Bohemians Enchanted by Renaissance Music

Foto: NTD
Epoch Times29. Juni 2011

62 miles northeast of Prague lies a little village called Pecka and a Gothic castle of the same name.

Its most distinguished resident here was a Renaissance artist Krystof Harant who worked at the royal court of Rudolf II.

Every odd year, Pecka pays special tribute to this famous composer of Renaissance music.

[Vera Kocianova, Pecka Castle Warden]:

„Krystof Harant was the most eminent owner of the Pecka castle. This versatilely educated man and Renaissance scholar made his mark in our history as a renown traveler and writer. What many people generally don’t know, except for us in Pecka, is that Krystof Harant was one of the most distinguished Renaissance music composers.“

After Rudolf II passed away, the artist retired to Pecka where he was detained in 1621.

Harant was later executed by the order of Ferdinand II.

That was June 21, 1621 in the Old Town Square in Prague.

Every odd year since 1993 Pecka holds a historical choral festival in his memory which focuses on polyphonic Renaissance music.

On the occasion of the Harant festival a historical hymn book is published also containing some of Harant’s works.

During the festival different choirs interpret songs from the book and the panel of experts then judge their performances.

Compositions for the hymn book come from 16th century hymnals.

This year they were compiled by historian and music scholar Martin Horyna, who is also the chairman of the panel of judges.

[Martin Horyna, PhD, Head of Festival Judges Panel]:

„The fact I can compile (the hymn book) is given by my going through relatively large amount of material because, in fact, I do quite extensive editions such as complete sources from the 16th century.“

This historical choral festival is mostly about polyphonic music and is one of a kind.

[Martin Horyna, PhD, Head of Festival Judges Panel]:

„There is no other festival like this or choir show in our country that would specialize only in the Renaissance music. Of course, there has to be, within the European Renaissance, included our Czech music or music from Czech sources too.“

The festival tries to bring Renaissance music to all fine-music lovers and draws visitors into the exquisite interiors of the local castle and church.

NTD News, Czech Republic

Foto: NTD

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