The Strings of Autumn Festival offers high-level music that crosses different genres. For their concerts, the organizers also choose luxurious and often surprising spaces. We particularly appreciate the selection for this year. The opening concert at Vítkov belonged among those that were especially tempting.
One of the best world vocal ensembles – Ars Nova Copengagen (founded in 1979) – was presented to the Czech audience in The National Memorial at Vítkov, on the evening of October 9. Twelve members of the ensemble entranced their audience with their singing and another five members performed their art on percussion instruments. Paul Hillier from Great Britain is the Chief Director and Artistic Director, in addition to conducting, singing, composing and writing texts on music. Paul Hillier is the bearer of the Order of the British Empire, which he gained for his merits in the field of choral music.
All those who had arrived at the concert had a thrilling experience. Ars Nova Copenhagen specializes in the interpretation of polyphonic choral music, dating back to the Renaissance period. Often it is to be seen in collaboration with theatres, movies or ballet performances. The highlight of the Tuesday concert was a composition In C by Terry Riley that we have been waiting for after a break. He himself was present in the audience and after the concert, he and Ars Nova gathered standing ovations.
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Terry Riley was always interested in jazz, he studied music at the University of Berkeley, California. In 1970, he became a student of Indian Pandito Pran Natha, from whom he studied singing for 26 years.
His composition In C is a masterpiece. You can observe the repetition of musical pieces, and their overlapping, the music is flowing and you are going deeper and deeper into it, it seems to be ending; but then it returns again like a wave that swallows you and throws you a little further. Since its composition in 1964, In C has been interpreted many times with different instruments in different implementations, with different number of performers and different duration.
We applaud the incredible work of Ars Nova Copenhagen. It manifested itself not only in the impressive composition In C by Terry Riley, but also in the songs of others in The National Monument at Vítkov. The Strings of Autumn Festival may be proud to have conveyed such a luxurious experience to Czech audiences. And that's just the beginning!
You can look forward to enjoy 10 concerts during the festival. The festival ends on November 10 in the luxurious space of Prague Rudolfinum.