Musica non grata: Janáček – Martinů
The National TheatreApproximate running time
1 hour 10 minutes, no intermissionPremiere
June 12, 2021
Janáček's The Diary of One Who Disappeared marks as one of the most popular composer's work. In The Opening of Wells by Martinů he reminisces his beloved Vysočina.
About a concert
Leoš Janáček: The Diary of One Who Disappeared
Cycle of 22 songs for tenor, an alto and three female voices and piano on poetry by Ozef Kalda.
The Diary of One Who Disappeared premiered on 18 April 1921 at the Reduta in Brno, and featured Janáček’s students, the tenor Karel Zavřel, the alto Ludmila Kvapilová-Kudláčková and the pianist Břetislav Bakala. The remarkable song cycle, quite challenging to perform, has long been one of the most popular Janáček works. Janáček found the inspiration in a poem by an anonymous author published in Lidové noviny under the title From the Pen of a Self-taught Writer. Janáček was deeply impressed by the story’s dramatic drift and erotic charge, as well as the Wallachian dialect in which the verses were penned, and he duly decided to set the text to a song cycle. Janáček was evidently inspired by Kamila Stösslová, who remained his muse for the rest of his life. The song cycle received its first staged performance in 1926 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and in 1943 there was its first Czech dramatic adaptation, in Plzeň. Although having been primarily played in concert, The Diary of One Who Disappeared has been adapted into several theatre productions and two films, the first directed by Václav Kašlík and the second by Jaromil Jireš.
The chamber cantata The Opening of the Wells ranks among Bohuslav Martinů’s best-known compositions, and has engrossed generations of musicians and listeners alike. Even though since 1938 Martinů had lived abroad, in France and, later on, in the USA, and, as a “persona non grata” due to his political opinions and art could not return home, he never forgot about his country, reflecting his love in music. In July 1955, which he spent in Nice, the composer completed the cantata The Opening of the Wells, to the poem The Song of the Rubínka Well, which its author, Miloslav Bureš, had sent him a month previously. Recalling his native Vysočina region and the village of Tři Studny, where he spent July 1938 with the family of his pupil Vítězslava Kaprálová, Martinů created one of his most heartfelt pieces. In a letter to Bureš, he wrote: “Your poem about a well deeply moved me, not only because you love Vysočina, but also because it is really beautiful. It has brought back many memories – precious indeed …”
Where to buy tickets
The National Theatre offers tickets for August – November 2021.
Tickets for November on sale from August1st.
According to the government's decision, visitors must meet these conditions.
Parking at the National Theater
Kotva department store (Revoluční 1/655, Prague 1), then walk along Králodvorská street to Ovocný trh.
Palladium department store (Na Poříčí 1079/3a, Prague 1), then walk along Králodvorská street to Ovocný trh, or to the Powder Gate through Celetná street to Ovocný trh.
From the beginning of April 2020, the underground car park is closed due to reconstruction. The length of the reconstruction is estimated at a year and a half.
What to wear?
By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.
Buffets at the National Theater
No waiting. For your benefit, please pre-order your food and beverages at the bar to minimize waiting in the queue!