UPDATED: MARCH 27, 16:00

UPDATED Easter menu in Slovak Philharmonic

The end of March and beginning April – which includes Easter – is marked by concerts with the Slovak Philharmonic's chief conductor James Judd, with special seasonal treats.

SF principal conductor James JuddSF principal conductor James Judd (Source: Peter Brenkus)

A Bratislava concert on Friday, March 23, reflects the jubilee of Slovak composer Egon Krák who turns 60 this month, as well as that of the concert-master of the cello group in the Slovak Philharmonic (SF), Ján Slávik. On this occasion, Krák composed a special work, called Message, for Cello and Orchestra (2017), hailing their mutual friendship that spans 45 years.

Read also:James Judd: Whether it is orchestral music, jazz or rock – music is music Read more 

“I have composed music for chamber orchestra several times, but this is my first piece for solo cello,” Krák said, according to SF. “Message has musical content, a sort of second dimension which rises from the attempt to make a musical comment on feelings and stances which the composer feels towards the outside world. I don’t know to what extent the content of my Message will be understandable, a composer always hopes that the audience will understand, but what I perceive as fundamental is the fact that its interpretation and perception definitely cannot – and won’t – be identical for every spectator. It’s the same with people's perception of the whole world which we live in," he summed up.

After the premiere of Message, the Concert for Piano and Orchestra No 5, F Major ("The Egyptian") by Camille Siant-Saëns will resound, as performed by SF and Serbian pianist Jasminka Stancul.

In the mood for Easter

On the last Sunday before Easter, March 25, the Slovak Chamber Orchestra (SKO) led by Ewald Danel will give a themed concert in St Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava at 15:00, offering The Seven Last Words of Christ by Joseph Haydn as an hors d’oeuvre for the upcoming holiday. Apart from SKO, other performers include the Cathedral Choir of St Martin (choirmaster Ján Miškovič) and soloists: soprano Marianna Gelenekyová, alto Helena Oborníková, tenor Matúš Šimko, and bass Matúš Trávniček.

The tradition of performing Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ in Bratislava dates back to 1836, though with breaks in unfavourable times, like war. This tradition was revived in April 2007 by SKO.

UPDATED: On Wednesday, March 28, and Maundy Thursday, March 29, Easter concerts will be offered in the big concert hall of the SF’s Reduta building in E. Suchoňa Square in Bratislava by the Slovak Philharmonic, the Slovak Philharmonic Choir (SFZ) and six soloists: German soprano Sibylla Duffe, Croatian alto Anthea Barac, Austrian tenor Rainer Trost, Slovak bass Peter Mikuláš and two bassists of the SFZ, Matúš Trávniček and Peter Kollár.

Conducted also by James Judd, they will play and sing a rarely performed oratory by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Paulus – the first of two monumental oratories by this famous composer. He and Robert Schumann invested much energy into reviving great oratorical – or, rather, Passion – projects.

UPDATED: Slovak Philharmonic informed that the March 28 and 29 concerts will be dedicated to the murdered journalist and his fiancee, Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová.

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