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Archaion Kallos Festival of Orthodox Music 2018
Ss.Cyril and Methodius Cathedral |
60 minutes |
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Sergei Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil, op. 37
Jan Dušek: Four Songs of Solomon II – world premiere
Kryštof Spirit - conductor
The Greek expression "archaion kallos" means "ancient beauty," but in the vocabulary of the Holy Fathers of the Eastern Christian Church, "archaion kallos" speaks of a certain archetype, an "original beauty" - the beauty which man beheld in Paradise and which he experienced after Creation. Philokallia (a word of Greek origin meaning "love of the beautiful") gave this name to the first and only festival of Orthodox music in Prague because they perceive every act in sacred music, whether of composition or interpretation, as a kind of conscious or unconscious search for this pristine beauty, the Archaion Kallos.
As in previous years festival will present a wide and varied spectrum of Orthodox music, ranging from the sounds of Byzantine music, through romanticism (S. Rachmaninoff – All-Night Vigil), to works by leading contemporary composers such as Arvo Pärt and Gennadij N. Lapajev as well as world premieres of the works of young Czech composers – Jakub Rataje and Jan Dušek.
The concert has no intermission.
Check our list of classical concerts in Prague.
The Orthodox Cathedral of Ss Cyril and Methodius was originally a catholic church. Built in 1736 by Kilián Ignác Dientzenhofer and Pavel Ignác Bayer, it was dedicated to St. Charles Borromeo. The church was deconsecrated in the reforms of Emperor Joseph II and in 1785, with the neighboring house for retired priests, it was converted into a military depot and barracks.
In 1921, the Czechoslovak Orthodox Church was founded. The Church gained (at that time) unused temple and restored it. It has become the main Orthodox Church of Czech lands and a cathedral, seat of bishop. Occasional classical music concerts and regular services are held at the church.
Nowadays, the Cathedral of Ss Cyril and Methodius is famous due to Operation Anthropoid.
After the successful assassination on Reichsprotektor Reinhardt Heydrich on 27th May 1942, the group of seven brave Czechoslovak paratroopers were offered a shelter in Church´s krypt. Unfortunately, after few days, the SS troops discovered them and attacked the church. The paratroopers resisted and in last minute, before the SS would capture them, they committed suicide. Their last words were: "We will not surrender. Never. We are Czech."
The Operation Anthropoid resulted in furious vengeance of the Nazis. The towns Lidice and Ležáky were exterminated, all men killed, women and children abducted in the concentration camps. Bishop Gorazd and other representatives of the Czech Orthodox Church and their family members were executed for sheltering paratroopers.
Nowadays, in the Church and in the crypt is the National Monument to the Heroes of the Terror of Heydrich.