Monday, April 2, 2012: Easter Preview
What special concerts await you in Prague during the coming Easter weekend? You might expect clouds of choirs and multiple orchestras breaking out in joyous music to welcome spring. Or humble soloists presenting selections from Masses or other religious works. Or at least some kind of dance during this season when everyone begins to wake up and move out of their winter lethargy.
Oddly enough, finding special Easter events (and even those of the non-classical variety) has always presented a challenge in Prague. So far in this post-revolution period, it seems that the main Easter activities are limited to private family gatherings and the ever-growing number of Easter markets where you can buy spring trinkets. (This may be an example of how classical music sometimes gives away its power.)
Of course, most classic venues continue with their regular calendar of performances. So if you want a special afternoon or evening out this coming long weekend, be sure to check the Opus Osm clickable Events Calendar at the top of this page. For family entertainment, we can recommend The National Theatre Ballet’s Easter weekend performances of Sleeping Beauty, for example.
But for true Easter events, consider the Good Friday (Apr 6) Easter Concert by Musica Florea, 7 pm at the Theatre of the Estates. Musica Florea specializes in works by Czech composer Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1745). This concert presents his Lamentationes Ieremiae Prophetae, with baritone Marián Krejčík and the Czech boys’ choir Boni Pueri, conducted by Marek Štryncl.
Another Good Friday choice is the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK) performing a classic, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater at 7:30 pm at Obecní Dům (The Municipal House). Conductor Mlastimil Mareš will lead the orchestra and soprano Lucie Silkenová, mezzo-soprano Barbora Polášková, tenor Tomáš Černý, and bass Zdeněk Plech, with the Prague Philharmonic Choir, Lukáš Vasilek, choir master.
But it’s only one part of the FOK’s “Prague Easter Festival” stretching from Apr 3-24. The Festival opens Tues, Apr 3 with a world premiere by “Czechoslovak” composer Juraj Filas, Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, among other works. On Thurs, Apr 4 the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchestra appears, and on Sat, Apr 4 internationally-honored pianist Ingrid Fliter will perform works by Beethoven.
The Festival continues Tues, Apr 10 with Early Music on “extinct” or “endangered” instruments, by keyboardist Tomáš Flégr; and on Thurs, Apr 12 with a concert by the Prague Philharmonic Choir. This annual festival concludes Tues, Apr 24 with works by GP Telemann, performed by the Baroque Prague Ensemble and Octopus Pragensis.
It’s not entirely specifically Easter music, but the Festival gives you a good opportunity to leap into spring to some outstanding musical accompaniment. — oo
Photo Credits: Bigfoto