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Czech Philharmonic • Frank Peter Zimmermann
Concert is a part of the Bohuslav Martinů Days Festival.
Te Deum, Op. 103
The Resurrection of Hope and Light, Cantata for Choir and Orchestra (world premiere)
Violin Concerto No. 1, H 232
A Christmast Cantata, for baritone, children’s choir, mixed choir, organ, and orchestra
Frank Peter Zimmermann
Prague Philharmonic Choir
Severáček, Liberec Children’s Choir
Rudolfinum — Dvorak Hall
Born in the Czech Republic, Jakub Hrůša is Chief Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He was also formerly Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra.
He is a frequent guest with many of the world’s greatest orchestras, enjoying close relationships and performing regularly with the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, NHK Symphony and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra – and in the US with The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Boston Symphony Orchestra.
As a conductor of opera, he has led productions for the Vienna State Opera (The Makropulos Case), Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Carmen), Opéra National de Paris (Rusalka), and Zurich Opera (The Makropulos Case). The 21/22 season sees him return to the Royal Opera House for Wagner’s Lohengrin. He has also been a regular guest with Glyndebourne Festival, conducting Vanessa, The Cunning Little Vixen, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Carmen, The Turn of the Screw, Don Giovanni and La bohème, and served as Music Director of Glyndebourne On Tour for three years.
His relationships with leading vocal and instrumental soloists have included collaborations in recent seasons with Behzod Abduraimov, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Piotr Anderszewski, Leif Ove Andsnes, Emanuel Ax, Lisa Batiashvili, Joshua Bell, Jonathan Biss, Yefim Bronfman, Rudolf Buchbinder, Renaud Capuçon, Gautier Capuçon, Ray Chen, Isabelle Faust, Bernarda Fink, Martin Fröst, Julia Fischer, Vilde Frang, Sol Gabetta, Véronique Gens, Christian Gerhaher, Kirill Gerstein, Vadim Gluzman, Karen Gomyo, Augustin Hadelich, Hilary Hahn, Barbara Hannigan, Alina Ibragimova, Janine Jansen, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Karita Mattila, Leonidas Kavakos, Sergey Khachatryan, Denis Kozhukhin, Lang Lang, Igor Levit, Jan Lisiecki, Albrecht Mayer, Johannes Moser, Viktoria Mullova, Anne Sofie Mutter, Kristine Opolais, Stephanie d’Oustrac, Emmanuel Pahud, Olga Peretyatko, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Josef Špaček, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Daniil Trifonov, Simon Trpčeski, Mitsuko Uchida, Klaus Florian Vogt, Yuja Wang, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Alisa Weilerstein and Nikolaj Znaider.
As a recording artist, Jakub Hrusa has received numerous awards and nominations for his discography. His recording of Martinů and Bartók violin concertos with Bamberg Symphony and Frank Peter Zimmermann (BIS) was nominated for a 2021 Gramophone Award, and his recording of the Dvořák Violin Concerto with the Bavarian Radio Symphony and Augustin Hadelich was nominated for a Grammy ® Award in the same year. In 2020, two of his recordings - Dvořák and Martinů Piano Concertos with Ivo Kahánek and the Bamberg Symphony (Supraphon), and Vanessa from Glyndebourne (Opus Arte) - won BBC Music Magazine Awards. Other recent releases include Dvořák and Brahms Symphonies with Bamberg Symphony (Tudor), Suk’s Asrael Symphony with the Bavarian Radio Symphony (BR Klassik), and Dvořák’s Requiem and Te Deum with the Czech Philharmonic (Decca).
Jakub Hrůša studied conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where his teachers included Jiří Bělohlávek. He is currently President of the International Martinů Circle and The Dvořák Society. He was the inaugural recipient of the Sir Charles Mackerras Prize, and in 2020 was awarded both the Antonín Dvořák Prize by the Czech Republic’s Academy of Classical Music, and – together with Bamberg Symphony – the Bavarian State Prize for Music.
