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Symfonický orchester Slovenského rozhlasu SK

Symfonický orchester Slovenského rozhlasu

Pohoda 2019 will be opened by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra concert in the biggest festival tent. The concert will commemorate the tragedy of 2009, will be dedicated to the memory of Martin Kašák and Nikola Kapková, as well as the memory of David Horní, who died during the festival's deconstruction in 2006. Three works by young Slovak composers – Lucia Chuťková, Michal Paľko and Miroslav Tóth – will be symbolically premiered at the festival. Along with three new works, the First symphony of Ilja Zeljenka will be performed as well. The concert will be conducted by Marián Lejava.

We have entrusted the dramaturgy of the concert to Miroslav Tóth, who said about it: “If I can choose one moment or a word that made the key to the concert's dramaturgy, it is hope. That is why the concert dramaturgy was conceived to maintain the basic goal (tragedy commemoration and dedication to the victims) and to bring the wind in the sails of orchestral music in our country.

The choice fell on the unknown Zeljenko First Symphony (1956) because it combines student perspective and the restlessness of post-romanticism with examples Shostakovich and Prokofiev. I think he didn't create anything like that later on. We literally had to dig the song out of the Martin Library. It was considered lost for thirty years. It might be one of the top works of modernism in Slovakia. The selection of Lucia Chuťková and Mišo Paľko did not occur just because they did not have any compositions for the big orchestra presented in Slovakia yet, but it has been obvious for a long time that we have strong personalities who have powerful symphonic potential and matured distinctive poetics. Of course, we were also connected in dedicating energy to the memory of people who tragically died when we were their age. All this effort is put into the hands of the greatest expert and supporter of contemporary music – conductor Marian Lejava.

Concert Programme:

  • Ilja Zeljenka: Symphony no. 1 (1956, renewed premiere 2019)
  • Michal Paľko: Screams for electrified fujara and big orchestra (2019, world premiere, festival order)
  • Lucia Chuťková: Pulse (2019, world premiere, festival order)
  • Miroslav Tóth: Antelope (2019, world premiere, festival order)

Marián Lejava – conductor

Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra

Lucia Chuťková: Pulse

Human pulse faithfully imitates the emotions of an individual as well as a particular group. All of them, such as joy, pleasure, sadness but also hope and peace. This song is the movement of these pulses, emotions and their interconnection.

Miroslav Tóth: Antelope (Part III )

I want to dedicate the song to the memory of three lives lost and to all those who were left here. They had to bear the responsibility, the decisions and the determination to go on with their lives and were not crushed by it. Since the moment I talked to Mišo Kaščák about this concert, I myself am not sure I am strong enough to handle it. That's why I tried to create a song that combines memory and encouragement.

I wrote six parts and chose the third one – Antelope. It is subtitled techno. The big orchestra offered me a much greater possibility of resonance and sequencing, as we know from electronic devices. In practice, this means that 59 players create a united impulse, sometimes through a considerable noise explosion. Thanks to the orchestra, it is more three-dimensional and colourful. Regular pulsation brings the moment of ritualism and the symbolism in it brings back memory of those who cannot be with us.

Why Antelope? Indigenous tribes from Congo believed that their ancestors live in the horns of antelopes they had hunted. For American prairie Indians, the presence of an antelope near the dwelling meant that spirits were trying to talk to them.

Michal Paľko: SCREAMS 

For electrified fujara and big orchestra.

During a visit to a friend in Jerusalem last summer, every morning I woke up to loud screams, throat cries of long almost cantilene sequences. Since then, I have been fascinated with this natural vocal expression and the sound of straight raw frequencies as a result of the emotional explosion. My friend Menachem lives in a neighbourhood inhabited by Breslov Chasids. Lower one-storey houses, surrounded by a barren pine forest and in the morning, just after dawn, there is screaming everywhere.  There are men standing and screaming loud all around. The Breslov Chasids believe that sin brings anger to a pure soul. So pious Breslov can only be cheerful. Therefore, in the morning, it is necessary to shout, to spend all the energy on anger. In one case, however, the screams as a demonstration of despair are welcome. In case of tragedy, personal failure, or own end. In a sudden unforeseen situation, shouting is the only natural thing that a pure soul can do. Unfortunately, not every soul manages to scream their lungs out when their final hours are here.  I dedicate this song to those young souls who did not manage to scream here at Pohoda ten years ago anymore.

About the authors

Ilja Zeljenka (1932 – 2007) is one of our most acclaimed composers. He composed music for legendary films such as Drak sa vracia, Slnko v sieti, Panna zázračnica, and his cantata Osvienčim and chamber music Musica Slovaca are famous as well.

Lucia Chuťková (1984) is the author of several theatre musics and recently she has created music for the animated film Mimi a Líza. Previously she played in rock-folk band Hvozd.

Michal Paľko (1988) is the leader of Mojše band, studied at the avant-garde Krakow Music Academy and is also a member of the Solamente naturali ensemble for old music.

Miroslav Tóth (1981) is the author of several operas, film music, a member of Shibuya Motors and Thisnis. He collaborates with the Kronos Quartet or also by order of the opera of the National Theatre in Prague or Orchestra Berg. All three studied composition at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava.