Historically Informed Performance in the Czech Republic

By Balek, Jindrich | Czech Music, April 2008 | Go to article overview

Historically Informed Performance in the Czech Republic


Balek, Jindrich, Czech Music


This article offers a brief account of the development and progress of what is known as "authentic performance of early music" over roughly the last two decades in the Czech Republic. The term means performance of Medieval, Baroque and Early Classical Music on period instruments and on the basis of thorough study of period sources. At the international level this approach is associated with conductors like Nicolaus Harnoncourt, John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, William Christie or Reinhard Goebel and their ensembles Concentus Musicus Wien, Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Collegium Vocale Gent, Les Arts florissants or Musica Antiqua Koeln. All these and other ensembles pioneered a new view of the music of earlier stylistic periods during the 1980s. At the beginning it might have seemed no more than an eccentric experiment by a few enthusiasts, but it gradually gained respect and led to an overall transformation of styles of performance even in ensembles in the traditional mainstream.

**********

If we make a similar list of ensembles of this type in the Czech Republic, we are immediately struck by several remarkable facts. All were founded later than those mentioned above, and most of the musicians concerned are in their thirties. All were founded without much significant help from the established Czech music schools; the individual musicians relied on international music courses, studies abroad, and their own sheer interest and enthusiasm. Nonetheless, the early music performance scene in the Czech Republic is very rich and diverse, and linked up with the European music scene in many interesting ways. To list the ensembles concerned: they are Musica Florea, Collegium 1704, Collegium Marianum, and also Capella Regia Praha, the Hofmusici, Capella Apollinis, Ensemble Tourbillon and Ensemble Inegal, and in recent years they have been responsible for a very colourful range of early music productions. If we add a list of their artistic directors, we find several very characterful young musicians who are leading their groups to repertory of a distinctive type: Marek Stryncl, Vaclav Luks, Jana Semeradova, Robert Hugo, Ondrej Macek, Barbara Maria Willi, Petr Wagner, and Adam Viktora. Apart from these essentially instrumental ensembles there are a number of vocal groups, among which the Schola Gregoriana Pragensis with its artistic director David Eben (see CMQ 3/04) occupies a special place. This article is not intended to offer musical criticism - we are not going to compare groups or individuals in terms of quality or success, but primarily want to indicate the range and diversity of the early music scene in Bohemia and Moravia. For the same reason we also want to draw attention to the key importance of two major festivals. One is the Concentus Moraviae in Moravia and the other is the Summer Festival of Early Music in Prague, and both focus on the presentation of "early music". Musicological and civil associations like the Society for Early Music play a role as well. We have no space here to describe in detail all the interesting connections, coincidences and inspirations that have shaped the scene and what we offer is just a concise overview.

It is important to stress that this whole movement has important precursors that require at least a brief mention here: they were first and foremost the ensemble Ars revidiva with Milan Munclinger, and then Musica Antiqua Praha with Pavel Klikar and Miroslav Venhoda and his group The Prague Madrigalists. These provided what were often decisive impulses alongside the foreign influences and studies abroad.

Also crucial for the origins of the present scene was work of the Society for Early Music already mentioned. This year the Society for Early Music is celebrating the jubilee 20th year of its Summer Music School in Valtice and its history is extremely interesting. It was founded in 1982 by Miroslav Venhoda in the frame of the Czech Music Society as an association for everyone, including amateurs, interested in historically authentic performance of early music. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Historically Informed Performance in the Czech Republic
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.