“You must go to Wenceslas Square”
Maxine had urged me to go so that I could be in the place where so many demonstrations and important moments in history have taken place.
It is a very long boulevard rather than a square. At the higher end stands a statue of St. Wenceslas astride a great charger. Behind him is the National Museum.
In 1969, student Jan Palach set himself on fire to protest against the Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia. In 1989 it was the crowds demonstrating in support of the Velvet Revolution.
Today I found jars of candles in the shape of a heart and a notice which said “Praha za Jana a Martinu”, Prague for Jana and Martinu.
Jan Kuciak, an investigative journalist, and his girlfriend, Martinu Kushnirova were murdered inn Slovakia approximately 2 years ago. The exact date is not known because their bodies were not found for a few days.
Some of us may not have heard of them, but here in Prague they are not forgotten.
This afternoon I went to a chamber music concert in the Dvorak Hall of the Rudolfinum. Most people were dressed for the occasion, with some in beautiful evening dress. The hall was nearly full.
We heard works composed by three young composers: Janacek, Rejcha and Mendelssohn. I used to play wind quintets by Rejcha back in the day. They were rather long and enjoyed more by the performers than the audience! Today we heard Smetana’s Suite for Strings, Rejcha’s Double Concerto in D major opus 3 for violin and cello, and Mendelssohn’s Octet.
I loved the concert although I did not think that the ensemble playing was always perfect. Fast movements were taken at breakneck speed. I like to be able to enjoy the music without feeling some anxiety that soloists and orchestra may not make it to the end together!!
That said, it was a lovely experience to be in the Rudolfinum. I rather wished I had brought a posh frock with me!
I called at the House of the Black Madonna again, to photograph the “light bulb” staircase again, this time with a wide angle lens. Second extra.
The rest of the group departed today. It is very quiet without them.