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Featuring music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Leoš Janáček, and Jan Václav Hugo Voříšek Conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek

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Performance Guide

A n O p e n R e h e ar s a l


Prague Philharmonia

About the Open Rehearsal Attending an open rehearsal differs from guide you through a selection of attending an actual concert, musical works by three great though your role as a quiet European composers. listener is the same. First is Austrian Washington, D.C. That’s because the composer Wolfgang orchestra is here to Amadeus Mozart work—to practice and (MO-tzart), followed The Czech Republic perfect their playing by two native Czech before the public (pronounced check), performance. composers, Leoš Janáček (yahn-ahAt this rehearsal, the chek) and Jan Václav Prague Philharmonia will Hugo Voříšek (VOR-zhi-shek).

Overture to Don Giovanni, K. 527 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1787)

Among Mozart’s most acclaimed works is his opera Don Giovanni (joh-VAH-nee). He called it his “dramma giocoso” (literally “merry drama”), since the plot shifts often

between drama and comedy. It tells the story of a young, arrogant nobleman, whose immoral ways eventually catch up and get the better of him. While the opera took Mozart six weeks to compose, he completed the overture or opening music you will hear today in less than one day—the day before the opera’s premiere. Listen for… n

the music shifting quickly and unpredictably from dark and ominous to light and playful, just as the opera will play out

n scales

and repetitions that create tension and a sense of terror to come

Mozart (1756–1791) was a child prodigy, who could play the piano at age four and completed his first symphony at age eight.

Symphony in D major, Op. 24 by Jan Václav Hugo Voříšek (1821)

Composer Jan Václav Hugo Voříšek’s work is often compared to that of the early Romantic composers, Franz Schubert (SHOO-burt) and Ludwig van Beethoven (BAY-toh-ven). It comes as no surprise since Schubert and Voříšek were close friends who often shared ideas, while Beethoven acted as Voříšek’s trusted mentor. Unfortunately, Voříšek died of tuberculosis at the young age of 34, just as his career was taking off. Listen for… Janáček (1854–1928) was also influenced by the Czech language, and many of his operas mimic the natural rhythmic patterns of speech.

Suite for Strings by Leoš Janáček (1877)

n the

symphony’s four contrasting movements

n a

sense of growing intensity, created by layering intricate melodies with bold, vigorous interruptions

When Janáček was in his 30s, he began composing in a more Romantic style, influenced by his studies of Slavic folk music and dance. He began to incorporate elements of each into his works—such as lyrical rhythms, intricate textures, and unusual chord combinations. The result was an original, modern musical style that delighted his listeners. Listen for… n the

piece’s six distinct movements or sections, and each one’s individual opening that sets the tone for the movement

n contrasting

rhythms, as when the music changes from upbeat and energetic to slow and delicate

Voříšek (1791–1825) wrote mostly for the piano but did compose one symphony, which you will hear at the rehearsal.

Prague Philharmonia Established in 1994 by Jiří Bělohlávek (beh-lo-hla-vek), the Prague Philharmonia began as a chamber ensemble made up of recent music school graduates. Modeled after orchestras from the mid-1700s, the ensemble bases a majority of its repertoire or playlist on musical works from this Viennese Classicism period. Today, this 48 member group performs around the world.

Meet JiRí BElohlávek Besides being the founder and honorary artistic director of the Prague Philharmonia, Jiří Bělohlávek makes regular appearances with other major orchestras and opera houses throughout Europe and North America. When not touring, he lives in Prague, where he conducts and teaches.

David M. Rubenstein Chairman Michael M. Kaiser President Darrell M. Ayers Vice President, Education Additional support for Performances for Young Audiences is provided by the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts, Capital One Bank, the Carter and Melissa Cafritz Charitable Trust, The Clark Charitable Foundation, Fi ght for Children, Inc., Mr. James V. Kimsey, The Kirstein Family Foundation, The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, Inc., Linda and Tobia Mercuro, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Park Foundation, Inc., the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Mrs. Irene Pollin, Dr. Deborah Rose and Dr. Jan A. J. Stolwijk, Ms. Beverly Walcoff, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Verizon Foundation. Major support for the Kennedy Center’s educational programs is provided by David and Alice Rubenstein through the Rubenstein Arts Access Program. The Music of Budapest, Prague, and Vienna Presenting Underwriter HRH Foundation Additional support is provided by David and Alice Rubenstein, Noémi and Michael Neidorff and the Centene Charitable Foundation, The Honorable Nancy G. Brinker, and State Plaza Hotel. International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts. Cuesheets are produced by ARTSEDGE, an education program of the Kennedy Center. ARTSEDGE is a part of Verizon Thinkfinity, a consortium of free educational Web sites for K-12 teaching and learning. Learn more about Education at the Kennedy Center at

Photo by Clive Barda

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Prague Philharmonia: An Open Rehearsal  

Founded in 1994, the Prague Philharmonia is one of the top Czech orchestras with an international reputation. Get an inside look at their fi...