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Steps to the New World with Antonín Dvořák • Stabat Mater
In the course of two years, Antonín Dvořák and his wife lost all three of their children. The composer's Stabat Mater bears witness of how the Dvořáks dealt with the loss.
Stabat Mater (selections)
Czech Student Philharmonic
Marko Ivanović conductor
Petr Kadlec guide
Veronika Rovná soprano
Markéta Cukrová alto
Richard Samek tenor
František Zahradníček bass
Czech Academic Choir
Michal Vajda choirmaster
Rudolfinum — Dvořák Hall
Group bookings for schools and preschools at firstname.lastname@example.org from 1st June.
The program 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.
In the course of two years, Antonín Dvořák and his wife lost all three of their children. By tragic coincidence, three-year-old Otakar died precisely on Dvořák’s 36th birthday – 8 September 1877. We have no more detailed account of how Dvořák and his wife dealt with the sudden loss of the children they loved. His Stabat Mater (1876–77) bears witness of a certain kind. Traditionally performed during the Easter season, it surprisingly received its Prague première during Advent on 23 December 1880.
According to Richard Novák, a lifelong performer and devotee of Dvořák’s music: “Stabat Mater is about enormous sorrow. Ultimately, that sorrow is not drastic or dramatic, but cathartic. Stabat Mater is about the compassion experienced by a mother when losing a son who is suffering terribly. There could hardly be a greater sorrow. It carves its way deeply into your soul. I truly love the opening of the composition, which is very lengthy – 20 minutes. That’s amazingly courageous! How the sorrow slowly grows until it reaches the heart… and Dvořák keeps us in a state of great trepidation. I think the right interpretative approach is to maintain that quiet sorrow, to give it space, and let it be heard to the fullest. It has to be experienced. From the music, one must get a sense of prayer and piety.”
One teacher can order tickets for up to 60 pupils per concert.