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Czech Philharmonic ⬩ Semyon Bychkov
The German composer Detlev Glanert is one of today’s most successful opera composers. Last season, the Czech Philharmonic performed his composition Weites Land. This season brings the Czech premiere of the full concert-length oratorio Requiem for Hieronymous Bosch.
Requiem for Hieronymus Bosch (2015–16)
Prague Philharmonic Choir
Slovak Philharmonic Choir
The German composer Detlev Glanert is one of today’s most successful opera composers. Last season, the Czech Philharmonic performed his composition Weites Land. This season brings the Czech premiere of the full concert-length oratorio Requiem for Hieronymous Bosch. The Requiem was composed on a commission from Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Orchestra for the 500th anniversary of the death of the famed Dutch painter. In it, Glanert unabashedly employs his vast operatic experience, and this can be heard both in the work’s sonic conception and in its dramatic structure. He combines the texts of the Catholic Mass for the Dead with the medieval collection of songs Carmina burana, from which he has chosen a description of the seven deadly sins. We are witnesses to a spiritual trial, at which the Archangel Michael examines Bosch’s life through the prism of these seven sins. In eighteen sections, Bosch must face God’s judgement with the narrator as the chief prosecutor. A small choir sings the liturgical text of the Requiem, and a large choir with four soloists combines that text with a description of the sins. A critic for the British newspaper The Guardian has called Glanert’s Requiem “an outstanding choral achievement, a work of great power and intensely vivid invention, which uncannily finds musical parallels to Bosch’s surreal imagination, and to the extremes of his visions of heaven and hell, grandeur and intimacy. The score juxtaposes glimpses of the apocalypse with moments of extreme sweetness, in intensely detailed choral and orchestral writing that consistently avoids all the clichés that disfigure so many contemporary oratorios.”
Rudolfinum — Dvorak Hall
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