Svatopluk Sem studied voice under the guidance of D. Volfová at the Conservatory in České Budějovice. He became a soloist in the South Bohemian Theatre in České Budějovice after finishing his studies. Here he portrayed many main characters such as Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Germonte (La traviata), Valentin (Faust), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Guglielmo (Cosí fan tutte) or Belcore (L´elisir d´amore).
He regularly performs in many opera houses in the Czech Republic such as the National Theatre in Prague, The State Opera in Prague, the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Pilsen, the South Bohemian Theatre in České Budějovice, the National Theatre Brno or the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre in Ostrava. His repertoire includes several dozen roles of different nature.
Svatopluk Sem has been performing in productions of various directors – O. Havelka, J. Heřman, M. Forman, The Theatre Group SKUTR (M. Kukučka & L. Trpišovský) and cooperated with many famous conductors. Among others we can name G. Albrecht, A. Allemandi, J. Bělohlávek, T. Brauner, E. Dovico, P. Feranec, E. Fiore, H. M. Förster, J. Hrůša, R. Jindra, J. Keenen, O. Lenárd, T. Netopil, L. Pešek, Mario De Rose or D. Savic.
He has made his appearance not only in the Czech Republic but also abroad. Japan, Denmark, South Korea, Austria, Spain, Germany, Russia, Italy or England are examples of countries where we could see Svatopluk Sem on stage. He cooperates with orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, PKF – Prague Philharmonia etc.
He cooperated with London BBC Orchestra under the baton of J. Bělohlávek on a recording of Smetana's Bartered Bride for the label Harmonia Mundi. He recorded a document "Rolando meets Don Giovanni" for BBC, where he performed together with Rolando Villazón in the role of Don Giovanni.
He is a frequent guest of prestigious international music festivals such as the Dvořákova Praha International Music Festival, Opern Air Gars am Kampf in Austria, The Prague Spring International Music Festival, International Opera Festival Smetana’s Litomyšl or the IMF Český Krumlov.
In his field he has received three times the prestigious Karel Roden Award.
Lukáš Vasilek, principal conductor of the Prague Philharmonic Choir, studied conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and musicology at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague. For eleven seasons from 1998 he was conductor of the Foerster Female Chamber Choir, and between 2005 and 2007 was also second choirmaster of the Prague National Theatreʼs opera chorus. He took up his post at the helm of the Prague Philharmonic Choir in 2007. Apart from preparing and conducting the choirʼs a cappella concert productions, he has been building up the Prague Philharmonic Choirʼs repertoire set for participation in large-scale cantata, oratorio and opera projects, working with leading international conductors (such as Barenboim, Bělohlávek, Eschenbach, Honeck, Hrůša, Jordan, Luisi, Mehta, Noseda and Rattle) and orchestras (including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Czech Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden or Wiener Symphoniker). Since 2010, the Prague Philharmonic Choir under Vasilekʼs direction has guest appeared regularly at the opera festival in Bregenz, Austria.
Lukáš Vasilek has made numerous recordings with the Prague Philharmonic Choir for various major labels, including Decca Classics, Deutsche Grammophon, Sony Classical and Supraphon. In 2016, the last mentioned of these issued an album of Bohuslav Martinů’s cantatas which was nominated for the BBC Music Magazine’s annual award in the choral category, among other plaudits.
The Prague Philharmonic Choir (PPC) is a leading European vocal ensemble, and as one of the Czech Republic’s foremost artistic institutions operates under the trusteeship of the Czech Ministry of Culture. In the course of the choir’s long history since its foundation in 1935, it has been directed by a succession of some of the most distinguished Czech choirmasters (including among others Jan Kühn, Josef Veselka and Pavel Kühn). Since 2007 its principal choirmaster has been Lukáš Vasilek.
The PPC’s repertoire is centered primarily around oratorio and cantata works. In their presentation, the choir has worked with eminent international orchestras (e.g., Czech Philharmonic, the Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Symphoniker, among others), and conductors (including Daniel Barenboim, Jakub Hrůša, Tomáš Netopil, Zubin Mehta or Sir Simon Rattle). Beyond its standard choral repertoire, the PPC is likewise active in the domain of opera, working regularly with the National Theater in Prague, and since 2010 holding the status of choir in residence at the opera festival of Bregenz, Austria.
