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Lucerna Cinema                                                                                                       

PRAGUE SPRING FESTIVAL

A Mix of Czech Tenderness and German Expressionism

The Organist at St Vitus’ proves Czechoslovak film-makers’ skill at making world-class movies as early as the 1920s. Naturally enough, it also attests to the talent and art of then twenty-seven-year-old director Martin Frič.

Composer Jan Rybář (b. 1981) has confessed that writing music for a film like this is sheer joy. To be sure, The Organist at St Vitus’ is not Rybář’s first commission of this kind: his debut silent movie musical accompaniment was a score for the legendary film of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, Nosferatu

The composer lets himself be guided by images, concentrating on work with musical motifs, rhythms, orchestration and vocal parts. Every now and then he ventures beyond the strictly cinematic stream, into genres befitting specific scenes. 

Rybář’s music corresponds with the film in the truest sense of the term. The composer wrote it with his eyes fixed on the screen. Consequently, his accompanying music is evenly balanced, in equal parts lyrical and dramatic, yet never getting over the top. 

For the present Prague Spring production an unusual seating plan for the performing forces in Lucerna hall, with a view to adding to the audience’s feeling of being right in the middle of action, at least for some of the movie’s scenes.

To be sure, The Organist at St Vitus’ is a film worth seeing for more reasons than just those outlined above. One of them is its offer of views of old Prague, today assuming a clearly documentary value – notably its shots of Malá Strana, or Lesser Town quarter and St Vitus’ Cathedral, but also some less obvious locations such as Wenceslas Square and its environs.

Tickets are available on this link: https://festival.cz/koncert/varhanik-u-sv-vita/

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