A cinema turns into a symphony hallUncategorized
This is Ostrava, the eastern Czech town where Leos Janacek died.
The main concert hall – Dum Kultury Mesta Ostrava – is shut for three years of much-needed refurbishment.
But the orchestra has moved into a disused cinema and turned it into a place of wonder.
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The EU still needs to clean up the acres of poisonous chemical and metal waste west and east of that city. The people deserve it, decades after the Czech Republic joined.
12 miles south, in the hills, is Janáček’s home village (and Sigmund Freud’s, nearby). But he lived in Brno, of course.
Could’ve been worse. Back in blighty, the cinema might (in former times at least) have become a Spoon’s.
There are several such, notably the Coronet in Holloway (William Glenn, 1940) and the Regal in Cambridge (1937: ‘Mr Wilfrid Southworth at the mighty Compton organ’). A few feature both listed interiors and (where the rake has been retained) listing customers. Mrs Bard & I have both been there and done that.
Norman, am I correct in thinking that Mahler had a family friend and sort-of patron near Ostrava? . . . Regardless, they’ve been playing a fair amount of Mahler’s music in Ostrava these days. It would be very interesting to come up with a book on Mahler and Janacek – similarities and differences. Or, more to the point, how two composers from roughly the same part of the world, came up with completely different solutions as to how great propel music into the future.
Something I’ve not seen before are the two concave shapes behind the two violinists on the right. Are they intended to be sound baffles to protect from… loud horn sounds?