cultural center welcomes the crisp cello-piano duo Bledar Zajmi and Daniel Wiesner at 3 pm. The concert also features mezzosoprano Michaela Kapustová.
Mr Wiesner and Mr Zajmi bring a special zest to their performances, which was described in our introductory article published Nov 16 (click here: Wiesner Zajmi).Mrs Kapustová is a 2008 graduate of the Prague Conservatory, and also studied at the Brno Conservatory and in private lessons and master classes. She has won a number of prizes and awards, including the first place award in the Pražský Pěvec (Prague Singer) International Vocal Competition; she was nominated for a Czech Thalia Award in 2010.
The concert will present four works by Czech composers who are part of the foundation of Czech music, Foerster, Suk, Dvořák, and Martinů.
JB Foerster (sometimes Forster) was born in Prague in 1859. Originally a music critic and teacher, he composed over 170 works, including five symphonies before his death in 1951. At Saturday’s concert you can hear his Song for Mezzosoprano, Cello, and Piano.
Josef Suk studied at the Prague Conservatory from 1885-1892; one of his teachers was Antonín Dvořák; and later, one of Suk’s own students was Bohuslav Martinů. Together with three of Suk’s fellow students he formed the famous Czech Quartet. He composed a number of pieces including a symphony, piano works, and symphonic poems; he died in 1935. He’s also known as the husband of Dvořák’s daughter, and as the grandfather of the late violinist Josef Suk. Ballad for Cello and Piano, Opus 3 will be presented at Saturday’s concert.
Also on the program are Antonín Dvořák’s Gypsy Melody for Mezzosoprano and Piano, and Bohuslav Martinů’s Variation on Slovak Songs for Cello and Piano.
Other works performed on Saturday include arias and highlights from Bizet’s Carmen, from Verdi’s Don Carlos, and selections from Boccherini, Debussy, and Tchaikovsky. It’s a good place to introduce your family to the Czech music family — and to some musical guests, too. — oo
– Mary Matz
Photo Credits: Top: Miroslav Setnička; bottom: Michaela Kapustová website