Subscription Series 4K • Four evening concerts


Subscription series for listeners, who want to know more. Interesting facts and mysteries of the great works of famous composers. This time the topic is the symphony, a Greek word (συμφωνία) that means “sounding together”. The programme is based on a musical part but also on a spoken word that will be given in Czech language only with no English su

4K1 — Four Steps to the New World • Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony


Dvorak Hall

What's on

There is always hope. Even in the most difficult, darkest, most desperate situations. Beethoven wrote his Fifth Symphony at the time when he had begun to go deaf, something that seemed to him – as a successful pianist and composer just over thirty years old – like the end of his life and musical career. The symphony depicts a long journey (Beethoven thought about it and wrote it over several years), in the course of which a person struggles with fate and does not allow himself to be broken. We can understand the symphony’s message to mean that fate is not unchangeable, and above all, it has no power over a person.

Performers

Czech Student Philharmonic 
(players of the Czech Philharmonic, members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestral Academy and music school students)

Marko Ivanović
conductor

Petr Kadlec
guide

Photo illustrating a concert - event Four Steps to the New World Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony

4K2 — Four Steps to the New World • Janáček’s Sinfonietta


Dvorak Hall

What's on

“There’s been enough for me to put down my pen – once I finish work on my pretty Sinfonietta with its fanfares! I can remember the fanfares in Písek! That was nice, back then.” The inspiration for one of the most beautiful symphonic compositions of the twentieth century was in fact a wind band that Janáček heard somewhere in southern Bohemia. But the power with which the whole work is charged is not that of wind band music. It is captured by the composer’s words spoken in England shortly after he finished the Sinfonietta. “I come with the young spirit of our homeland, with young music. I’m not the sort of person who likes to look back; I prefer to look ahead. I know that we must grow, and I do not see this growth in pain, in recollections of suffering and repression. Let us cast this off! We are a nation that has a place of importance in the world! We are the heart of Europe! And in Europe, this heart must be felt!”

Performers

Czech Student Philharmonic
(players of the Czech Philharmonic, members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestral Academy and music school students)

Marko Ivanović
conductor

Petr Kadlec
guide

Photo illustrating a concert - event Four Steps to the New World Janáček’s Sinfonietta

4K3 — Four Steps to the New World • Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony


Dvorak Hall

What's on

In late January 1936 an unsigned article appeared in the Soviet newspaper Pravda with the title Muddle instead of Music. It described Shostakovich’s music as being against the Soviet people. There is speculation that Stalin wrote it himself. This was something like a death sentence. During the years that followed, the composer was living in constant fear that he would be arrested and either be sent to the Gulag or be shot (at that time, Stalin’s terror had led to the imprisonment or death of many of the composer’s relatives and friends). Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony was premiered in 1937. The critics took the work as the composer’s reaction to “just criticism”. But isn’t this composition about something completely different?

Performers

Czech Student Philharmonic
(players of the Czech Philharmonic, members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestral Academy and music school students)

Marko Ivanović
conductor

Petr Kadlec
guide

Photo illustrating a concert - event Four Steps to the New World Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony

4K4 — Dvořák’s New World Symphony • Four Steps to the New World


Dvorak Hall

What's on

Dvořák was terribly worried about whether moving to the United States of America, where he was the director of the National Conservatory in New York from 1892 to 1895, might cost him his inspiration – whether he would be able to write music at all or would lose the source of his musical ideas being so far from Bohemia. The New World Symphony – as the first work he composed in America – showed that he had no need to worry. But throughout the work, we find traces of this tension and struggle. We also find something characteristic of Dvořák in the piece, and one of the critics at the premiere of the symphony “From the New World” captured it beautifully: He has a dark complexion, dark hair, thin in front. His short, dark beard is beginning to turn grey. The large dark eyes are steady. His face is honest and friendly and its expression reveals an open and guileless nature – but sometimes his gaze seems to turn somewhere far away…”

Performers

Czech Student Philharmonic 
(players of the Czech Philharmonic, members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestral Academy and music school students)

Marko Ivanović
conductor

Petr Kadlec
guide

Photo illustrating a concert - event Dvořák’s New World Symphony Four Steps to the New World

The best of the Rudolfinum


5 times a year directly to your e-mail.
Join 9500+ readers.

Your e-mail is safe with us. One-click logout.

Close
What are you looking for?