Apart from these commitments, the PPC engages in a number of its own projects. Since 2011 it has organized its own choral concert series in Prague, with a program focused notably on presentations of less well known choral works, either a cappella or with chamber-scale instrumental accompaniment. The choir regards as an inseparable part of its activity educational endeavours targeting the young generations. In this context, it has been involved in organizing a Choral Academy for students of singing, a project aimed at enabling young artists to acquire practical skills through work with a professional vocal ensemble.
The PPCʼs many commitments in the 2019/2020 season include among others concert appearances at the Dvořák Prague and Prague Spring festivals, a tour in Hong Kong, a performance in Moscowʼs new concert hall, Zaryadye, as well as debut appearances at the Salzburg Easter Festival, with Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann, or at the Elbphilharmonie hall, with the Czech Philharmonic conducted by Jakub Hrůša, and with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra under the baton of Alan Gilbert. The PPC will bring its 85th season to a close by appearances at several festivals, including Smetana Litomyšl, St. Gallen Festival in Switzerland, and the opera festival in Bregenz, Austria. The Prague Philharmonic Choir is the recipient of the 2018 Classic Prague Award for Best Vocal Concert, and Czech Televisionʼs Classical Music of the Year Award.
Kateřina Kněžíková, born 1982 in Bohumín, graduated from Prague Conservatory in 2007 and in 2010 she completed her university degree at Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague as a student of Jiřina Přívratská. She has been the prize-winner of numerous competitions, for example Antonín Dvořák’s International Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary.
In 2005, Kateřina Kněžíková made her debut in the National Theatre in Prague in the role of Zerlina and she has been a permanent cast member thereof since 2006. This is where her operatic engagements over recent years include roles such as Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Serpetta (La Finta giardiniera), Servilia (La Clemenza di Tito), Blonde (Entführung aus dem Serail), Despina (Cosí fan tutte), Ilja (Idomeneo), Almirena (Rinaldo), Adina (Elisir d’amore), Barče (Hubička), Terinka (Jakobín), Nannetta (Falstaff), Aristea (L’Olimpiade) and many others.
She made her guest appearance in F. X. Šalda Theatre Liberec, J. K. Tyl Theatre in Pilsen, National Moravian-Silesian Theatre in Ostrava, Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava, Theatre de Caen, Opéra Royal de Versailles, Theatre Royal de La Monnaie in Brussels and Opéra de Dijon.
She has been performing in productions of various directors - D. Beneš, Karl-Ernst and Ursel Herrmann, J. Heřman, L. Keprtová, L. Moaty, J. Nekvasil, V. Věžník etc.
Her professional concert and operatic engagements have involved work with conductors such as S. Baudo, J. Bělohlávek, A. Fisch, J. Gaffigan, M. Honeck, H. M. Förster, J. Hrůša, R. Jindra, V. Luks, E. Mazzola, J. Nelson, T. Netopil and outstanding orchestras including BBC Symphony orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Collegium 1704, Czech Philharmonic, Hessischer Rundfunk Frankfurt am Main, PKF - Prague Philharmonia, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and many others.
She regularly makes her appearance at prestigious international festivals in the Czech Republic and abroad (Dvořákova Praha International Music Festival, International Music Festival Janáček Máj, Prague Spring International Music Festival, International Opera Festival Smetana’s Litomyšl, St. Venceslav Music Festival, Strings of Autumn, Festival de La Chaise-Dieu, Festival Rencontres Musicales de Vétzelay, Festival Baroque de Pontoise, Music Bridge Prague – Dresden, Uckermärkische Musikwochen, Tage Alte Musik Regensburg etc.).
She made recordings for Czech Radio, television channel MEZZO and Belgian radio station RTFB International. She recorded Bartered Bride by Bedřich Smetana for HARMONIA MUNDI and her recording of Dove é amore é gelosia produced for OPUS ARTE DVD was awarded “Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik“.
