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Saturday, September 17, 11.00 am

Programme

Antonín Dvořák: The Water Goblin, symphonic poem based on a ballad by K. J. Erben Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 'From the New World'

Annotation

This concert by the renowned Belgian orchestra Anima Eterna Brugge with conductor Jos Van Immerseel promises an extraordinary experience: a central work of the Dvořák Prague Festival, the Symphony 'From the New World', will sound for the first time in the festival in a performance on period instruments. And certainly no less of a revelation will be an authentic performance of the symphonic poem The Water Goblin, which is a triumph of Dvořák's aural imagination.

Medallions

Anima Eterna

The Belgian orchestra Anima Eterna, founded in 1987 in Brugge (Bruges) by the conductor Jos van Immerseel, is one of the foremost European ensembles involved in 'historically informed performance'. The number of its members ranges from seven to eighty depending on the repertoire being played, which stretches from Monteverdi to Gershwin. Its main focus is not so much discovery of unknown musical works as an effort to interpret works from the classical repertoire in a way that is as historically faithful as possible. And not only by choosing period instruments. Other aspects that play an important are the manner of playing, tempo, aural balance of the orchestra, and the acoustics of the space for which the work was composed. During the nearly three decades of its existence the orchestra has won outstanding international renown and performs regularly on the most prestigious concert stages. It also engages intensively in recording projects, of which let us mention at least a remarkable complete set of the Schubert symphonies and a recent recording of works by Dvořák and Janáček.

Anima Eterna

Jos van Immerseel

Having just turned seventy, the Belgian conductor and multi-instrumentalist Jos van Immerseel is one of the most versatile figures on the musical scene today. Early in his career, as an organist and harpsichordist, he performed mainly Renaissance and Baroque repertoire. Later the range of his interests expanded to include music of the Classical and early Romantic periods. Here, too, he earned an excellent reputation, especially in piano music by Mozart and Beethoven which he performs in important concert halls all over Europe. In 1987 he founded an orchestra of historical instruments called Anima Eterna, which he still leads today. He has made numerous highly-acclaimed recordings as a soloist (for example the complete Beethoven piano concertos), as a member of chamber ensembles (the piano trios of Franz Schubert among other works), and as a conductor. He also teaches, mainly as a professor at the Royal Conservatoire in Antwerp where he leads master classes focused on playing historical instruments.

Jos van Immerseel - conductor

Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall

The Rudolfinum is one of the most important Neo-Renaissance edifices in the Czech Republic. In its conception as a multi-purpose cultural centre it was quite unique in Europe at the time of its construction. Based on a joint design by two outstanding Czech architects, Josef Zítek and Josef Schultz, a magnificent building was erected serving for concerts, as a gallery, and as a museum. The grand opening on 7 February 1885 was attended by Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria, in whose honour the structure was named. In 1896 the very first concert of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra took place in the Rudolfinum's main concert hall, under the baton of the composer Antonín Dvořák whose name was later bestowed on the hall.