CZ - PRAHA IX - 2006 Music – Die Moldau , Symphonic Poem by Bedrich Smetana Formated by Delza Dias Ferreira - [email_address] English version by Flavio Musa de Freitas Guimarães
Praga, Czech’s Republic Capital is both a modern city and a true Architecture relic. Golden city, stone dream, magic city, hundred towers city, or Prague – the mother-city, are some of the epithets she is known for.
The Prague Castle (Pražský hrad) i s the largest castle of the world, whose construction begun in the 9th Century and embodies in its complex the imposing St . Vitus Cathedral (katedrála sv. Víta), the oldest gothic cathedral in Europe.
Part of the city’s beauty is emphasized by the Vltava river way with its centennial bridges.
When admiring this river waters and flow it’s easy to understand Bedrich Smetana’s root of inspiration for its symphonic poem – Die Moldau (Vltava) – here used as musical background.
Bedrich Smetana, one of the greatest Czechs composers of 19th Century, born in March 2, 1824 and dead at Prague in May 12, 1884, founded the Czech Music National School, and ascended as Conductor of Prague’s Opera Orchestra in 1866. Liszt’s disciple, undergone Wagner’s influence, and significantly influenced the heavenly Antonin Dvorák. In 1874, due to syphilis deafness, dedicated himself, as Beethoven, only to compose. In 1883 was interned in a psychiatric hospital, where he passed away.
The most outstanding of the city’s monuments – some over 10 centuries old – are located at the Old City’s downtown, along « Královská cesta »
« Královská cesta » stretches from the Municipal House to the Prague Castle . Along way you can admire the famous Czech crystals commerce and, at Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí), the famous astronomic « Orloj ». .
The oldest part of Prague’s Orloj – that includes the mechanic clock and the astronomic displayer – was built back in 1410. The tradition of glass and crystal working at Czech Republic is known since the 1st Century BC, although the large scale production dates from the 9th Century AC.
The Municipal House – scenery of Czechoslovakia’s independency proclamation in October 28, 1918 – houses the Smetana Concert Hall (Smetanova síň), the largest theater hall of Prague. At his side sits the Powder Tower .
Inside Municipal House (Obecní dům) you can find the elegant French Restaurant (Francouzksa Restaurace), one of the most stunning Art Nouveau constructions in Europe.
Further on situates the splendid Carlos Bridge (Karlův most), built in the middle 14th Century, with pillars decorated with about 30 baroque statues representing catholic Saints.
Virgin Mary of Tyn, - Gothic Cathedral at the Old City (Staré Mesto) square - beginnings of its construction in 1461.
St. Vitus’ Cathedral joins together matchless treasures and its high gothic arches create a frame effect for the Mucha stained glasses .
The National Theatre (Národní divadlo) – the oldest professional theater of Czech Republic – was founded in 1920, after the creation of “Czechoslovakia”.
National Museum ’s building, projected by Josef Schultz as a symbol of the “Czech National Revival”, houses the largest and oldest Czech museum.
The inner staircases of the National Museum (Národní muzeum) building are a perfect acoustic space that, as so, constitutes a favorite place for traditional camera and coral concerts.
In Prague not only the architectural stiles are in perfect harmony but – as in the whole “Czechoslovakia” – its people perfectly balances the relaxed leisure enjoyment with intense cultural activity.
From this whole Czech tradition – that so well blends culture and joy in living – emerged enlightened geniuses such as Dvořák and Smetana in music as well as Kundera and Kafka in literature.
Prague proudly honors its illustrious sons as in this statue of Franz Kafka by Jaroslav Róna.
But music occupies the most important place in the city, where each church, each palace, offers, every night, the master composer’s melodies, transforming Prague in a gigantic concert hall at Moldau’s riverbank.
… and here, from the National Museum , the orchestra goes on playing Smetana for you…