A Midsummer Night's Dream - Nocturne Felix Mendelssohn
From the stage where Mozart premiered Don Giovanni to a café named in his honour, Prague's stunning concert halls are hard to beat. Leader of the Czech Philharmonic, Josef Spacek, gives us a guided tour.
In use since 1783, this is the very place where Mozart premiered his opera, Don Giovanni. It's the only surviving theatre where Mozart conducted and was one of the locations used in the film, Amadeus. "I've seen a concert here," says Josef Spacek. "From this picture it looks large but the stage is very tiny!" Photo ©Jorge Royan http://www.royan.com.ar/
Dominating a corner of Prague's Old Town Square, St Nicholas's is one of the city's most important churches. Josef Spacek says, "This is more beautiful than the many other Baroque churches in Prague. Acoustically, it's gorgeous for any Bach music."
Part of the Prague Castle complex, the Lobkowicz Palace is one of the city's most popular tourist attractions. There are fine musical instruments on display and superb lunchtime classical concerts. "The Lobkowicz are such an interesting family," says Josef Spacek, "one of the richest aristocratic families in Europe. William Lobkowicz has so many amazing educational projects under way." Photo: Lobkowicz Palace
This 1912 gem of Art Nouveau architecture has great acoustics and amazing decorative interiors. It is one of the main venues of the renowned Prague Spring Festival, presenting superb classical music concerts. Photo: Nahravam
Situated inside one of the finest Art Nouveau buildings in Europe, the Smetana Concert Hall presents a wide variety of classical concerts. "It sounds the best when there's no people in it," says Josef Spacek. "It's a ballroom – you can actually take out the seats and have the most gorgeous balls there. It's generally used for the opening of the Prague Spring Festival where they always play Smetana's 'Ma Vlast'". Photo: Getty
The elegant Café Mozart is set in a prime position on the Old Town Square, opposite Prague's famous Astronomical Clock. Several nights a week the restaurant hosts either a 'Dinner & Mozart' or 'Dinner & Jazz' concert night. "They have a really good patisserie chef," says Josef. "We are thinking of getting our wedding cake from this café!"
This Conservatory and Secondary School for the visually impaired uses their magnificent hall for concerts, presentations and performances. The walls and ceiling of the hall are covered with 'trompe l'oeil' paintings from the 18th century. "It's a beautiful small space for a recital," says Josef Spacek. Photo: www.prague.eu
Some of the biggest classical music stars have appeared in this since its opening in 1883. Today, its formidable reputation continues with performances of the world's favourite operas alongside works that have been forgotten or neglected. "Great for operas, obviously," says Josef. Photo: http://www.narodni-divadlo.cz/en/state-opera
Once the seat of the state parliament, this is the place to see the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. "The most special thing about this hall is the atmosphere," says its leader Josef. "It is really phenomenal. When the orchestra has a subscription concert, the audience and just everything clicks together." Photo: Christoph Mohr/DPA/Press Association Images
This landmark church, sited at one end of Charles Bridge by the entrance to the Old Town, forms part of the Klementinum. It is one of the most celebrated examples of early-Baroque architecture in Prague and houses two magnificent organs. Photo: Nahravam
One of Prague's most stunning attractions situated in the Jewish Quarter. Concerts of classical and sacred music often take place here.
Since 1232, many great astronomers, scientists, musicians and philosophers have worked here, influencing the development of the buildings. Concerts are held in the historic Mirror Chapel, where Mozart once played the organ. "It's beautiful. I played here three months ago," says Josef. "It has more of a Baroque church echo and it's a great space." Photo: Palickap
During the 18th century great concerts and balls – attended by the likes of Mozart and Beethoven – were held at this, one of Prague's most beautiful Baroque palaces. Today, twice a year the palace hosts series of authentic historical Baroque concerts. Photo: VitVit
This Baroque summer palace is now a museum dedicated to Dvořák. From May to October, the Villa Amerika's Music Salon is the setting for a concert series, titled Wonderful Dvořák, performed in period costume. Photo: Diligent