A. V. Michna z Otradovic – Loutna česká / Bohemian Lute
One of the most popular Bohemian Baroque works in reconstruction based on a newly found original manuscript
On a festive day, on Friday, in the church, at the table, as is the pleasure, joyous, sorrowful, and bringing salvation, composed and published by Adam Michna z Otradovic from Jindřichův Hradec A.D. 1653.
Loutna česká opens by its dedication to the bridegroom and the bride (Preface) and continues by the choice of the bride, in analogy to Paris’s judgement (the appeal to the Spiritual bride). The third, fourth and fifth song deal with the courting – praised is the bodily and spiritual beauty of the bride (The Mother’s of God great Talents, The Bridal Ring). In the fifth song (Virginal Love) the human soul appears as Christ’s bride; courting is mediated by Virgin Mary, praising the qualities of her son. The sixth song (Parting with the World) shows how the bride longs for such a bridegroom and because of him gives the world up. The seventh song (The Spiritual Bridal Bath) presents the purifying bath of the bridegroom (Christ) and the bride (the Soul) before their marriage takes place, the eight song (The Spiritual Dowry) talks about the marriage presents, offered by the bridegroom to the bride. In the song number nine (Angel Friendship) the best men-angels are sent to the bride by the bridegroom, in number ten (Bridal Wreath) the soul decorates itself for the marriage by mystical flowers, The peak presents here the song number eleventh (the Marriage Day), dealing with the marriage day in the Holy Jerusalem. The next-to-last song (The Home Fighting of the Soul and the Body) suggests to the bride to avoid bodily sins, and the last song (The Sadness of Mad Virgins) talks about the warning example of silly bridesmaids, which the bridegroom does not allow to come to his marriage, due to their lack of sense.
Even though Michna’s Loutna česká did not survive completely, it became one of the most famous Bohemian Baroque compositions. Due to the unique discovery of the period edition of the first violin part by the musicologist Petr Daněk, in 2014, it was possible to reconstruct the second violin part and present Michna’s work in its original setting. This reconstruction was first times presented to the public on December 23rd, 2014, by the Ensemble Inégal, and its leader Adam Viktora, in the frame of the concert cycle Bohemian Baroque – discoveries and surprises, in the Knight’s Hall of the Grand Priory of the Order of the Maltese Knights, Prague. In March 2015, Ensemble Inégal presented the world premiere CD recording of the reconstruction (NIBIRU), in the Piarist Monastery Chapel in Slaný, where the important first violin part was found.
Gabriela Eibenová – Canto I.
Daniela Čermáková – Canto II
Magdalena Malá – Ist violin
Simona Tydlitátová – IInd violin
Libor Mašek – cello
Jan Krejča – theorbo
Adam Viktora – artistic leader, organ
The 2nd violin part was reconstructed by Adam Viktora