On Thursday 24th July the festival continued in the spirit of the Year of Czech Music. The Masquerade Hall again heard only compositions by Czech composers – Josef Suk, Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana and contemporary composer Pavel Fischer performed by the Škampa Quartet and young Chinese pianist Shiran Wang, who played Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major together with the quartet.
This opus has been in the repertoire of the Chinese piano virtuoso for some time; however, she has never played it with a Czech ensemble. “The cooperation with the Škampa Quartet was excellent, it was an amazing experience, in addition in the unique ambience of the Masquerade Hall. And playing the local piano was great. Dvořák’s Quintet in A Major is a beautiful composition, I really like it. If everything goes well, I will have the opportunity to play it again next year in Prague,” said Shiran Wang after the concert. “It is amazing to hear a Chinese pianist play Dvořák so beautifully,” the members of the quartet appreciated her sense of Slavonic melodiousness. The Škampa Quartet also performed the less played Smetana’s String Quartet No. 2 in D Minor with great success. “It is a fantastic composition, complicated, ragged. Smetana was a very modern composer at his time. At the beginning of the 20th century this composition was perceived as a textbook of modern music.” The Škampa Quartet has been one of the most sought-after chamber ensembles both in the Czech Republic and abroad since the beginning of their career which started twenty-five years ago. How did the Year of Czech Music influence their repertoire? “This year we are playing more Czech music at concerts in the Czech Republic. But Czech music normally makes up a great part of our repertoire which we play abroad – it is one of the few exports which is really in demand abroad, especially Dvořák’s and Janáček’s compositions.” The audience also heard two encores. “We like to come back to this festival also due to the fact that we know what beautiful settings the concerts can be held in,” is how the members of the Škampa Quartet praised the festival.