For the first event in their two-concert residency at the 2022 International Festival, the Czech Philharmonic and Music Director Semyon Bychkov draw on the orchestra’s own eminent history to bring together richly flavoured music from their Czech homeland. No other ensemble can perform this music with the same power, authenticity or sheer delight.
Dvořák offers carefree memories of boisterous Bohemian celebrations in his joyful Carnival Overture. Dazzling pianist sisters Katia and Marielle Labèque are the soloists in the jazz-infused Concerto for Two Pianos by Dvořák’s compatriot Martinů, which looks back affectionately to the concertos of Bach and Vivaldi while setting feet tapping with its infectious rhythms.
Four eminent vocal soloists and the massed voices of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus join the orchestra for Janáček’s visionary Glagolitic Mass, a passionate paean to the wonders of Bohemian nature as much as a spiritual hymn of praise.
Sung in Old Slavonic with English supertitles.
Sir Ewan and Lady Brown
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Semyon Bychkov Conductor
Katia Labèque Piano
Marielle Labèque Piano
Evelina Dobračeva Soprano
Lucie Hilscherová Mezzo soprano
Aleš Briscein Tenor
Jan Martiník Baritone
Edinburgh Festival Chorus
Aidan Oliver Chorus Director
Dvořák Carnival Overture
Martinů Concerto for Two Pianos
Janáček Glagolitic Mass