A Czech evening with Magdalena Kožená and Tomáš Netopil
Three Fragments from Julietta (00:46:36)
Steve Davislim Tenor (Michel), Magdalena Kožená Mezzo-Soprano (Julietta), Fréderic Goncalves Bass Baritone, Michèle Lagrange Soprano, Barbara Kind Sopran, René Schirrer Bass, Christina Seifert Mezzo-Soprano, Isabelle Voßkühler Soprano, Bettina Pieck Contralto
Symphony No. 7 in D minor (00:44:38)
Magdalena Kožená in conversation with Jonathan Kelly (00:18:53)
A Czech evening in the Philharmonie in Berlin – but with a certain sadness. Sir Charles Mackerras was to have conducted the concert, but this great conductor died on 14 July at the age of 84. Tomáš Netopil will now take his place at the conductor’s stand of the Berlin Philharmonie – a young, up-and-coming conductor who can look back on debuts at the Salzburg Festival and with the Staatskapelle Dresden.
Our star guest this evening is the Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená, singing the title role in three symphonic fragments from Bohuslav Martinů’s opera Juliette, composed in 1939. For a long time, this surreally magical stage work was hardly ever performed, but it has experienced several revivals in the last few years. A recording of the fragments from Prague, also with Magdalena Kožená as Juliette, was recently released on CD and this October, it will be awarded the Echo Klassik award from the Deutsche Phonoakademie in the “World premiere recording of the year” category.
This concert certainly demonstrates the diversity of Czech music. Firstly, in Martinů’s fragments, we hear a compelling mixture of French impressionism and modern angularity, then after the interval we immerse ourselves in the world of Slavonic music with Antonín Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony, a work which radiates anything but cosy nostalgia. Quite the opposite: with its frequently sombre, brittle expression, there are few other of his works which give us such a profound, authentic insight into the inner life of the composer.