Artists > Early Music
Schola Gregoriana Pragensis
SCHOLA GREGORIANA PRAGENSIS
The Schola Gregoriana Pragensis was established by David Eben in the year 1987. During first two years of its existence the ensemble was allowed to sing only in the liturgy. This limitation ceased after 1989 and since then it has been intensively recording and giving concerts abroad, too (Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Israel, Japan). The CDs of the ensemble arise exclusively in co-operation with the major Czech musical publisher, Supraphon company, and have received a number of awards (Choc du Monde de le Musique, 10 de Repertoire, “Zlata Harmonie” - Golden Harmony Award for the best Czech recording of the year). The ensemble records for the Czech Radio, too. In this case the list of its issues amounts respectable 319 compositions.
The Schola has co-operated in various projects with a whole range of top-notch Czech as well as foreign interprets (Petr Eben, Jiri Barta, Jaroslav Tuma, Iva Bittova, Choeur gregorien de Paris, Boni pueri, Musica Florea, the ensemble of Japanese talapoins Ohara Gjosan shomjo kenkju-kai, Varmuza’s Dulcimer Music Band, Jeaner Philharmonie, etc.).
The ensemble belongs to foremost world interpreters of medieval sacral music. It has been focusing its work both on the semiological interpretation of Gregoriant chant according to the earliest neumatic sources from the 10th to 11th century, and on presentation of the original Bohemian plainchant tradition, including early polyphony. Thanks to ensemble’s intensive study of medieval sources, its programmes also include a number of unique, newly discovered compositions dating from the 13th to 15th centuries. The large gamut of repertoire offers also contemporary music - some compositions of young Czech composer generation have been written rightly for the Schola and were premiered in its interpretation.
Regarding the records and concert projects, the audience as well as expert reviews appreciate chiefly their dramaturgical imaginativeness and musical interpretation, with which the ensemble brings alive the repertoire originating from the very roots of European musical culture.
DAVID EBEN (born 1965 in Prague)
He is a founder and an art director of the Schola Gregoriana Pragensis ensemble. After graduation from the clarinet studies at Prague’s conservatory in 1986, he took up musicology at Faculty of Arts of Charles University. Since the second form he specialized in medieval music, mainly in Gregorian chant. In 1991 he graduated from Paris conservatory (Conservatoire Nationale Superieur de Musique de Paris), the program Conducting Gregorian Chant, and in the following year he worked as a conductor of the Choeur gregorien de Paris ensemble. Then he also often visited the Solesmes monastery, a centre of research into Gregorian chant, with the view of studying and consulting.
At present he works at the Institute of Musicology of Charles University where he lectures on topics related to Gregorian chant and liturgy (neumatic and choral notation, introduction to Gregorian chant studies, seminar on medieval monody etc.). He regularly tutors in summer courses on theory and practice of Gregorian chant in France (Academie internationale de Sees, Centre de musique polyphonique de Picardie Saint-Valery) and in Switzerland (Festival de Musique Sacre de Fribourg). On a long term basis he has been co-operating with the Czech Radio in creating programs on Gregorian chant (History of the Tone, a cycle Liturgical Year through Gregorian Chant).
Besides medieval sacred music he also deals with other music genres. Together with his two brothers he is active in the Eben Brothers Band