Petr Popelka & Josef Špaček

4. listopad 2024

Municipal House, Monday 4 November 2024 at 7.30 pm

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Bohuslav Martinů: La Bagarre 10 min.
Bohuslav Martinů: Violin Concerto No. 2 28 min.
break 20 min.

Antonín Dvořák: The Noon Witch 14 min.
Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird, suite 23 min.

Petr Popelka conductor
Josef Špaček violin

The chief conductor of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Petr Popelka, teams up with Josef Špaček, one of the best violinists of the younger middle generation, to perform Bohuslav Martinů’s second violin concerto, written in 1943. It was created during his exile in the USA. Refusing to return from France to occupied Bohemia, the composer had to flee Europe just before the German troops reached Paris. He and his wife arrived in New York on the last day of March 1941. The Violin Concerto premiered on the last day of 1943 in Boston. It was thought that Martinů had written no more concertos for violin and orchestra until the discovery in 1968 of an earlier one that had previously been thought lost. La Bagarre, or “The Tumult” in English, is the fruit of his departure for Paris, an innovative composition from 1926, charged with a modern atmosphere of movement, vigour and rush; it is an image of the uncontrollable movement of great masses of people. Martinů dedicated the composition to the memory of the landing of the American aviator Charles Lindbergh after his first transatlantic flight. The other two works are distinctly programmatic and have a literary basis. Antonín Dvořák’s Polednice (The Noon Witch) is one of four symphonic poems he composed on his return from America, based on themes from Karel Erben’s collection Kytice (A Bouquet of Czech Folktales). Dvořák was fascinated by the poetic tales not only for their colour and fairy-tale charm, but also for their emphasis on moral principles. He also liked the rhythm and flow of the poems, so that many passages in the score could be directly supported by the text. It was an original approach that was not typical of the music of his contemporaries. Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird is a colourful ballet fairy tale.

The concert is broadcast live by Czech Radio station Vltava.

Individual tickets: CZK 1,100 | CZK 900 | CZK 700 | CZK 500 | CZK 300 | CZK 180

Small subscription, 6 concerts: CZK 3,200 | CZK 2,800 | CZK 2,400 | CZK 2,000 | CZK 1,600

Large subscription, 12 concerts: CZK 4,500 | CZK 4,100 | CZK 3,700 | CZK 3,400 | CZK 2,100


The organiser reserves the right to change the list of scheduled performers.

author: SOČR
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