21 August | Friday 7:00pm – 9:00pm
A CONCERT / ST BARBARA'S CHURCH IN MANĚTÍN
Czech Ensemble Baroque / Georg Friedrich Händel: the Messiah
Along the way through West Bohemia, there are many forgotten places that still speak to us about belief, love and hope. The pilgrim St Barbara's Church in Manětín is undoubtedly one of those that attract people with their stories, secrets and sanctification. It is a memorial of a time when people believed in the order of the created world, they could love thy neighbour like themselves and live in the hope of eternal life... For almost seven centuries, from a small medieval chapel to the noble Baroque church with a well in the rock under the tower, people have been coming to the Virgin Barbara with their worries and prayers. They have brought gifts. Manětín’s aristocracy built a big stone church in the 17th century to replace the old wooden one. Generations of local gentry and bourgeoisie funded the creation of an altar, paintings, sculptures and the organ to spread their respect of St Barbara, they watch over the quiet sleep of those who rest at the local cemetery by the church... Despite storms and in spite of the time that has elapsed, the St Barbara's Church retains a unique atmosphere. With its unusual energy, it attracts the attention of those who can perceive it; with its dingy beauty, it captivates lovers of Baroque art carrying the message of time... (PhDr I Bukačová, The Awakening of Barbara's Organ).
The St Barbara‘s Church is not usually open to public. It opens exceptionally for fund-raising events for the renovation of its valuable organ. The tradition of holding a mass on the day of its patron saint is returning.
An evening concert in the Church of St John the Baptist by the Czech Ensemble Baroque, which was founded in 1998 by Roman Válek. Their members are professional instrumentalists and singers from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Germany. The ensemble plays stylistic interpretations of older works from various architectural styles on period instruments in three parts: an orchestra, a vocal ensemble and soloists.
The Messiah is not classifiable within the other works by G.F. Händel and holds a distinctive place among other oratories. Although due its popularity it has became the prototype of an oratory of Händel's type, it is in fact quite an unusual work transgressing the general trend of Händel's oratorical work. It is divided into three parts depicting various stages of Christ's life and it thus covers the entire liturgical year. The story is told by genre pictures revived by Händel's unique ability to extract dramatic tension from a text.