Prague Organ Recitals
A series of Prague organ recitals are held throughout the year at the Church of St. Francis, located a stone's from the Charles Bridge in the heart of the Czech capital. The events are performed by either one or two of the leading soloists in their field as well as up-and-coming musicians (solo instrumentalists or singers), playing a varied programme which means that visitors to the city, as well as seasoned concert goers, will find something new and enjoyable to listen to. Organ works by musical greats like Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonín Dvořák and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart all feature on the organ recital programme from time to time. Other composers noted for their sacred and keyboard works, such as Charles Gounod, Franz Schubert, Josef Seger and Jan Křtitel Kuchař all appear on the schedule of recitals, as well. As music lovers might expect, at Advent and at Christmas time, the organ recitals take on a distinctly festive feel, making a concert at this time of year a particularly auspicious occasion.
Ensuring that a great atmosphere is created at the Prague organ recitals is the venue itself. Not only does this religious building, which dates back to 1688 when it was run by the Order of the Knights of the Cross, offer the right setting for the often devotional nature of organ music, but its high ceilings and architecture afford it excellent acoustics. As a performance venue, this church is a superb place to enjoy expertly played organ music. The organ itself is the second-oldest in the city and has been played by luminaries such as Mozart and Dvořák. It was the renowned Burgundian architect Jean Baptiste Mathey who designed the structure and much of its interior. Music fans have him to thank for the delightful setting which allows the full timbre of each note to be heard.
Although the church is used for Baroque and classical music as well as for performances of popular arias, it is as an organ recital venue that it excels. The concerts have a restricted number of attendees, so lovers of this type of music from any era should not miss out on the chance to hear it in such a propitious auditorium.