CONCERT / KLADRUBY MONASTERY
25 July | Saturday 3:00pm – 5:00pm
J. S. Bach: Mass in B Minor / the ensembles of Collegium 1704 and Collegium Vocale 1704.
The concert is part of the Kladruby Musical Summer.
The set of 63 sights of West Bohemian Baroque that our festival presents has three indisputable favourites – the unique buildings of the distinguished Baroque architect Jan Santini Aichel. His works representing what is referred to as the Baroque Gothic style have no parallel in Europe or elsewhere in the world. Apart from the Plasy monastery and the pilgrim church in Mariánská Týnice, there is also the monastery in Kladruby, the third of the stars, which holds a privileged position on the festival programme. The monastery of the Order of Saint Benedict was founded in 1115 by Vladislaus I, Duke of Bohemia. This means that it celebrates 900 years of its foundation this year. This anniversary requires a proper celebration and a reminder of the grandeur of the place that stands somewhat forgotten today. In the early 14th century, this was one of the wealthiest and most significant monasteries in the Kingdom of Bohemia. In 1393, St John of Nepomuk was prosecuted and tortured to death because he confirmed a new Abbot of Kladruby. Jan Santini Aichel gave the original Romanesque basilica its Baroque Gothic look in the early 18th century. The year of 1770 saw the completion of the construction of a new convent based on a project by K. I. Dienzenhofer. The convent was dissolved by Emperor Joseph II in 1785. In 1825, the estate passed into the possession of Alfred I, Prince of Windisch-Grätz. The Windischgrätz family used the monastery first as farm buildings and after the first land reform, its premises served for housing purposes, too. In 1945, the historic building passed into state administration. The unique character of the historic building in Kladruby is rooted also in the fact that both the structural and the interior components have been preserved, including the original altar; today, we can still see for ourselves the perfect unity of the architecture and its religious content. The Kladruby monastery is a jewel which no visitor should miss if they come to visit the 9 Weeks of Baroque festival or the Pilsen Region in general.
The ensembles of Collegium 1704 and Collegium Vocale 1704
Both music ensembles were put together by the cembalist and conductor Václav Luks in 2005, on the occasion of the Bach – Praha – 2005 project which stood at the inception of the collaboration with the Prague Spring International Music Festival. Since 2007, they have been regular guests at festivals in France, Belgium, the Netherlands or Germany and the usual pieces performed during their concerts include, primarily, works by Jan Dismas Zelenka.
Mass in B Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach
Mass in B Minor, BWV 232, (Missa solemnis toni Si minoris) was composed during the period of 1724–1749 for the court in Dresden. Mass in B Minor is a magnanimously conceived composition featuring challenging solo vocals, duets and magnificent choir singing. Bach composed it to the text of a Latin mass.
Its very first publisher, Hans-Georg Nägeli, hailed the mass as "the greatest musical masterpiece of all times and nations."