Artists > Early Music
Pro Arte Antiqua Praha
The PRO ARTE ANTIQUA PRAGUE, chamber ensemble of members of the Czech Philharmonic, is one of the most important Czech ensembles, which has chosen to follow the path of authentic early music interpretation.
This ensemble was founded in 1984 by Jan Simon and it continues the started tradition of the world-wide known ensemble called PRO ARTE ANTIQUA, which, during its existence (1933-1974), performed many concerts at home and abroad and completed a number of recordings and radio productions. The continuation of both ensembles is not only abstract: Jan Simon, St. performed as a member of the former group, playing violin da gamba since 1944.
PRO ARTE ANTIQUA PRAGUE, at the time of its foundation, entered into quite a different situation. "The parent ensemble" was, at its time, the pioneer during discovering and performing the music, which the historians knew only according to the names and dusted museum materials. The new ensemble, however, was born at the time, when the effort for authentic interpretation of early music advance quantitatively and qualitatively, when it became an extensive movement in England and in the German speaking countries, having full support in music science, school education, publishing and in musical instrument making as well.
PRO ARTE ANTIQUA PRAGUE is comprised of the leading members of the Czech Philharmonic, together with renowned Czech soloists, who keep trying, by the continuous study of archive materials, to find and connect as many details of actual information as possible, which represent the key to the understanding of the spiritual heritage of the past.
The foundation of the repertoire of PRO ARTE ANTIQUA PRAGUE is Czech and world renaissance and baroque music, but also other areas of activities for which this ensemble is instrumentally equipped, is the interpretation of works from the never-ending wealth of classicism. In the repertoire are represented the solo works (even the harpsichord and organ), vocal and various configurations from duets to the more extensive representation. The specialty of this ensemble is a unique use of the original collection of old violas da braccio in consort with violas da gamba. Besides this, it uses all other instruments (violins, violas and violoncellos) in baroque or classicist form.
PRO ARTE ANTIQUA PRAGUE tries to maintain all attributes of authenticity by utilizing period music materials, instruments, strings and gut strings, old tone even the method of completion of parts by decorations. Its goal is to interpret the music such as it was performed by the best professionals of its period: with an entire range of affects and variation of skill.
The ensemble has performed many successful concerts on renowned stages and festivals both at home and abroad (Japan, Europe), as well as working with television and radio. It has recorded over 20 CDs for the Czech and foreign companies that are highly regarded by audiences and critics alike.