= 2019 =

19. 5.

Prague – Church of St Simon and St Jude
Choral series


  1. Psalm 23 “The Lord Is My Shepherd”, D 706

    Franz Schubert

  2. Song of the Spirits over the Waters, D 714

    Franz Schubert

  3. Song of Destiny, Op. 54

    Johannes Brahms

  4. Requiem, Op. 252

    Zdeněk Lukáš

About the concert

In their time the choral compositions of Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828) stood out for innovativeness coupled with previously unseen demands they posed on interpretation. In this respect, the Psalm 23 “Gott ist mein Hirt” (“The Lord Is My Shepherd”) still more or less conforms to the traditional pattern firmly rooted in the Classical style. In contrast to it, the Gesang der Geister über den Wassern (“Song of the Spirits over the Waters”), clearly bespeaks the emerging Romantic movement, in terms of both subject matter drawing on the text of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and musical treatment. A chorus of eight male voices accompanied by a quintet of deep stringed instruments is technically highly exacting. Its premiere was a total flop, but with the passage of time it has gradually risen to assume a safe place alongside Schubert´s most highly respected vocal works. It took Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897) three years to compose the Schcksalslied  (“Song of Destiny”). The sheer length of his progress was largely due to the demands posed by the multilayered text of Friedrich Hölderlin, a poetic disputation on the essence of the human existence, which offered several different options for setting. Brahms´ cantata begins with a divinely idyllic introduction which, however, presently makes way for a majestic stream laden with drama projecting the distress and doubts of a suffering humankind. After that the music takes another turn, to reach its close in a mood of calmed-down reconcilement. There, Brahms composed a romantically expansive vision of humanity whose genuinely timeless treatment elevates it far beyond the standard compositional output of the time. Zdeněk Lukáš (1928 – 2007) has to his credit an output of accessible music, equally pleasant to sing and to listen to, which has made him arguably the best loved Czech composer of choral music. His works figure in the staple repertoire of virtually every choral ensemble in this country. The unequivocal highlight of Lukáš´s extensive compositional production is his Requiem for mixed chorus a cappella, a work in which he put to use the sum of his creative experience. The result is a composition full of original ideas, quintessentially “Lukášian” melodies and mellifluous yet by no means banal harmonies. This large-scale sacred composition is free from even the least trace of artificial pomp or pathos. This, to be sure, is also the source of its extraordinary power and authenticity. Author: Lukáš Vasilek


  • = 2019 =

    19. 5.



    Kostel sv. Šimona a Judy


  • Kostel sv. Šimona a Judy

    U Milosrdných, Staré Město, 110 00 Praha-Praha 1, Czechia

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