Pivní oratorium (Beer Oratorio) by a composer and conductor Jan Kučera (*1977) received its premiere during the final concert of the 38th year of the Pardubice Music Spring International Festival, which took place on 10 May at the Suk Hall of the House of Music in Pardubice. Commissioned by the festival whose aim is to annually commemorate some of the events significant for the region’s history, this vocal-instrumental celebrates the 145th anniversary of the local brewery’s founding.
The oratorio tells the story of beer in the Czech lands from the 15th century to the present day by quoting various texts of the period, both of the folk origin and written by some of the prominent Czech authors such as Jan Hus, Václav Thám, Jaroslav Vrchlický or Bohumil Hrabal. In the composition Kučera in a way attempted to rehabilitate the beer’s reputation and suggest that not only wine but beer, too, can be seen as a drink of intellectuals. The solo parts were performed by Barbora Řeřichová (soprano), Jaroslav Patočka (bass-baritone) and Miloslav Mejzlk (narrator), the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice and a mixed choir were conducted by the author himself. The audience also had a chance to hear a selection of popular drinking songs and choirs by composers such as bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák or Jacques Offenbach.
10 May 2016, Suk Hall, House of Music, Pardubice
The International Festival Pardubice Music Spring
Jan Kučera: Beer Oratorio (world premiere)
Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice, conductor: Jan Kučera