Thu, 21. 11. 2019, 7.00 p.m.
B3 FATEFUL MOMENTS
PRE-CONCERT TALK WITH J. ŠIBÍK
6.15 p.m., Small Auditorium
HUSA: Music for Prague 1968
POPELKA: Remember! Songs of Hope and Despair
DVOŘÁK: Symphony no. 9 in E minor 'From the New World', Op. 95
BOHUSLAV MARTINŮ PHILHARMONIC
TOMÁŠ BRAUNER, Conductor
Photo Projection, Josef Koudelka and Jan Šibík
In November our country marks the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution and the fall of the communist regime, and tonight's third concert in this subscription series reflects the fateful episodes of the ill-famed period of Czechoslovak normalisation.
Karel Husa wrote his well-known Music for Prague in 1968 to protest against the occupation by Warsaw Pact troops. The work achieved instant success around the world although the composer, at the time an emigré living in the USA, was on the political blacklist in this part of the world, so it was not until the Iron Curtain was swept away in late 1989 that this eloquent piece received its first performance in Czechoslovakia.
Vladimír Popelka's aptly-named orchestral suite "Remember!" was commissioned by the Smetana Festival held in Litomyšl, where the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra premiered it last July. At the core of the work are a number of popular song melodies from key anti-communist protest songsters such as Karel Kryl, Jaroslav Hutka and Marta Kubišová, whose songs gave many people in difficult times at least a glimmer of hope for a brighter future.
The second half of tonight's concert features Antonín Dvořák's iconic 'New World' symphony, one of the world's most emblematic works of Czech music.
Tonight's programme also includes projections of some unique period images of the August 1968 and November 1989 events by leading photographers Josef Koudelka and Jan Šibík. At the podium tonight is the Zlín philharmonic's Chief Conductor Tomáš Brauner.