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Jakub Jan Ryba’s Czech Christmas Mass: an Xmas staple for millions of Czechs for over 200 years

24-12-2014 02:01 | Daniela Lazarová

Czech Filharmonic Orchestra, photo: archive of Czech Filharmonic Orchestra One of the staples of the Czech Christmas’, along with fried carp, Christmas cookies and fairy tales, is Jakub Jan Ryba’s Christmas Mass. The mass composed by a small-town teacher in 1796 has become the most popular piece of Czech Christmas music ever written. It is performed in churches, concert halls and resounds in millions of Czech homes at this time of year. So on Christmas Eve, we would like to share this musical experience with you and have selected a 1998 recording that has been hailed as the best recording of the Czech Xmas mass ever made. It is with the famous Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená who back in 1998 was at the start of a promising career.  More

Christmas exhibition in Bethlehem Chapel harks back to the old days

18-12-2014 15:56 | Daniela Lazarová

Photo: archive of Bonsai servis Praha Among the many Christmas events underway in Prague at this time of year is an exhibition of nativity scenes and bells at Bethlehem Chapel in the city centre. Hidden deep in the bowels of the chapel, the exhibition is light years away from the bright lights and bustling city life above. Everything on display is hand made –from wood carved nativity scenes to Christmas decorations made of lace – and it transports visitors to the Christmases of days-gone-by. My guide around the exhibition Hanka Drahošová says this is the place to come for the real Christmas spirit.  More

Exhibition aims to raise funds for destroyed heritage site

12-08-2014 15:35 | Ruth Fraňková

Pustevny, photo: Jakub Hritz, CRo A travelling exhibition “Kdo postavil Libušín” (Who built Libušín) has just opened in the town of Valašské Meziříčí. One of its aims is to support the restoration of historical chalet in the Beskydy Mountains in the east of the country, which was seriously damaged by fire this March. The reconstruction of the national heritage site is expected to cost some 80 million crowns.  More

Czech Easter music – from carols to cantatas

21-04-2014 02:01 | Pavla Horáková

Photo: CzechTourism In the Czech Republic, celebrations of the moveable holiday of Easter combine Christian traditions and age-old pagan customs. Music plays an important part in the celebrations, spanning from folk chants to religious oratorios. In this year’s Easter Monday special we will give you a taste of Czech Easter music, from carols to cantatas.  More

Marta Töpferová's album Milokraj draws on Moravian music, landscape and folklore

31-12-2013 | Masha Volynsky

Marta Töpferová, photo: archive of Marta Töpferová In this special program we speak to the singer and songwriter Marta Töpferová about her newest album Milokraj, her relationship to her home country and her love of Moravian folk music.  More

Docuku - folk re-inventors from Wallachia

14-07-2013 02:01 | Jan Richter

Photo: archive of Docuku The band Docuku, based in the north-eastern town of Valašské Meziřící, rediscovers folk music of Moravia, Slovakia, Hungary as as well as Roma songs, and sometimes come up with their own creations, too. Docuku – meaning together in the local dialect – have put out three albums so far, including Kdybych já věděl which was released earlier this year and features singer Markéta Irglová.  More

Marta Topferova's new album draws on Moravian music, landscape and folklore

01-05-2013 02:01 | Masha Volynsky

Marta Töpferová, photo: archive of Marta Töpferová In this special program we speak to the singer and songwriter Marta Töpferová about her newest album Milokraj, her relationship to her home country and her love of Moravian folk music.  More

Prague's Žižkov district celebrates twenty years of Masopust

12-02-2013 16:41 | Masha Volynsky

Žižkov Masopust, photo: Archive of Prague 3 Traditional carnival celebrations preceding the beginning of lent are taking place all over the Czech capital, with many neighborhoods organizing their own celebrations. Prague’s Žižkov district holds the claim to the longest running post-communist tradition of Masopust festivities, as they are called in Czech. This year, Žižkov celebrates the twentieth Masopust in the neighborhood.  More

Baroque Bohemian Carnevale recreating centuries-old tradition long lost

14-02-2012 16:09 | Rob Cameron

Photo: CTK The annual Bohemian Carnevale got underway this week, and for the next seven days carnival-lovers will have a chance to forget the freezing temperatures in Prague with masked balls, parades and acrobatic performances. The event is an attempt to revive what was a major social event in days gone by – one that attracted big-name celebrities such as Mozart and Casanova.  More

Carp and Carols with the Nightingales

25-12-2011 02:01 | David Vaughan

Slavíčci A few days ago David Vaughan went to meet the Slavíčci – or Nightingales – one of Prague’s best-known children’s choirs. He talked to members of the choir about the rich tradition of Czech Christmas music, about why you might find yourself sharing your bath with a carp in the days before Christmas Eve, and what it’s like to sing beneath the towering Gothic vaults of Saint Vitus’ Cathedral. And, of course, the choir also brings us some of the best loved Czech carols, recorded especially for Radio Prague. That and more, in Radio Prague’s special Christmas Day programme. Happy listening.  More

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