Czech Philharmonic Orchestra to give concert for Europe in Vltava

David Malecek | Photo: Elena Horálková, Czech Radio

“The Ode to Joy is the national anthem of the European Union and in this concert we have a unique opportunity to perform this song in its original form as we have a large choir and a large orchestra.

“Audiences get sheet music and lyrics so they can sing along. I think it’s a very powerful experience to sing with so many people in such a unique environment.”

What’s in the program besides Ode to Joy?

“There are works by three of the most famous Czech composers.

“Because we will be performing on the Vltava River, it is clear that Bedřich Smetana’s most famous symphonic poem, the Vltava, will follow.

What is it like for musicians to perform on a floating stage? What challenges do they face?

“The main challenges are the weather, temperature and humidity. Tonight the temperature is set quite low, around 16 degrees Celsius, and it is obviously humid when playing in the water.

“So it’s a challenge for all instruments and all musicians, but on the other hand, we are used to playing at different outdoor events, like Prague Castle and thousands of people listening to you. At the National Theatre, there are no challenges.”

As far as I know, you have expanded the Vltava River Floating Stage to accommodate more spectators. How many people are expected to attend the event?

“It’s hard to guess, but the 1,200 people who bought tickets or were invited to the concert will be seated. Apart from that, there are many more on the embankments and bridges.

“The organizers have confirmed that there will be amplifiers installed on bridges and such, so I think anyone who wants to participate will be able to hear the music well.” Czech Philharmonic Orchestra to give concert for Europe in Vltava

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