A mass which is bound to boost your mood. Lively, upbeat passages, original latin lyrics, and a band which perfectly combines jazz and rock. We’d like to thank everyone who decides to help us cover the expenses of recording and manufacturing of the CD.
At the beginning of this project stood Libor Sládek, the conductor of the contemporary student choir Besharmonie and the boys’ choir Pueri Gaudentes, who stumbled across the rock oratorio Eversmiling Liberty at a choir festival in Spain. The oratorio tells the story of a Jewish uprising, taken from Handel’s “Judas Maccabaeus,” with brand new rock-style music written by Jens Johansen and Erling Kullberg. It was probably this — rather unusual — sound of the choir together with a rock band that the singers fell in love with, so that when the recording was finished, they started looking for something similar to sing next.
They found the rock mass Missa Rotna, which the Danish composer Bent Peder Holbech wrote for his student choir in the 1970s. It has the original latin text, and combines the traditional musical mass experience with more relaxed rock and jazz forms to create a contrasting and energetic piece.
And so it happened that Libor and his black-and-orange choir, together with the guitar player Jirka Kalous and his band, studied the mass, added their own bits and piece to it and performed it on several occasions. After some time, however, this was not enough, and they decided to make a recording of it. So far, only one high-quality studio recording has been made, and this was by the author’s own choir, resulting in only a small number of LPs, which we think is a shame.
We turn to you, our friends, audiences, choir singers and fans of not-so-traditional church music, to ask for your help with the publishing of the historically first high-quality recording of Missa Rotna.
We already put together some of the funds among us, but a larger amount has yet to be collected.
There is no going back now, and to show that we are serious about the project, we even invited the author Mr Holbech himself to the launching concert, which we are very much looking forward to.
Besharmonie is the choir operating under the secondary school Gymnázium Nad Kavalírkou. It was formed by Libor Sládek in 2000, and has ever since provided an outlet for channeling the students’ enthusiasm and musical talent, filling many concert halls with its delightful sound for many years now. We often perform together with other musicians, as for example the Smíchov Philharmonic, and the Argentinian quartet Opus Quatro. We made friends among choirs from Spain, England and the United States, visiting them in the past and planning to do so again in the near future.
Aside from our two-legged friends, our choir also has some four-legged ones. Our mascot is the plush monkey named Besinka, which has accompanied us on our trips to various places in the world. Also, in the autumn of last year, our second conductor Filip became a proud adoptive father of a pond tortoise in the Prague Zoo.