12th IMF KH programme – 5th concert
Tuesday / June 4 / 7:30 p.m. / Church of St. Barbara
WINDOWS INTO SILENCE
Mysticism, minimalism, prayer and meditation.
Petr Eben: Prologue from the Cycle of the Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart
Michaela Káčerková – organ
Dmitri Shostakovich: Quintet for Piano, Two Violins, Viola and Cello in G minor, Op. 57
- Preludium: Lento
- Fuga: Adagio
- Scherzo: Allegretto
- Intermezzo: Lento
- Finale: Allegretto
Konstantin Lifschitz – piano, Roman Patočka, Matouš Pěruška – violin, Karel Untermüller – viola, Kristina Vocetková – cello
——— interval ———
Petr Eben: Windows after Marc Chagall for Trumpet and Organ
Blue Window – Green Window – Red Window – Golden Window
Michaela Káčerková – organ, Marek Zvolánek – trumpet
Peteris Vasks: The Fruit of Silence to the text of Mother Theresa for Mixed Chorus, Piano, Two Violins, Viola and Cello
Terezie Fialová – piano, Roman Patočka, Matouš Pěruška – violin, Karel Untermüller – viola, Kristina Vocetková – cello,
Tyl Teachers Choir, Gaudeamus Students Choir, Choirmaster – Zdeněk Licek
Eben, Shostakovich, Vasks; Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union. Three composers whose lives were haunted by political repression. While Petr Eben and Peteris Vasks sought inspiration in sacred music, Dmitry Shostakovich sought and found his individual musical idiom on the borderline between grotesque and tragedy.
The experience of seeing Chagall´s stained glass windows for a Jerusalem synagogue inspired Eben to write his composition for trumpet and organ. “The sheer magnificence of those large-scale surfaces of stained glass made me think of the organ, and the opulence and glitter of the colours brightened up by sunlight prompted me to couple it with the piercing tones of the trumpet,” recalled the composer. The composition dates from 1976, and has since then ranked among Eben´s most frequently performed works.
Even though Latvian composer Peteris Vasks has earned the widest recognition for his instrumental output, the presence of choral music harking back to the roots of his nation´s musical culture, is ubiquitous in his compositional idiom. Vasks´ choral compositions may be outwardly quite simple, and yet their performance requires considerable interpretational skills. Their perpetual melodic lines ask for meticulously precise intonation as well as an immense staying power. Vasks´ setting of a text by Mother Teresa, The Fruit of Silence, was initially written in an a cappella format, to which the composer subsequently added a piano part, and eventually produced a version with chamber instrumental ensemble. The composer described the work as a very calm meditation about the symbol of a spiritual journey. “The journey comprises five stages: Prayer, Faith, Love, Service, and Peace.”
Dmitry Shostakovich composed his Piano Quintet during World War II, in 1940. It earned him the Stalin Prize, a monstrous act of irony when set in the light of his subsequent accusations of formalism entailing official persecution. In this music, the composer demonstrated his mastery of form. “Each note is meticulously calculated. Shostakovich dares not risk, not even in a single bar,” observed Prokofiev. The work´s meditative prelude is followed by a fantasy-style and supremely accomplished fugue which makes way for a witty scherzo. A return to the introductory mood then prepares the ground for a bravura finale.
Dita Hradecká / translation: Ivan Vomáčka