„Musica non grata“ in Prag | EUROtoday

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EIt appears as if the Prague State Opera has discovered its family god once more. His title is Alexander Zemlinsky, he ran the home for sixteen years, from 1911 to 1927, and within the course of formed an period that, on reflection, has legendary options: not due to his personal works that he dropped at the stage there, in what was then the New German Theater however much less so by the up to date music he carried out in Prague: works by Franz Schreker, Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schönberg, who was his brother-in-law (and admirer). Anyone who lived in Prague on the time and went to Zemlinsky's opera home was extraordinarily properly knowledgeable about new instructions in music. Hans Wilhelm Steinberg, who later made his profession in America as William Steinberg, and George Szell, who additionally fled the National Socialists to the USA, continued Zemlinsky's legacy after he moved to the Berlin Kroll Opera.

The reminiscence of that point has virtually been misplaced. It would have been a late triumph for the National Socialists, who, after the occupation of the Czech Republic, disbanded the home's orchestra (the musicians later fashioned the idea for the newly based Bamberg Symphony) and allowed the theater to degenerate into an occasion area for visitor performances. This meant that one of many facilities of Jewish cultural life in Prague was shut down. It was the German-speaking Jewish bourgeoisie who initiated and financed the development of the theater – it opened in 1888 – as a direct response to the institution of the Czech National Theater. Under communist rule, the clear-cutting grew to become a reminiscence hole after reservations had been now cultivated not solely towards Jewish but additionally towards German. Soon hardly anybody spoke or knew in regards to the Zemlinsky period; subsequent to the magnificent National Theater, the State Opera led an existence as a wallflower.

Young viewers, enthusiastic applause

When the Norwegian Per Boye Hansen took over as director of the Prague music theater in 2019 – along with the National Theater and the State Opera, this additionally consists of the Estates Theater, the place Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's “Don Giovanni” was premiered – he first needed to seek for an id home. And ended up at Zemlinsky's time. Connections in German politics helped finance a venture that was supposed to deliver again consciousness of the necessary interval of the New German Theater. “Musica non grata” – undesirable music – was the title for the deliberate period of 4 years (it ended up being 5 due to the pandemic), and the federal authorities contributed 4 million euros.

The venture has now come to a conclusion with a competition weekend that targeted on Zemlinsky's work. Jetske Mijnssen's high quality manufacturing of “Clothes Make the Man” was proven as soon as once more, the uncommon case by which a composer managed to place comprehensible irony into sound. The corridor was closely attended on the noon efficiency on Sundays at 2 p.m., the viewers was younger and the applause was enthusiastic. Things had been totally different three years in the past, when there was a Zemlinsky competition at “Musica non grata” and the then common music director of the State Opera, Karl-Heinz Steffens, performed orchestral works by the Viennese native in entrance of a reasonably massive viewers. The reminiscence of the cultural lifetime of the interwar interval appears to have entered the consciousness of these eager about tradition in Prague, says Tomáš Kraus, who, because the now former president of Prague's Jewish neighborhood, actively supported the venture. There can be a renewed curiosity within the Jewish neighborhood within the State Opera, which, because the New German Theater, has performed such an necessary function in Jewish cultural life.

In any case, Boye Hansen, the creative director, will proceed to place an opera by an ostracized composer of that point on this system yearly (one of many nice achievements of “Musica non grata” was the rediscovery of Erwin Schulhoff’s wildly incredible opera “Flammen”), dropped at the stage by Calixto Bieito). The analysis work related to the venture and which was coordinated by musicologist Kai Hinrich Müller may also be continued. He got here throughout numerous feminine composers in Prague throughout these years and likewise deepened his analysis into the composers within the Theresienstadt camp.

Waking the orchestra from its slumber

Aside from now acquainted names corresponding to Pavel Haas, Hans Krása or Viktor Ullmann, he and his college students recognized 430 musicians who had been energetic within the cultural lifetime of the camp. At native academies, college students had been in a position to examine works created in Theresienstadt; after the tip of the “Musica non grata” venture, the Dresden Music Festival is now taking up as sponsor.

At the magnificently renovated State Opera – which reopened in 2020 – the duty is now to awaken an orchestra from its Sleeping Beauty slumber. What achievements it’s able to could be seen within the live performance efficiency of two one-act performs. Paul Hindemith's “Sancta Susanna”, a play a couple of nun who discovers her instinctual life, brought about an infinite scandal when it was premiered in 1922. Zemlinsky put the sonically wondrous piece on this system in Prague, setting it other than the late romantics utilizing understated means – as one of many few who dared to take action. Now it’s adopted by Zemlinsky's “Florentine Tragedy”, a stirring triangle drama primarily based on Oscar Wilde. The conductor Karsten Januschke ensures readability and line with a dedicated efficiency, the gleaming brightness and deep blackness of this music emerge, and repeatedly a world of feelings flows out in orchestral splendor that appears so uncooked and uncalculated in Zemlinsky's work. Happy is he who has such a family god.