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M1 Christmas concert

22. 12. 2021
19:00 p.m.
Dům kultury města Ostravy
from 260 CZK

Arthur Honegger
A Christmas Cantata H 212

Jakub Jan Ryba
Czech Christmas Mass

 

Anita Jirovská – soprano
Hana Dobešová – mezzo-soprano
Václav Vallon – tenor
Jiří Miroslav Procházka – bass-baritone
Canticum Ostrava
Jurij Galatenko
– choir master
Concert Choir Permoník

Martina Juríková – choir mistress
Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava
Chuhei Iwasaki – conductor

 

French composer of Swiss origin Arthur Honegger composed his last piece, A Christmas Cantata for a baritone soloist, a children’s choir, an organ and an orchestra, two years before his death. The premier in 1953 presented a piece filled with the peace and hope which Christ’s birth brings. The listener may enjoy pleasant echoes of folk carols and baroque polyfony.

“Solemn mass dedicated to celebration of the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in Czech language with music composed by Jakub Jan Ryba, a teacher and director of Rožmitál church choir, in the year 1796, in his 31 years of age.” This long name – originally written in Latin – was given to the composition which became a synonym to Czech Christmas, but we know it by its shorter name Czech Christmas Mass. Ryba himself valued his other works more. However, its simplicity and natural musicality made this piece the prototype of Czech Christmas. “What may those strains be? Beauty that lingers?” ask the characters in one of the arias. And every listener knows the answer even after more than two centuries.