Romance of the Prague coffee house
Ciconia Consort conducted by Dick van Gasteren
Thursday, October 6, 2022 – 2.30 pm
Rosa Spier House, Laren
Sunday, October 16, 2022 – 11:30 am
Theater de Veste, Delft TICKETS
Friday, October 21, 2022 – 8:00 PM
Basilica of Saint Willibrord, Hulst – Festival of ZVL TICKETS
Sunday, November 13, 2022 – 2:30 PM
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam TICKETS
Sunday, November 20, 2022 – 11:30 am
Schouwburg Odeon, Zwolle TICKETS
LEOŠ JANÁCEK- (1854-1928) – Suite for string orchestra,
BOHULSAV MARTINŮ (1890-1959) – Partita for string orchestra
JOSEF SUK (1874-1935) – Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale St. Wenceslas
ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) – Serenade for strings in E major (2 parts) (4 parts in Amsterdam)
ZOLTÁN KODÁLY (1882-1967) – Hary Janos suite (2 parts) (not in Amsterdam)
FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886) – Hungarian Rhapsody no.2, arr. Peter Wolf
After the earlier ‘Konditorei concerts’ in Viennese and Hungarian atmospheres, Ciconia now sets its sights on the capital of the old Czechoslovakia. In the Prague coffee house people come together as usual to discuss literature, music or the politics of the day. All the more reason to convert the room in Slavische Rhapsody into a Prague coffee house, where you can enjoy Bohemian-Slavic music and folklore while sitting at a table with a Czech pastry.
In the middle of the nineteenth century, national awareness flared up in Europe and people became particularly interested in their own history, culture and folklore. Composers such as Smetana, Dvořák and Liszt all draw inspiration from their own folk music. The rhapsodic form in particular manifests itself in the Slavic cultures that spread across Eastern Europe long before Christ.
From Homer to Queen
The word rhapsody is derived from the Greek rhapsōidos (ῥαψῳδός), a reciter of epic poetry (a rhapsodist). Homer is perhaps the most famous Greek rhapsode.
A rhapsody consists of contrasting parts in terms of style and mood, which, despite the free episodic form, still form a unity, often with a theme based on folk melodies. The atmosphere of spontaneous inspiration and improvisation makes the rhapsody freer in form than the variation form.
In the 18th century, rhapsody made its appearance in music with, among others, the Musicalische Rhapsodien (1786), a collection of songs with piano accompaniment by Christian Schubart. Rhapsody is especially popular during the Romantic period. Franz Liszt, who had a great interest in Romani violin playing, introduced a large-scale nationalistic orchestra “epic”. His immensely popular and virtuoso Second Hungarian Rhapsody has been beautifully arranged for string orchestra by Péter Wolf.
Janáček’s suite and Dvořák’s serenade also originate from the rhapsodic form of underlying improvisation, contrasting moods and themes based on folk melodies. And that rhapsody is still timeless since Homer is proven by the popular song Bohemian R h apsody by Queen.
The fact that classical Slavic music has folkloric roots is also reflected in the use of typical folk instruments in the classical orchestral score. For example, you can hear the cimbalom in Kodály’s Hary Janos Suite , played by virtuoso on the cimbalom, Dani Luca.