Barbora Polášková with Miroslav Sekera
On Thursday 18th October the final concert of the ‘Music of Thousands’ Mahler Festival in co-operation with the Vienna Czech Centre took place, given by Barbora Polášková and the pianist Miroslav Sekera at Klosterneuburg near Vienna. The concert was at the same time part of an International series in support of young artists, organised by the Stift Klosterneuburg whose representative introduced the gala occasion.
The ‘Music of Thousands’ festival is displaying its activities and, most importantly, its plans for the future years in the Czech Centre’s windows at No.17 Herrengasse in Vienna during November. Since the festival concerts at Jihlava and other places in the Highlands on the Czech-Moravian border have been attracting more and more visitors from Austria, it is hoped that the information displayed at the Czech Centre will prove useful. Music at the Klosterneuburg concert included very successful performances of solo piano compositions (Bedřich Smetana’s On the Seashore and Zdeněk Fibich’s recently discovered Variations in B flat major), as well as song cycles by Alma Mahler-Werfel, Gustav Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and Antonín Dvořák’s Gypsy Songs – a work which had its first ever performance in Vienna in 1881. And it was the performance of the Dvořák that was greeted with shouts of bravo and rhythmic clapping from the audience who were rewarded by Barbora Polášková with an effective encore from Carmen. The concert represented a brilliant international conclusion to this year’s – the eleventh – annual festival ‘Music of Thousands’ – Mahler Jihlava 2012.