The purchase did not work
We're sorry, there was an error during the purchase, please try again.
- Possibility of selecting a place
- Possibility to buy the program along with a ticket
The opening of the Prague Spring Festival is hardly imaginable without the presence of Smetana´s Má vlast.
This year will mark exactly sixty years from the day when Má vlast was singled out as a work condensing the message of the festival´s inaugural evening. However, even though this cycle of symphonic poems by Smetana already figured in the programme of the event´s historic first edition, it did not become firmly established as an inseparable regular part of its opening programme until the year 1959. Since then, it has continuously embodied a singular tradition which documents in its own way the uniqueness of classical music: each year the concert´s audience have been embued with keen expectations of being treated to a fresh and surprising account of Má vlast.
Jakub Hrůša first conducted Má vlast at the Prague Spring Festival in 2010, with the PKF – Prague Philharmonia. This time he will stand at the helm of the Bamberg Symphony. Its choice has not been caused only by Hrůša´s being the orchestra´s chief conductor since 2016, and by their recent common recording of Má vlast. Beyond that, the Bamberg Symphony´s association with the festival is equally interesting on the account of the orchestra´s origin. It was formed in 1946, by German musicians, formerly members of the Prague German Philharmonic, expelled from this country after the Second World War. Notwithstanding the exacerbated twists and turns of postwar political developments, the orchestra has never hesitated to avow having its roots in Bohemia.
“It´s amazing that the tradition of this orchestra, which was at that time rendering such magnificent contribution to the glory of Prague cultural life, has been successfully preserved and transformed into a new ensemble based in Bamberg, today ranking among Central Europe´s finest orchestras,” says Jakub Hrůša. “Therefore, to me its guest appearance at the opening of the Prague Spring represents, not just in purely musical terms but in fact also viewed from the historical perspective, a fascinating and symbolic visit of its original home – all the more exciting as a matter of fact as it is taking place with me at its head. Speaking for myself I can say that by now, having made a recording of the work together and having performed the cycle on several occasions in Bamberg and elsewhere, ´my´ musicians and I have adopted Smetana´s music as our own, and feel genuinely at home breathing its air – as spontaneously after all as Smetana himself did in absorbing the centuries-old tradition of German music. We thus engage in representing Central Europe in a way that I believe to be immeasurably more meaningful than any shortsighted fixation on the exclusiveness of cultural achievements defined through the prism of political borders. Of course, Má vlast is quintessentially and relevantly Czech, but the roots of its greatness run deeper and wider,” adds Jakub Hrůša.
The Bamberg Symphony is one of the most widely travelled German orchestras. Its characteristically dark, full-bodied and distinct sound has been admired by audiences worldwide. During its existence the orchestra has appeared in over five hundred towns and cities of 63 countries. The circumstances of its origin mirror in their own way German history. In 1946, former members of the Prague German Philharmonic Orchestra joined forces with other musicians whom the war and its aftermath had likewise forced to leave their homes. Together they formed the Bamberg Musicians Orchestra, soon thereafter renamed to the Bamberg Symphony (Bamberger Symphoniker). When in 2016, the year of the orchestra´s marking seventy years from its foundation, Czech-born Jakub Hrůša was appointed its principal conductor, the occasion assumed an exceptionally symbolic air: it signalled the renewal of a revitalizing connection between the Bamberg Symphony´s historic roots and its present life.