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Stapleton, Karl

Czech Music Culture in Prague 1858-1865

Ph.D. University of Birmingham, 2003
(joyandkarl@blueyonder.co.uk)

These volumes comprise a detailed catalogue of music performance activities, outside the sphere of music theatre, occurring in Prague from October 1858 until the end of December 1865. Almost entirely sourced from advertisements, reports, articles and reviews published in Czech language periodicals during the 1850s and 1860s, the survey presents accurate and comprehensive records of all important public and private musical entertainments. Extended descriptive and analytical commentaries provide additional information relevant to specific productions and concert series, programmes and participants. Details of performances are drawn from all extant Czech periodical sources. These separate accounts are correlated, facilitating the identification and eradication of errors and anomalies regarding the dates, venues or programmes of specific productions. The contents of contemporary reviews are described, with notable extracts reproduced in English translation. Where different writers have expressed varying critical opinions, their views have been outlined. Hence this study seeks to present a thorough survey of performance activity, to enable a balanced appraisal of the various aesthetic cross-currents at work in the Czech music community, and to facilitate more detailed knowledge of the character and workings of the Prague musical environment during a most vital period of the nineteenth-century evolution of Czech music culture.