Founded in 1932, the Prague Philharmonic Children’s Choir is the oldest and largest children’s concert choir in the Czech Republic. This award-winning ensemble has been a staple of Czech radio broadcasts, orchestral performances, and opera and theatre productions for close to a century. Like the Latvian Radio Choir (coming to Duke Chapel on November 15), the Prague Philharmonic Children’s Choir is a beloved choral institution in the Central and Eastern European tradition and one of its country’s most prized cultural exports.
In the soaring and contemplative space of Duke Chapel, the forty-five member ensemble — selected from the 900 children in the choir’s training program — sings a program of sacred music from the renaissance to the present. The concert includes Victoria’s intricate polyphonic rendering of a plainchant Ave Maria, and continues in a Marian vein with Czech composer Jan Novák’s Ave Maria; Schubert’s Salve Regina; Carl Maria von Weber’s Maria Wiegenlied; and Ivan Kurz’s Maria, Mater Nostra. Among the living Czech composers on the program is Slavomír Hořínka, whose Laudate Dominum is beautifully evocative of ancient liturgical chant.
- Jacob Handl Gallus: Pueri Concinite
- Tomás Luis de Victoria: Ave Maria
- Ivan Kurz: Maria, Mater Nostra (Precatio)
- Slavomír Hořínka: Laudate Dominum
- Franz Schubert: Salve Regina
- Leonard Bernstein: Gloria Tibi
- Felix Mendelssohn: Veni Domine
- Jan Novák: Gloria and Ave Maria
- Benjamin Britten: This Little Babe, Balulalow, and Deo Gratias from A Ceremony of Carols
- Randall Thompson: Alleluia
- Carl Maria von Weber: Maria Wiegenlied
- Arvo Pärt: Peace Be Upon You, Jerusalem and Zwei Beter