R8 / Smetana–Suk–Srnka

Meeting with the artists before the concert. Rudolfinum | Talich Lounge | 1st floor | 6.30–7.15 pm

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Josef Suk
A Fairy Tale, op. 16

Miroslav Srnka
Standstill for harpsichord and orchestra, Czech premiere, co-commissioned by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra

Bedřich Smetana (arr. George Szell)
String Quartet No. 1 in E minor “From my life”


Petr Popelka conductor
Mahan Esfahani harpsichord

Photo illustrating the event R8 / Smetana–Suk–Srnka

Rudolfinum — Dvořák Hall

The music of three different Czech composers will be combined in the February concert of the chief conductor Petr Popelka. The evening will open with the poetic A Fairy Tale, an orchestral suite that Josef Suk created from his incidental music to Julius Zeyer’s play Radúz and Mahulena. The orchestra will then be joined by the excellent harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani for the Czech premiere of Standstill, a piece by leading Czech composer Miroslav Srnka co-commissioned by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne. The second half of the evening will be dedicated to Smetana’s famous String Quartet No. 1 in E minor, called “From My Life”, which was arranged for symphony orchestra by George Szell. The Hungarian-born conductor led the orchestra of the German Municipal theatre in Prague at the turn of the 1910s and 1920s, and later became famous above all as music director of the orchestra in Cleveland, America, to which he brought worldwide acclaim. In the United States, he was one of the promoters of the work of Bedřich Smetana. In the arrangement of Smetana’s quartet, he was able to transfer supremely chamber music into rich orchestral colours without losing the intimacy of the original work.

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