Charm and Magnificence

From Baroque Prague to Classicist Paris

J. J. Fux, J. D. Zelenka, J. C. F. Fischer, J.-Ph. Rameau
ochestral works and operatic arias


Isabelle Druet – soprano
Alain Buet – bass

COLLEGIUM MARIANUM – orchestra (Czech Republic)
Lenka Torgersen – concert master
Jana Semerádová – artistic director


Wednesday 6. 8. 2014, 7.30 p.m.
Prague Castle, Spanish Hall, Prague 1

The concert took place in collaboration with the French Institute as part of the Celebrations of the 250th Death Anniversary of J. P. Rameau, and in collaboration with the Prague Castle and within the concert cycle „Music of the Prague Castle“.


The grandiose finale of the festival was aptly situated at the Prague Castle where Charm and Magnificence from the title of the programme combine in such a unique way. The largest castle complex in Europe, Prague Castle is magnificent not only in its size, but also in its location above the river, towering over the city. Its charm lies in the curves and details of its architecture, such as the stuccos in the Spanish Hall and the pinnacles on the cathedral. It was at the Prague Castle where that Charles VI was crowned the Czech King, an event accompanied by immense celebrations with music by Johann Josef Fux and Jan Dismas Zelenka. Thanks to the performance of Collegium Marianum and the illustrious French soloists Isabelle Druet and Alain Buetov listeners were drawn into the coronation parade, but also saluted another sovereign – the king of French music, Jean-Philipp Rameau whose 250th death anniversary we commemorate this year. 


Concert programme

Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer (1656–1746)
Premier Suite for two clarinas, strings and continuo (Le Journal du Printemps)


Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679–1745)
Aria „Exurge Providentia“ (Sub olea pacis, Prague, 1723)


Johann Joseph Fux (1660–1741)
Aria of Valeria „Pensa che fosti“
Aria of Publio Valerio „Padre son“
Balletto II. Coro degli Aruspici
(Costanza e fortezza, Prague, 1723)


Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683–1764)
Aria of Phani „Viens, Hymen“
Les sauvages; Danse du grand calumet de la paix
Aria of Zima et Adario „Forêts paisibles“
(Les Indes galantes, 1735)


Aria of Thésée „Quels biens !… Puissant maître des flots“
(Hippolyte et Aricie, 1733/42)


Aria of „Paix favorable“
(Dardanus, 1739)


Air tendre pour les muses
(Le temple de la gloire, 1745)


Gavottes pour les Heures et les Zéphyrs
Entrée de Polymnie
(Les Boréades, 1763)


Aria of Telaïre „Tristes apprêts, pâles flambeaux“
Aria of Pollux „Nature, amour, qui partagez mon coeur“
(Castor et Pollux, 1737)


Early Music is not Old. Summer Festivities of Early Music Have Shown how Broad the Concept of the Genre Can Be
Lidové noviny, 8. 8. 2014, Helena Havlíková
The orchestra in residence, Collegium Marianum, lead by the flutist Jana Semerádová, showed that this kind of music is “natural” to its players […].


The young and versatile French soprano, Isabelle Druet, captivated the audience with her penetrating tone and her convincing performance of heartbreaking laments, amorous longing, disappointment, and revenge […].

A Czech-French Project Paid Respect to Rameau   
Právo, 8. 8. 2014, Vladimír Říha
The audience were most ecstatic about the dances and marches on the programme. The night, including two encores, was a grand conclusion to the festival and deserves to be counted among the highlights of this festival.


The Charm of Diversity, 17. 8. 2014, Rémy Martin
An acquaintance of mine once said that Rameau’s operas are music on the verge of stupidity and brilliance, which seems to be a rather precise description to me. Rameau is like a good sitcom: playful, witty, and intentionally a little dull as well. In short, it is music full of contrasts, music with an opinion which will make you jump up from your chair. It is music as a game. One would think that Rameau might have been a madman.


I would have been very sorry if I had to miss this very special night. The sharp French charm definitely will leave its trace in you, as it did for me.  It was a very unusual experience and I am happy that I had the opportunity to hear Rameau’s music at Prague Castle.  


Delight and Grace
Harmonie 9/2014, Michaela Freemanová

[…] the collaboration of this Czech ensemble, which can boast broad experience in performing French music, with vocal soloists from France, proved to be a shrewd choice.


The final concert was exceptional in every respect. It is interesting and useful to remind oneself with what difficulties historically informed practice of early music developed in this country shortly after the political turnover in 1989 – and where it is nowadays, almost 20 years later.  Today, Early Music is one of the export articles of Czech culture. The Summer Festivities of Early Music belong to this new tradition.