Tag: Prague Symphony Orchestra FOK

Facing the Music

Composer Aleš Březina (Toufar, Tomorrow There Will Be) says Czechs are now ready to confront some of the difficult questions of their Communist past. It seems a surge of artistic performances about the darker side of Communism in Czechoslovakia has surfaced in the past few years. The HBO film The Burning Bush recounts Jan Palach’s self-immolation in a 1969 protest. The Prague Symphony Orchestra chose the opening concert of their…

FOK: But the Music Rolls On

With the backdrop of rising river waters and deferred or canceled events, it’s important to know that there are still things proceeding on a normal schedule. The major concert halls of Prague have not been inundated, and classical music proceeds apace. This is something of a tragedy, because it means that FOK’s final performance of the season is still going to happen soon – on June 26 and 27. The…

Antonín Who??

What does the name Antonín Rejcha mean to you? If your answer is “Antonín Who?” you can be forgiven … If you’re a musician, you probably have run into this Prague-born pal of Beethoven and Haydn, who was known especially for his wind quintets and octets, and his piano fugues. His Cours de Composition Musicale was one of the first modern classroom harmony textbooks, building a pedagogical corpus influencing the…

Meet Mr Teml

He started out as an economist, then became a radio music producer; but this FOK composer-in-residence has found his own unique musical voice. “My musical career has not always been easy and straight-forward,” admits Jiří Teml, writing in the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK) program book. “On the contrary, it has followed a rather unusual path.” Trained and working in the field of economics, he began taking private music theory and…

Joyful Surprise

Joyful Surprise Conductor Petr Altrichter at the FOK The Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK) kicked off its new season with opening concerts last Wednesday and Thursday. We were looking forward to a memorable concert, but we weren’t prepared for the surprise awaiting us. Sure, we expected to be impressed by Igor Tchetuev’s performance of Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No 4 in G Major, and we were. We were looking…

Martinů’s Notes on Art

Martinů’s Notes on Art Martinů’s Frescoes: A World, in 20 Minutes Bohuslav Martinů’s Frescoes of Piero della Francesca is a three-part orchestral work lasting less than 20 minutes. But it contains an astounding variety of moods, tempos, and colors. Next Wednesday and Thursday the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK) gives you the chance to hear it in person, as the FOK opens the second half of its concert season with the…

Tuesday, April 17, 2012: Child’s Play

Child’s Play Kids took the stage again at the latest concert especially for children, designed by the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK). The theme this time was “earth,” the fourth and final topic in the series focused on the four elements. Once again the program creators offered a treat for more than just the ears. Young dancers from Balet Praha Junior, the Taneční Centrum Praha conservatory, performed in the contemporary style…

Thursday, April 12, 2012: Diversifying Dvořák

Diversifying Dvořák: Beyond ‘Easy Antonín’ Finding concerts featuring works by Antonín Dvořák is no problem, especially in Prague. Posters and placards boast concerts daily by the famous Czech (along with other top names such as Mozart and Vivaldi) hoping, no doubt, to draw in the tourism crowds. But don’t be afraid to go a little beyond the short classical “easy listening” pieces such as his beloved “Humoresque” for the violin,…

Wednesday, April 11, 2012: Past and Present

Past and Present: Concerto for Viola The seamless blending of the past and present was offered to listeners at the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK) Chamber Orchestra’s performance last Tues, Apr 3. A highlight of the concert was the world premiere of Juraj Filas’ Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra. Mr Filas, an FOK artist-in-residence this year, says he wrote the lovely, new piece in 2010 at the request of his…

Monday, April 2, 2012: Easter Preview

What To Do: 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,…

Tuesday, March 20, 2012: Concert Makes a Splash

This FOK Concert Makes a Splash Classical music, children, and water — perhaps an unlikely combination, but it definitely created waves as part of the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK’s) “elements” cycle for children, this one entitled “Water,” this past Saturday at the Municipal House. I couldn’t help but wonder how the musicians must feel getting “up” for a concert at 11 am on a Saturday. In addition to this being…

Friday, March 16, 2012: Drums ‘n Brass

Zdeněk Liška: Drums ‘n Brass on Sunday Born in 1922 in Smečno, Zdeněk Liška was a quiet man who shunned the public eye – there are only a handful of photographs of him and perhaps one interview. Although music was this composer’s medium, film was truly his love. Nearly his entire career and body of work is music solely for the cinema. “I write only for the pictures,” he once…

Wednesday, March 14, 2011: Music Can/Should Provoke…

When Music Can (Should) Provoke Few concerts have been as provocative as the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK) rendition of Vladimír Sommer’s 1958 Vocal Symphony for Mezzosoprano, Narrator, Choir and Orchestra performed Mar 8 at the Municipal House. In fact, in her Opus Osm article Mar 1 about the piece, Hana Škrdlová explains Sommer’s mostly politically-commissioned works are classified as “some of the most weighty” written by Czechs after 1945. The…

Tuesday, March 13, 2011: Dress Rehearsal!

Opus Osm goes behind the curtain to find out what a general, or dress, rehearsal is all about. You can read this article by Sam Goldscheider in its entirety by clicking on “Other Side of the Curtain,” the black tab at the top of the page. What Happens at a Dress Rehearsal? And Why Should You Go? Ever wonder what happens during a symphony orchestra rehearsal? The Prague Symphony Orchestra…

Monday, March 12, 2012: Blissful Peace

Blissful Peace and Prickly Personalities Meet yet another Czech composer obscure outside the nation’s borders, but one who contributed immensely to the development of classical music. Like many other composers introduced on Opus Osm, this one has multiple names, led a fascinating if somewhat mysterious personal life, and would have been an intriguing person to know. If you could put up with his personality. Because Václav Jan Křtitel Tomášek (also…

Friday, December 9,2011: Motion, Emotion…

Editorial: Motion, Emotion, and Music How many times do you suppose Mozart’s classic opera Don Giovanni has played in Prague? How many different productions of it do you imagine have been created around the world? And what – besides the glorious music itself – could keep this 18th century opera fresh, fascinating, and satisfying for typically jaded 21st century audiences? One answer: visuals. Look, They’re Everywhere As we’ve noted before,…