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Czech Philharmonic
& Petr Altrichter

Programme

  • César Franck: Psyché, Symphonic Poem for Chorus and Orchestra, FWV 47
  • Gabriel Fauré: Requiem Op. 48

Performers

  • Czech Philharmonic
  • Petr Altrichter - conductor
  • Eva Hornyáková - soprán
  • Stephan Genz - baritone
  • Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno
  • Petr Fiala - choirmaster

Price

500 - 1200 CZK

Date

26 / 05 / 2022
Thursday 20.00
Expected end of the event 21.50
Rozkvět Pražského jara

Intériorité – inwardness

Both works could be called French lyricism of the end of the 19th century. But they could also be called deep mysticism, amazing symbolism, or a message for all of humanity”, says the conductor Petr Altrichter about the Prague Spring Festival concert. “Franck and Fauré wrote their music about the soul and desire, about faith and ethereal love. This concert is about life and death, about musical paradise.

The words quoted above are a poetic introduction to a concert that features compositions by two important French composers, César Franck and Gabriel Fauré, both outstanding organists, teachers for many years at the Paris Conservatoires, and co-founders and members of the Société Nationale de Musique in Paris. The music of these two composers was fundamentally different, yet it shares in common its inspiration by the works of Richard Wagner and something for which the French use the word intériorité (interiority). “In addition, in 2022 it will have been exactly 200 years since the birth of César Franck, and that gives us a wonderful opportunity to introduce the festival public to his works that are otherwise neglected but are definitely worth hearing”, adds the Prague Spring Festival director of programming Josef Třeštík.

Petr_Altrichter_FOTO_Petr Kadlec

Programme Notes

This is also the case with Franck’s composition Psyché. Although this symphonic poem with choir is regarded as a masterpiece of 19th-century orchestral music, the whole work is seldom performed. It is based on a story from classical mythology about a human being, the beautiful Princess Psyché, with whom the god Eros has fallen in love. Eros has abducted Psyché to his palace, where he visits her in the dark of night; she was never permitted to see him because that would mean losing him forever. “Psyché, however, was so much a human being that just like Adam in the Garden of Eden, she wanted to take everything into her hands, so she ruined everything and lost her paradise”, says Petr Altrichter. “But Eros loved her so much that he forgave her and took her back,” he adds.

Petr Altrichter, one of the most important Czech conductors, first appeared at the Prague Spring Festival 45 years ago. He attracted international attention in 1976, when he won second prize and a special award from the jury at the renowned conducting competition in Besançon, France. On the basis of that success, he became an assistant to the legendary conductor Václav Neumann, the chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic at the time, and that launched his extraordinarily successful career in music.

Eva Hornyáková 3

Stylistic purity

A native of Levoča, Slovakia, she is a graduate of the Košice Conservatoire, the Academy of the Performing Arts in Bratislava, and vocal classes taught by Peter Dvorský and Zlatica Livorová. She made her debut in 2006 as the countess in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro on the stage of the Slovak National Theatre, which subsequently became her home stage.

Stephan Genz 2

Richly coloured timbre

The German baritone Stephan Genze has been called “one of the most beautiful voices around today” by Gramophone magazine. He was born in 1973 in the German city Erfurt. At the age of eight he joined the world-famous boys’ choir at the Protestant St Thomas Church in Leipzig, where he worked until 1991. Later, he studied under Hans-Joachim Beyer at the Leipzig Conservatoire, Mitsuko Shirai and Hartmut Höll at the Karlsruhe Conservatoire, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in Berlin, and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in Zurich.

Český filharmonický sbor Brno - Pražské jaro 2018

The Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno is an ensemble at the very pinnacle of choral artistry not only in a Czech context, but also worldwide. Since its founding in 1990, it has been appearing at all of Europe’s prestigious festivals, where it impresses listeners with its compactness of sound and wide range of expressive resources, for which it has also received critical acclaim.