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Brno Days of Spiritual Health


Last night my teacher's band Cimbál Classic performed a benefit concert that was part of the kick-off for the Dny duševního zdraví v Brně (Brno Days of Spiritual Health). It was a benefit for a children's hospital and "raising of children's spirits."

Before I get all critical, let me say that it was a very nice concert. The Primavera children's choir sang the first half of the concert. There's always a special community that forms around kids concerts because the parents come to sit in the audience, run up to take photographs every other moment, and the performers are cute. The Primavera choir is, apparently, like Brno's "honors choir" and is taken from "gifted" kids from Brno's elementary schools. They sang very well.

But there were a few problems. I filmed the concert, and as I was watching it again I realized that choir concerts must be the same the world over. Unless you get a really exceptional group, they sing similar warmed over repertory, wear funny clothes, and are accompanied by horrible pianos. You may say that other concerts are like this too—people always wear funny costumes and play the same old stuff in orchestras, too—this may be true, but a crucial difference is that those other groups usually do not feature sopranos only! A choir of child sopranos has about one timbre and it's nice when you get some variety (like when they're integrated with other groups), but a whole program is a bit much.

To top that off, the hall was incredibly dry—hardly any reverb. I think that it is really designed for lectures and not concerts, but we could hear the performers. The voices sounded fine: crisp, clear, and well articulated. But you want a bit more warmth in music (unless you are a porcelain figurine).

Most of the band's concerts are attended by a dog. His name is Balík, he's a cocker spaniel, and there is a song about him. His wandering through the audience personalizes the performance. I suspect that no one would bring a dog to their concerts in the US since everybody is so concerned about allergies and dogs aren't really accepted in public culture. Of course, the places where dogs go (like restaurants) can be a bit surprising at times, but in this case it's nice—once you've been to a Cimbál Classic concert you are ready for balík, and sometimes he even remembers you, too! All in all, it was a good concert, and I really just wanted to let you know that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.


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Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said . . .

Thank you for letting us know you are there and well and enjoying fine music, it "lifted my spirits".    

1:43 PM, October 15, 2006


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