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4 New CDs Launched - A Look at the Czech Chanson Scene


December 2007. The project contains 4 hours of music in the form of 59 songs by 26 singers and bands, providing a comprehensive look at contemporary Czech chanson - Jakub Zahradník's collaboration included the roles of producer and co-ordinator. The CDs represent a cross-section of the four annual Original Chanson Festivals, held between 2004-7. All generations of artists are represented, classics along with some new names, and also various types of chanson. We can hear solitary performers with an accordion or a guitar, singing to the musical accompaniment of a piano or several musical instruments, but also bands, often offering unusual combinations. The list of performers includes foreigners who have settled in the Czech Republic and sing in Czech, but the listeners can also look forward to Polish, Slovak, German or French lyrics. The project deserves admiration and is the result of co-operation between Producentské Centrum Františka Rychtaříka, Radioservis publishers, the Pagat Ultimo Musical Productions agency and the Prague 5 City District. Having said that, it is still merely the tip of the iceberg: everyday events in clubs or theatres testify to the fact that chanson - "the bitter song with a meaning " or "European blues" - is very much alive and surprisingly prolific, that it is usually performed in more intimate venues and that it is a music to "touch", with lyrics playing a principal role.

By clicking the CD cover art you can access the names of the musicians. Each CD costs around € 10 and is also available individually from various distribution channels, for example: www.radioservis-as.cz


New CD featuring Pavla Kapitánová soon to be launched

Although the original plans for a CD with Jakub Zahradník's new songs for Pavla Kapitánová sadly had to be abandoned, František Rychtařík's Production Center has decided to search the archive and launch a CD that would include most of Jakub's songs written exclusively for Pavla - the backbone of their repertoire. With the exception of the most recent song Love At All Times, recorded in a studio with a band and showing the direction the duo's style was taking, all the other songs come from a single concert, performed with Ondřej Štajnochr on double bass. The selection includes such songs as Stephan Wunderhorn's Message, The Cow Cathedral in the Fields, A New Day or Pouť přes vyhnanství / Exile Street, all published for the very first time. The last song has also given its name to the entire record, which will be launched at the Original Chanson Festival in Švandovo Theatre on 11th October.
 

Pavla Kapitánová has left us

It is with great sorrow, pain in my heart and deep sadness that I must inform you that our dear, beloved Pavla Kapitánová, unique singer and friend, has died tragically in the night of Sunday 22 June 2007 in a car accident on the D8 highway, as she was returning from a concert with her band. Her close friend Dáša, who rarely missed any of Pavla's concerts, has also died. The news is still too fresh and difficult to accept. We had many plans together, which will never come to fruition. Thank you for all your expressions of sympathy, there are so many. I will pass them on to the family.
 

Twice About Love

The single CD “Dvakrát o lásce” (Twice about Love) is now out and available to be broadcasted on the radio. The CD comprises two versions of Petr Novák’s 1960s hit song “Povídej” (Tell Me) and a new song by Jakub Zahradník “Za všech časů láska” (Love at All Times), both representing an introduction to a new joint project of Pavla Kapitánová and Jakub Zahradník. Pavla and Jakub have performed together since 2002 and their first tour concluded last year. Recently they only played occasionally, as Pavla became the mother of a baby girl, but their new tour should commence around the turn of the year.
 

Original Chanson Festival 2007

Chanson lovers can mark 11th September 2007 in their planners as the day of the Festival of Chanson. Once again it will take place at Švandovo divadlo at Prague-Smíchov and this time it will focus on women – authors, composers and performers. Our invitation was accepted by the duo Tara Fuki, Vesna Vasco Caseres, Jana Rychterová, Dagmar Andrtová-Voňková, Szidi Tobias (Slovakia), Fen Jung Song and Sylvie Krobová. All these ladies are involved with chanson one way or another and their musical works are markedly different from the rest, while also being very diverse. The evening will be hosted by a kindred soul, the well-known actor and moderator Jaroslav Dušek.
The Festival will be held by the Prague 5 City District and supported by the Prague City Hall. The whole event will be recorded (and later broadcasted) by Český rozhlas 3 – Vltava. For more details see www.sanson.cz

 

The Song of a Hot Stone

The long awaited book of poems by Jakub Zahradník “Zpěv rozpáleného kamene” (The Song of a Hot Stone) was introduced on Thursday 31st of May 2007 in the Café-Gallery Černá Labuť, Prague 1. The book looks back over the twenty years of the author’s poetry writing and at the same time contains many new poems, drawing their inspiration from life in the past regime, mysticism and mysterious places in South Bohemia. Part and parcel of the book is a CD with piano improvisations by Jakub Zahradník and a chip of stone, which was planted right through the pages into the boards of the book by sculptor Vladimír Moutelík.
 

A Surprising Musical Encounter

On 16th June 2007 Jakub performed as a guest in Praskolesy, at a concert to help save the local St. Procopius church. He was invited to the event by his friend Jan Šinágl, a well-known activist and fighter against communism. Jakub’s piano improvisations were met with a roaring success, which was even intensified when Jakub invited to the stage a Moravian dulcimer band called Vojara. Without preparation they played together a number of compositions of various musical genres. Next year Jakub will perform in Praskolesy again, this time at a solo concert.


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