Fabulous opening weekend

Only a few more days and the annual concert series of Klosters Music will begin with a fabulous weekend. Even on the first day, after a festive welcome, we are plunged into the musical world of Bohemia in the 19th century.

The evening of 31 July is dedicated to the special relationship that the Salzburg composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) cultivated with the Bohemian metropolis. 

At the beginning, the Basel Chamber Orchestra, conducted for the first time by the well-known Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša, will play Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, the “Prague Symphony”. 

“A Gift from Heaven”

Hrůša says of the magic of Mozart’s music, which can still be felt in Prague today: “Mozart in Prague” that is a historical phenomenon per se. We all love Mozart’s music because it is a gift from heaven. Not everyone felt that way during his lifetime. Knowing that Mozart spent some of the happiest moments of his short life in Prague warms my heart. I still remember well that when I conducted in the State Theatre for the first time, I was standing in the exact same place as Wolfgang hundreds of years before. The very same place, marked with a memorial plaque. I felt filled with inspiration and overwhelmed with awe. It was beautiful.” The arias and duets from Mozart’s operas Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, sung by the renowned Italian soprano Giulia Semenzato and the distinguished baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann, also sound enchanting. In addition to dramatic and elegant arias, the “Prague Symphony” and the overture from “Le Nozze di Figaro”, the Piano Concerto No.23 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be another highlight of the evening. The concerto, played by the up-and-coming and multi-award-winning French pianist Lucas Debargue, is considered one of Mozart’s greatest creations ever. 

Songs our mother sang

The second evening of the opening weekend with the virtuoso Janoska Ensemble is dedicated to the tradition of Bohemian rhapsody and folk song. 

The varied programme includes “melodies we heard as children, the lullabies our mothers sang, the pieces that stayed in our heads and ears and are still with us today. We carry all this music in our minds, consciously or unconsciously, and pass it on to our children,” says Fantišek Janoska.

The evening began with Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C-sharp minor, a weighty and dance-like homage by a homeless man to his homeland, followed by Antonin Dvořák’s “Songs My Mother Taught Me”, composed in 1880 for voice and piano. Když mne stará matka zpívat učívala”), the fourth song from a cycle of seven gypsy songs with texts by the Czech poet Adolf Heyduk (1835-1923). With “Hello Prince!” by Roman Janoska, the ensemble transports us to the immediate musical present with its first original composition. The “Janoskas” take an outspoken step into the recent past with the song “Bohemian Rhapsody”, with which the front man of the rock group “Queen”, Freddie Mercury, who was born in India in 1946 and died in 1991, wrote pop history in 1975. The piece, which in its original form can be divided into six sections, was released, among other things, from the album “A Night at the Opera”. The German composer and musicologist Hartmut Fladt writes about Mercury’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”: “The whole thing is a declaration of love to the opera of the late 19th century, which is, however, cleverly staged with 20th century means. The song is a very intelligent piece of postmodern pop culture.” After the excursion into the world of pop music, the “Janoskas” take us on a long journey to South America and dedicate themselves to the Tango Nuevo with Astor Piazzolla’s “Adiós Nonino”. Piazzolla composed the piece in 1959 as a tribute to his late father. The brilliant finale of the evening is František Janoska’s well-known and popular original composition Esterházy Rhapsody No. 1 “Old Times – Young Notes”.