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Dvořák’s Stabat Mater
Four steps to the New world
The program for children is based on a musical part but also on a spoken word that will be given in Czech language only. The program will not be supplied with English subtitles.
“I had been yearning to perform Dvořák’s Stabat Mater for a very long time. After more than thirty years, I wanted to engage in polemics with the conductor Karel Kovařovic, whose wonderful performance back then provoked in me an effort to stand one day on the podium and come to terms with that ten-movement song about suffering and loss, beginning with heavy, implacable sorrow and moving down a long, black corridor towards the light of paradise and a trusting Amen. (…) At Christmas I came into possession of Škréta’s painting of the Crucifixion… Unlike other depictions of a “general assembly” beneath the Cross of Christ, Škréta limits himself to the gently inclined heads of the Sacrificial Victim and of the Mother of God, whose sad eyes gaze motionlessly, fixed on Christ’s face. The two of them are alone. The other figures in the picture are in the background and are only sketchily portrayed, as if to indicate how remote the world is from us when we encounter true sorrow. And it is in such loneliness that sorrow grows into an unbearable horror. I am glad that the honour of being the interpreter of this work by Dvořák has come to me so late: when I was young, I would not have been capable of it at all, and it was truly necessary to have life experience and to know human misery for me to be able to bow down before the Stabat Mater…” (conductor Václav Talich, 1952)
Veronika Rovná Holbová
Collegium paedagogicum, mixed choir of Charles University Faculty of Education
Prague Conservatory Choir
Czech Student Philharmonic
(Czech Philharmonic players, members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestral Academy, and music school students)
The concerts are held in cooperation with The Czech Choirs Association.