This year’s topic of The Beauty of Today, the contemporary music concert cycle organized by PKF – Prague Philharmonia, was Dualism in the Czech 21st Century, or, the relationship between a living, active composer and his (former) teacher or mentor. On the last of this season’s concerts, which was held on May 30 at the Experimental Space NoD, this pair was represented by the composer-celebrity Miroslav Srnka (*1975) and his professor from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Milan Slavický (1947-2009).
Hosted by the concert cycle’s dramaturge Hana Dohnálková, the nearly 2-hour-long programme consisted of the talk to the present Srnka (on his memories of Slavický, as well as his own beginnings as a composer and his pieces including the celebrated South Pole opera) which was interspersed with chamber music by the two authors. From those by Srnka it was first the long town of White to cross, named after Emily Dickinson’s poem, for solo violin from 2004, which was performed by David Danel. It was to this player, that Srnka had once dedicated the following Here With You for violin and cello (2011, rev. 2016); however, due to organizational issues, it was later premiered by someone else and Danel did not get the chance to perform it until its Czech premiere now, together with Balász Adorján. The evening was closed by another Czech premiere, Tree of Heaven for violin, viola and cello from 2010, where the players were joined by Stanislav Svoboda on viola. The works by Slavický included Shading for clarinet, violin and cello (1985) with Jindřich Pavliš on clarinet, Invocation I for solo viola (1984) and Invocation III for solo flute (1984), performed by Lenka Kozderková. It is worth mentioning that the last two compositions were accompanied by heavy rain drumming on the roof, which, although significantly affecting the final sound, certainly did not lack beauty.
30 May 2017, Experimental Space NoD, Prague
The Beauty of Today
Miroslav Srnka: Here with you for violin and cello (Czech premiere)
Miroslav Srnka: Tree of Heaven for violin, viola and cello (Czech premiere)