Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Prague Music

Prague has a rich musical history. In addition to the long history of folk songs, the city also produced Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884) composer of The Bartered Bride and Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) whose most famous works are his New World Symphony and the religious cantata Stabat Mater.

The musical history lives on in the large number of concerts held at various churches, synagogues, and concert halls throughout the city. We did not have the opportunity to attend one of these concerts but we did see several musicians on the streets of Prague.

At the Old Market Square, my family saw Vladimir Pinta, a man with a saxophone and a small stereo for back up music. He would sing many popular tunes like Elvis's Love Me Tender or Lynn Anderson's I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. Often he would sing along with the singer on the stereo. He was fairly entertaining though not great. The children asked for coins to put in his case, which I proffered. He seemed to be unsatisfied with Lucy's offering, which was a two Crown piece. The value in American dollars is about ten cents, which I will admit is shamefully small. But I had no other coins in my pocket, and I wasn't about to give him a 500 Crown bill (which is about 26 US Dollars in case you don't want to do the math)! Jacob had a fifty Crown piece which seemed much more acceptable.

Lucy was so happy to give!

Jacob ready to put the coin in his case

Later, I saw a man playing popular movie tunes on his zither (at least, I assume it was his zither). By that point we had spent some money so I had more respectable coins to put in his case.

Another busker with an amp! Why do they need accompaniment?

Later that night, I went for a ghost walk. I heard some Vivaldi coming from one of the sheltered alleyways. Wondering if I'd get to see a real ghost, I walked around the corner and into a crowd that was listening to two violinists playing popular classical pieces. They were quite talented and helped me kill the ten minutes I needed before I started my ghost tour (which was the previous post).

So if you go to Prague and don't have the chance to go to a concert, just be sure to wander around at any time of the day and you will get to enjoy some live music right on the street.

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