Easter Festival of Sacred Music 2017

The Easter Festival of Sacred Music draws its most substantial inspiration from its being held between Holy Week, with its commemoration of the Last Supper and the Passion of Christ, and the Sunday celebrating His resurrection and the Easter week that follows. This year we are marking the quincentennial of the Reformation and have made testimonies the theme of the festival.

The two weeks of the festival are connected by performances of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s oratorio Saint Paul, both at the Church of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist. Perhaps an even closer link between church architecture and sacred music is provided by Lithuanian composer Bronius Kutavičius’s work The Gates of Jerusalem. The spatially diverse Church of John Amos Comenius is perfectly suited to showcase this composition’s individual sections with their varied cast. Contrasting with these performances will be an Easter programme of monophonic Latin chants by Hildegard von Bingen and other choral repertoire as performed by the female vocal ensemble Tiburtina. The Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady in Staré Brno is perfect for this repertoire, and has traditionally been used by the festival. It was originally part of a Cistercian monastery founded by Elisabeth Richeza, the Dowager Queen.

The traditional Tenebrae, the “dark hours” of the festival, this year form an integral part of the festival’s main programme, with a performance by celebrated Belgian ensemble Graindelavoix as the focal point. On the Wednesday of Holy Week, they will perform remarkable lamentations by two late renaissance composers who were in the service of the Hapsburgs: the Spanish composer Pedro Ruimonte who was active in Brussels in the early seventeenth century, and his contemporary, the Flemish organist Charles Luython, who was engaged by Rudolf II in his imperial court in Prague. Later in the week these renaissance lamentations will be followed, on Thursday, by a baroque Passion oratorio by František Antonín Míča performed by the Baroque Orchestra of the Prague Conservatory on Thursday, and, on Good Friday, by Johann Baptist Vanhal’s classicist setting of the medieval sequence Stabat Mater performed by the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts Chamber Opera.

Vladimír Maňas, programmer of the festival

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The entire festival program



Sun 9 April 2017, Church of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist, Minoritská,8.00pm


Johann Sebastian Bach: Saint Matthew Passion BWV244

oratorio for soloists, two choirs and orchestras

Małgorzata Rodek, Marzena Lubaszkasopranos

Justyna Ołów, Marcjanna Myrlakaltos

Karol Kozłowski, Jakub Pawliktenors

Jacek Ozimkowski, Łukasz Klimczakbasses

Capella Cracoviensis(Poland)

conductor Jan Tomasz Adamus



Tue 11 April 2017, Evangelical Church of John Amos Comenius (Red Church),7.00pm


Bronius Kutavičius: Gates of Jerusalem

Stanislav Předotacantor

Vox iuvenalis,choir director Jan Ocetek

BERG Orchestra, conductor Peter Vrábel



Wed 12 to Fri 14 April 2017, 9.00pm



Wed 12 April 2017, Church of Saint James, 9.00pm


Lamentations by Pedro Ruimonte (1607)and Charles Luython (1604)  


artistic director Björn Schmelzer


Thu 13 April 2017, Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, Jezuitská,9.00pm


František Antonín Míča: Abgesungene Betrachtungen(Sung Meditations)

Prague Conservatory Baroque Orchestra

conductorJakub Kydlíček


Fri 14 April 2017, Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, Jezuitská,9.00pm


František Ignác Antonín Tůma: Partita

Johann Baptist Vanhal: Stabat Mater
Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts Chamber Opera

conductorTomáš Krejčí



Thu 20 April 2017, Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, Staré Brno,7.30pm

Tiburtina Ensemble

Barbora Kabátková, Ivana Bilej Brouková, Daniela Čermáková, Marta Fadljevičová, Anna Chadiková Havlíková, Kamila Mazalová, Renata Zafkovávoices

Margit Übellackerdulce melos

artistic directorBarbora Kabátková voice, medieval harps



Fri 21 April 2017, Church of Saint Thomas, Moravské nám., 7.00pm (TBC)


Charles Tournemire:Choral-Improvisation sur le Victimae paschalilaudes

Charles-Marie Widor: Cantilène(No. 3) from Organ Symphony No. 10 in D Major “Romane”, Op. 73

Vladimír Werner:Victimae paschali laudes

Bohuslav Martinů:Vigil for organ H382

Sigfrid Karg-Elert: Chorale Improvisationsfor organ, Op. 65 (selections)

Herr, wie du willst – Nun laßt uns Gott dem Herren – Jesu, hilf siegen

Max Reger:Chorale Fantasia “Halelluja! Gott zu loben, bleibe meine Seelenfreud!”,Op. 52 No. 3

Jan Šprtaorgan



Sun 23 April 2017, Church of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist, Minoritská,8.00pm


Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Saint Paul, oratorio, Op. 36 (MWV A 14)

for soloists, mixed choir and orchestra

Marie Fajtovásoprano

Štěpánka Pučálkovámezzo-soprano

Jan Rusko tenor

Roman Hozabaritone

Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno, choir director Petr Fiala

Brno Philharmonic

conductor Leoš Svárovský

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