Michaela Merz

Music, History and International Collaboration

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Janacek_Projektlogo01It is common knowledge that the media persistently report on the strife, disharmony and suffering in our world caused by parties unable to find agreement or ways to compromise. Consequently, too seldom do the media give enough time or space to those successful and fruitful collaborations among people, which result in positive outcomes. It just shows that the adage “Good news doesn’t sell” still applies. Those European history buffs amongst us may already know that this year will mark the 700th anniversary of the birth of Karl IV, King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor, who ruled in Central Europe during the late middle ages and was influential in the political and cultural development of the Empire during his reign.

I really wasn’t aware of this until a friend of mine recently wrote to let me know about a cross border musical project linked to this anniversary on which he is currently working.

In commemoration of this anniversary, my friend is organizing a unique Swiss-Czech cross border cultural collaboration of choirs and orchestras from Switzerland and the Czech Republic called The Janáček Project.
The Janáček Project, a musical joint effort of the Zurich Concert Choir and the Glarisegger Choir from Switzerland, together with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the City of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic, will combine their musical talents to perform the following choral hymns:

  • Glagolitic Mass (Leoš Janáček)
  • Te Deum (Antonín Dvořák)
  • Stabat Mater (Giuseppe Verdi)

The performances will be held in two remarkable venues: one in the Czech Republic and the second in Switzerland.

The first location, the historic St. Vitus Cathedral, famous for its rich mixture of gothic, renaissance, baroque and neo-gothic architectural styles, located on the grounds of the Prague Castle in the center of Prague, Czech Republic, will offer the perfect setting for these sacred musical works.
The second location, the KKL Luzern Concert Hall, situated in a more natural setting on the shore of Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, will allow the listener stunning lake and alpine views before and after the performance.

Beyond the stirring musical works, both venues, with their breath taking views and atmosphere, will surely add visual inspiration to the listener’s experience.

The Janáček Project will perform in Prague, Czech Republic on May 14, 2016, 11:00 am and in Lucerne, Switzerland on May15, 2016, 5:00 pm.

For anyone looking for an interesting and all-around uplifting excursion this spring, where successful international collaboration at the grass roots level is the headline news, then one of these concerts just might be what you need pull you out of your winter doldrums!

More information about the Janáček Project (in German) can be found under the following link: http://janacek-projekt.ch/

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