The Smetana Trio made an appearance at the Masquerade Hall on Wednesday evening. The ensemble with a tradition of more than eighty years played compositions exclusively by Czech authors – Josef Suk, Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana. The current members – Jitka Čechová (piano), Jiří Vodička (violin), Jan Páleníček (violoncello) – confirm the basic prerequisites of success of every fine trio as it may be said about all three of them that they are also excellent solo players. The quality of the Smetana Trio is also confirmed by the fact that this year their chamber recording of piano trios by Bohuslav Martinů was selected among the albums nominated for the BBC Music Magazine Award in the chamber music category and in a worldwide vote won first prize. The players said about the program, “It was the essence of the most beautiful pieces which Czech trio literature has to offer. Both Suk’s early Piano Trio Op. 2 and of course Antonín Dvořák’s ‘Dumky’, which are a masterpiece of trio literature. And Smetana’s Piano Trio in G minor is the flagship of the Czech trio repertoire. The atmosphere of the beautiful Masquerade Hall enhanced the musical impressions even further.” For Jiří Vodička, who is also the concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic, it was a premiere both at the festival and in Český Krumlov, “I am impressed by the beautiful environment of the castle, the town and the entire festival. It was really nice to play here, there was good harmony among us. I was glad that I could feel that the viewers enjoyed it with us, they absorbed the atmosphere, they were touched, it was something that was so comprehensible for them that they perceived every second very strongly.” Jitka Čechová and Jan Páleníček added, “It was an experience for us, we would say both cultural and physical because playing such a big program in such heat was rather demanding but nevertheless we played it with great appetite. Tonight’s audience was great and everything fitted in nicely – we, the viewers, the festival. It is a great inspiration for our future activities.” The musicians added two encores. They played the third part of the Multicultural Suite, the czardas, by contemporary composer Roman Haas. And as the second encore, a sort of goodnight composition, they performed Suk’s Elegy, which was a caress for the soul.