Musica Florea & Collegium Floreum
Date of EventSaturday, 1. 6. 2019 from 18.00
Expected end of the concert 19.30
Event placeChurch of Our Lady before Týn
Price150 - 600 CZK Sold out
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Mass in C major KV 317 “Coronation”
- Robert Schumann: Requiem Op. 148
- Musica Florea
- Collegium Floreum
- Marek Štryncl - conductor
- Michaela Šrůmová - soprano
- Sylvia Čmugrová - mezzo-soprano
- Václav Čížek - tenor
- Jaromír Nosek - bass
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The ensemble Musica Florea was formed in 1992, marking one of the pioneering initiatives in the field of historically informed interpretation in the Czech Republic. It was founded by cellist-conductor Marek Štryncl. Since its inception, it has regularly appeared at major international festivals, and has worked with leading soloists and ensembles (including among others Magdalena Kožená, Philippe Jaroussky, Paul Badura-Skoda, Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, or Le Poème Harmonique). Figuring among its many prestigious awards is e.g. a top rating from the French magazine Diapason.
An authentic interpretation of early music has over the last few decades become part and parcel of concert life. The terms “historically informed”, or “authentic” performance has been applied mostly to the interpretation of music from the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical eras. In his turn, conductor Marek Štryncl has extended this scope further afield, aspiring to achieve stylistic purity also in his accounts of Romantic music, as evidenced by a large-scale recording project encompassing Antonín Dvořák´s symphonic output, which he initiated. This ambition is duly reflected in the programme of the ensemble´s coming Prague Spring concert. “As early as Mozart´s time, music came to witness a slow but sustained process marked by the introduction of expressive devices which proved to be of essence to the ensuing Romantic era. I am convinced that Romantic composers and interpreters had at their disposal a wider choice of these devices, for instance regarding the ornamental use of vibrato, a more varied articulation, an expressive portato (glissando) and tremolo, and most notably affective tempo changes and agogics,” is how Štryncl sees the correlation between the two works featured here which are separated by a time gap of approximately seven decades.
In addition to this, an entirely new quality is also obtained as a result of using historical instruments. “For instance, Wagner and many others rejected as inadequate Boehm´s acoustically flawless and equal system of tuning for the woodwind and brass instruments. This ultimately means that while some harmonies were cleaner as regards intonation than they are with today´s equal temperament, in others intonation happened to entail an element of tension which actually enhanced the effect of certain dramatic passages in particular. All of this began to be restricted, or even downright eliminated. The dictum of the time came to be that what is not in the notes is not entitled to exist. Now that´s something like drinking coffee minus coffee beans – playing Romantic music minus Romantic interpretation. As a result, the very musicality of the performance of 19th-century music was sorely truncated in the century that followed. Hence the need now to resuscitate authentic Romantic ideals,” Štryncl elaborates.
The characteristic ceremonial format of Mozart´s Coronation Mass accounted for its becoming one of his most frequently performed works, featured notably on various special occasions including coronations of monarchs as well as solemn acts of worship, but also in concert productions. To heighten the effect of orchestral sound, the composer used two trumpets, three trombones and timpani, while rather surprisingly, he missed out violas. In terms of style, this composition bears an affinity with the high Classical idiom of the late symphonies and sacred music of Joseph Haydn. Its solemn character is underpinned by succinct metric structure and clear distinction between solo and choral vocal parts, and is still enhanced by the transparent symphonism of the orchestral component.
The final years of Schumann´s life were marked by his intense attachment to sacred music. The Requiem featured in this concert is his last opus. Those who would seek in its music an augury of the composer´s looming terminal mental breakdown and death, would not be far from the truth. However, this foreboding is not transformed here into manifestations of fear and wild rage, but rather into a dreamlike atmosphere. This, after all, is already immanent to Schumann´s chosen key of D flat major, which was at that time common in piano compositions much rather than in orchestral music. Thus, also with reference to the above-mentioned question of tuning, this concert will bring an extremely revitalizing approach to Schumann´s last masterpiece. Interestingly, this will be the work´s historically first Prague Spring performance.