Musica Antiqua Praha
Vocal-instrumental ensemble was founded in 1982 by the musicologist, pianist and jazz trumpeter Pavel Klikar originally aiming at performing a Christmas concert with repertoire from the Czech baroque hymn-books. The unexpected effect of this contact of musicians, some of whom also played authentic jazz from the beginning of the 20th century under Klikar's artistic direction in the then already famous Original Prague Syncopated Orchestra, soon became a compelling need to continue with the world of baroque music.
Pavel Klikar acquired and, in cooperation with top instrument makers, reconstructed original instruments from the 18th century, or had their copies made (Klikar's research was at the origin of the Czech production of copies of period harpsichords and organ positives). He devoted himself to the principles of period interpretation, acoustics and midtone uneven-tempered tuning in order to achieve crystal clear sound, as well as discovering, copying and spartating unknown compositions from many archives. This new approach proved to be extremely appealing, even “infectious” for musicians and listeners alike. From the late 1980s, Musica Antiqua Praha was recognized as one of the top European ensembles specializing in historically-informed interpretation. It was recognized for its exceptionally broad repertoire and conceptual programmes, specific performance style and astonishing spiritual intensity. He compiled dramaturgically revealing concert programs, perfectionistically conducted endlessly long rehearsals and organized unique concert series of early baroque music. Klikar’s inspirational leadership thus helped to create an important seedbed which brought forth a whole generation of early music performers. From among these recruited the founders and members of the new ensembles that originated in the Czech Republic during the 1990s. During the 1990s, Musica Antiqua released five albums in cooperation with the Supraphon publishing house and closed its activities in 1997. In 2023, previously unreleased recordings with music from the archives of the Prague Křižovnické Monastery were released on the album Baroque Music in Prague. The release of the album thus represents an additional symbolic dot for the activity of a remarkable musical ensemble, which laid an important foundation for the informed interpretation of early music in Bohemia.
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