State Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Prague Philharmonic Children´s Choir, choirmaster Prof. Jiří Chvála
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Exsultate, jubilate, KV 165 for soprano and orchestra
Ernö Dohnányi: Variations on a Nursery Tune for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 25
Luboš Fišer: Christmas Carols (Christmas carols for narrator, soprano, tenor and baritone solos, mixed and children's choir and orchestra)
Every December, a host of wonderful Advent concerts are held in Prague. Why should you attend two such evenings at the Forum Karlín? What makes them exceptional among the traditionally numerous seasonal concerts? The answer is easy: they feature works by three masters of song, to be performed by superb interpreters, including the “Mozart miracle”, as the international critics have referred to the soprano Simona Šaturová, and Marek Kozák, one of Europe’s most exciting young pianists.
W. A. Mozart (1756–1791) composed his famous motet Exsultate, jubilate at the tender age of 16, during his third trip to Italy. Its captivating melodies seem to be irradiated by the Italian sun. One of the most popular Mozart works, owing to its highly virtuoso solo coloratura part, the motet has been a truly rewarding piece for generations of sopranos.
Just as phenomenal a pianist as Mozart was the creator of the second work on the programme of the concert, the Hungarian musician Ernö Dohnányi (1877–1960). Born in Bratislava, in 1949 he settled in the USA. And just like Mozart, he was enthralled by the old French children’s song Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman, generally known today in the Anglophone world as Twinkle, twinkle, little star. Mozart wrote 12 variations on the song for solo piano, while Dohnányi composed witty variations for piano and orchestra, with an opulently romantically flaring orchestra and a lambent virtuoso solo piano part.
The programme of the second part of the evening is made up of magical Czech Christmas carols, as arranged by Luboš Fišer (1935–1999). One of the most distinguished Czech composers of the second half of the 20th century, his oeuvre also encompasses more than 300 scores for film and television. A highly gifted music creator, possessing a profound sense for the human voice, Fišer’s arrangements of Christmas carols are immensely charming and fully rendering their natural magic.