The Czech Republic is a small country in the very centre of Europe. The Czech Republic comprises three historical territorries – Bohemia in the west and Moravia and a part of Silesia in the east.
In the southeastern part of Moravia, approximately 30 km from the border with the Slovak Republic, you can find the ancient town of Uherske Hradiste, the place of work of an extraordinary musical ensemble – the Hradistan Dulcimer Band. This band finds for its inspiration in traditional folk art.
The Hradistan Dulcimer Band belongs to the oldest and most well-known Moravian dulcimer bands. The ensemble was formed together with a dance group in Uherske Hradiste in 1950. Since that time several generations of musicians, singers and dancers have gone through its personel, first under the long-time leadership of Jaroslav Stanek. His creative approach to folk material changed the understanding of its stage presentation as a series of songs and dances towards more elaborated artistic compositions.
Since 1975 Jiri Pavlica has been the artistic director and the first violinist and the group has undergone gradual transformation under his directorship and demands on the members gradually increased.
Together with continuous and independent work of the Hradistan dulcimer band the ensemble as a whole also started produsing thematic musically choreographic projects (There was the Battle of Austerlitz, Moravian outlaw songs…).Authorial projects of Jiri Pavlica and the choreographer and leader of the dance section Ladislava Kosikova have prevailed in the recent years ( About the Solstice, About a Man). The mean the most remarkable reflection of departure from the traditional approach to folklore and transition to more independent scenic interpretation. Folklore becomes a source of inspiration, while its philosophical nature is kept preserved.
The methods of work, dramaturgy and artistic standart make Hradistan one of the most unique ensembles not only within their region. It is a regular guest of television programmes, national and international festivals of traditional, alternative, but also classical music, where it has gained numerous awards. The Hradistan dulcimer band has recorded more than 25 records and CDs itself and has cooperated on many others. Although concert performances (about 150 concerts a year) are the band¨s main activities, the joy of music is the basic sense.
In more than fifty years of its existence Hradistan has gone through several distinct stages of its work with folk material. Presently Hradistan focuses on the following programme and dramaturgic areas:
mapping of regional folk traditions in various parts of Moravia (Dolnacko,
- monitoring of changes of folk art throughout centuries
historical research into the changes of folk art throughout
centuries since the fictions from the history of Slavic dawn to medieval
anonymous music, the oral tradition kept in song collections by
Frantisek Susil and Frantisek Bartos in the 19th and 20th centuries,
reflection of folk art in the works of Czech composers Leos Janacek and
Bohuslav Martinu until own compositions by Jiri Pavlica, the artistic
director of the Hradistan Dulcimer Band.
the Great Moravian Chant, songs from the period of the Napoleonic wars
– CD ´ There was the Battle of
Austerlitz´, songs from John Comenius Hymn Book, The Velehrad dances
from the manuscript by Christian Hirschmenzel from the 17th century…)
fusion of genres
fusion of folk music and classical music ( CD with The Leos
Janacek Chamber Orchestra ´ Peace unto You´ and The Bambini di Praga
Children´s Choir ´ Moravian Christmas Carols´ and ´ Singing of Love´
fusion of folk music and folk – rock music, collaboration with
folk songwriters ( Vlasta Redl, Spiritual kvintet ) – CD ´ Hradistan
and AG flek´ and CD with
Spiritual kvintet ´ Vanocni koncert´
multi – ethnic collaborations – CD with The Japanese
multiinstrumentalist Yas – Kaz ´The
Sunrise´ and most recently a collaboration with the South –
African artist Dizu Plaatjies ´ The Cape of Good Hope ´
series of CDs from the musical programmes of the Ostrava TV
studio ´Sesli se´
- musical and dance thematic compositions inspired by folk culture and enriched by new musical and dance features , search for under Programova nabidka
- eg. CDs ´ Moravian Outlaw Songs´ , ´ There was the Battle of Austerlitz´ , ´Solstice´ - original music by Jiri Pavlica to the lyrics of the Czech poet Jan Skacel and to folk poetry
Ocasionally the group uses some less common musical instruments such as tromba marina, hurdy – gurdy, Jew´s harp, crumhorns, Slovak fiddle, little dulcimer, ocarina, Slovak shepherd´s long pipe, percussions and etc
The below – mentioned projects can be freely combined to make a wide – ranging programme corresponding with organizer´s demands. You can find a picture supplement in the section of photographs ( in Czech Fotografie ).
· The Solstice…what used to be and will have been again
Musical – dance performance inspired by the lyrics of the Czech poet Jan Skacel and folk poetry. This project basically reflects the course of a year and human life. It revives some of the principles respected and worshipped by our ancestors and which are of the same importance for people up to now.
Music: Jiri Pavlica, Choreography: Ladislava Kosikova Lyrics: Jan Skacel and folk poetry
About a man ( and human virtues and vices )
Reflection on human race. The programme about wisdom, vanity, graspingness, profligacy, love and hope.
Music: Jiri Pavlica, Lyrics: Solomon´s Song of Songs and his proverbs, medieval student´s poetry, folk poetry, Choreography: Ladislava Kosikova
From the Silence of Time
The programme inspired by the ancient history of the town of Uherske Hradiste and its region. Various dances and songs will be presented in this programme – e.g.the Great Moravian Chant with the lyrics from the 9th century, dance variations on the dawn of Slavic history, dances from the Velehrad monastery, songs and dances of the urban folk of Uherske Hradiste and others.
Music: Jiri Pavlica Choreography: Ladislava Kosikova
Hidden Secrets – images inspired by the motifs of
saints from a folk calendar
By means of prayers and pleas to a row of saints – St. George, St. Francis Xaversky, St. Anthony, St. Rochus, St. John – we turn to the order of nature and human life trying to solve the conflicts of a man and the world.
Musical and dance interpretation of Moravian love songs dealing with both love´s bright and dark sides, love fulfilled and unrequited, viewed from the humorous and tragic angles.