Bolero, Carmina Burana
The Czech Collegium has firmly established itself as a major musical force in Prague, thanks to its unique ability to reach across genres and epochs. Their concert Bolero, Carmina Burana is yet another example of how effective and impressive such musical agglomerations can be. Apart from the two towering works by Maurice Ravel and Carl Orff, respectively, the evening features the Collegium’s adaptations of beloved opera overtures and arias as well as jazz and pop standards, plus a special surprise at the end of the programme. Altogether, this concert promises to be yet another extensive and exciting journey across genre and form.
The programme centres around ‘Boléro’ by Maurice Ravel. The French composer wrote the piece in 1928 with the original intention to back a ballet performance by Ida Rubenstein. However, the music was so mesmerising and unique that it quickly became a standalone orchestral number in very high demand. The main theme, repeated a number of times in a slow-burn crescendo that reaches a glorious climax, has long become an inseparable part of our collective culture. The same can be said of ‘Carmina Burana’, the scenic cantata by Carl Orff (1936). Its glorious opening line “O Fortuna!” is forever etched into our collective mind, and the way the German composer played with musical dynamics against the medieval lyrics makes for a truly special experience.
The concert Bolero, Carmina Burana does not end with these two iconic pieces, however. The industrious Czech Collegium have prepared a number of other musical favourites, such as the Overture from Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville or ‘Va pensiero’ from Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco. Changing gears, the musicians will also present their interpretations of ‘Porgy and Bess’ and ‘Summertime’ by George Gerswhin, ‘Libertango’ by Astor Piazolla, and ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ by Andrew Lloyd Weber. The programme wraps with a selection of traditional Jewish songs, making the musical journey through time and space complete.