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INTRODUCTIONThis all-Janáček programme opens with a brazen fanfare scored for a phalanx of brass and timpani, beginning with the composer’s monumental ﬁve-movement Sinfonietta. Moments of reﬂection sparkle throughout in a unique blend of contemplation and exuberance. This brilliant work has inﬂuenced many contemporary artists, from progressive rockers Emerson, Lake and Palmer, to celebrated author Haruki Murakami.
The years either side of World War I were a time of renaissance for the Czech nation, and at its heart was Janáček’s music. Completed a few months before the outbreak of war and based on a lyrical poem by friend and contemporary, Jaroslav Vrchlický, The Eternal Gospel takes the form of an oratorio, celebrating love.
In 1926, the same year that Sinfonietta premiered in Brno, Janáček composed his Glagolitic Mass. In the words of an admiring critic “it has absolutely everything: it’s engrossing, enthralling, captivating, startling, soothing, primitive, pristine and incredibly spiritual”. With its ﬁve choral sections, thrilling brass outbursts, lustrous melodies and organ fantasia, Glagolitic Mass is Janáček’s celebration of Slavic culture and of the God he felt in the physical world around him. A uniquely joyous mass frequently performed and recorded, this is a masterpiece of the choral repertoire.
Jaroslav Kyzlink conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Janáček Opera of the National Theatre Brno whose regular overseas tours have garnered considerable international acclaim.
CAST & PRODUCTIONConductor
Pavla Vykopalová (soprano)
Jana Hrochová (alto)
Peter Berger (tenor)
Jiří Sulženko (bass)
With Orchestra and Chorus of the Janáček Opera of the National Theatre Brno
ADDITIONAL INFONational Theatre Brno
The elegant city of Brno is steeped in culture. Once capital of Moravia in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire and now the second largest city of the Czech Republic, Brno is the birthplace of Czech writer Milan Kundera; and its National Theatre is indelibly associated with the music of Leoš Janáček’s, one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.
Opened in 1884, the National Theatre Brno premiered almost all of Janáček’s operas including Jenůfa, The Cunning Little Vixen and The Makropulos Case, works which feature in the repertoire of every world-ranking opera house. The ﬂowering of Janáček’s creative genius came in his later years. In his seventies, aﬂame with desire for a married woman half his age, he produced a stream of fresh and youthful works of art, including the Sinfonietta and the Glagolitic Mass. Sense of drama, good and evil, joy and sorrow – Janáček’s works seethe with love for life and reﬂect his own turbulent life.
With a special focus on Czech music, the 2017 Hong Kong Arts Festival welcomes more than 180 musicians and singers from the Janáček Opera of the National Theatre Brno, together with world class soloists, in an extraordinary musical celebration featuring masterpieces by two best known Czech composers, Janáček and Dvořák.
Czech Music for a Sunday Afternoon
22 Jan 2017
Orchestra Workshop: Finding Janáček
24 Feb 2017
Janáček Moments: Janáček Pre-concert Talk
28 Feb 2017