Frank Peter Zimmermann is widely regarded as one of the foremost violinists of his generation. He has been performing with all major orchestras in the world, among which the Berlin Philharmonic with whom he made his debut in 1985 with Daniel Barenboim; the Vienna Philharmonic with whom he played for the first time in 1983 with Lorin Maazel in Salzburg; the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, all London orchestras, as well as all big American orchestras. He is a regular guest at all major music festivals, such as Salzburg, Edinburgh and Lucerne. Together with Antoine Tamestit (viola) and Christian Poltéra (cello) he founded the Trio Zimmermann. In recent years he has been giving recitals with pianist Martin Helmchen and during the 2021/22 season they are performing the complete or partial Beethoven sonata cycle in various major cities in Europe. BIS Records has meanwhile released the complete cycle on 3 CDs.
Over the years Frank Peter Zimmermann has built up an impressive discography for EMI Classics, Sony Classical, BIS, Ondine, Hänssler, Decca, Teldec and ECM. He has recorded virtually all major concerto repertoire, ranging from Bach to Ligeti, Dean and Pintscher; the six solo sonatas of Ysaÿe; the 24 Caprices of Paganini and the complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano by J.S. Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Many of these highly acclaimed recordings have received prestigious awards and prizes worldwide. Most recent releases include the two violin concertos of Martinů with the Bamberger Symphoniker and Jakub Hrůša, coupled with the solo sonata of Bartók (BIS); the two violin concertos of Shostakovich with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and Alan Gilbert (BIS; nominated for a Grammy Award.
Born in 1965 in Duisburg, Germany, he started learning playing the violin with his mother when he was 5 years old. He studied with Valery Gradov, Saschko Gawriloff and Herman Krebbers. He plays on the 1711 Antonius Stradivari violin "Lady Inchiquin”, which is kindly provided by the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, "Kunst im Landesbesitz".
Vánoční kantáta pro baryton, dětský a smíšený sbor, varhany a orchestr
Te Deum, pro sóla, sbor a orchestr op. 103
Chvalozpěv Te Deum laudamus, te Dominum confitemur (Tebe Bože chválíme, Tobě Pane vzdáváme díky) napsal na přelomu 4. a 5. století biskup Nicetas z Remesiany (dnešní srbská Bela Palanka). Hojně zhudebňovaný text nacházel své společenské použití nejčastěji při těch příležitostech, kdy bylo na místě děkovat Bohu za mimořádnou milost, jakou byla například skončená bitva, přestálá morová nákaza nebo narození následníka trůnu.
Právě tento univerzálně srozumitelný podtext slavnostního díku vedl Antonína Dvořáka k volbě slov této modlitby pro objednanou kantátu k čtyřstému výročí objevení Ameriky v roce 1892 – tím spíše, že to byla volba „nouzová“. Kompozice spadá do období příprav na skladatelovo působení ve Spojených státech. Dvořákova nastávající zaměstnavatelka, intendantka newyorské konzervatoře Jeanette Thurberová, plánovala pro svého českého profesora kompoziční entrée v rámci plánovaných oslav. Zamýšlený domácí, tedy americký, básnický text nicméně nestihla do Evropy dodat s dostatečným předstihem před datem Dvořákova vyplutí ze starého kontinentu. Ke slovu tedy jako náhradník přišlo Te Deum a opožděný text Josepha Rodmana Drakea později Dvořák zhudebnil v kantátě Americký prapor.
Slova modlitby dělí Dvořák do čtyř vět v podstatě o symfonickém půdorysu. Slavnostní hřmotná úvodní věta (Te deum laudamus) má ve svém středu jako kontrast oslavu zcela intimní (sólo Sanctus Dominus Deus sabaoth). Druhá, volnější věta se od slavnostních fanfár (Tu Rex gloriae) přesouvá opět do niternějšího tónu a kontrast přináší opět hybná věta třetí (Aeterna fac). Finální část začíná z osamocené prosby Dignare Domine a roste do závěrečného mohutného Alleluja.
Vzkříšení světla a naděje
Koncert pro housle a orchestr č. 1 H 232