Around Prague 1922-1937 Channel Classics CCS 34813


"An enchanted city with an impetuous and rapid will to be modern and cosmopolitan, old, wise and sceptical, young and hustling, German, Jewish and Czech. As the capital of a new, strong and aspiring state it senses the obligation to represent this new, strong and aspiring state. It does what it is able to do.
It desires to be a capital and it desires to be a site of ancient culture. Prague is almost a vision of the world".

Thus the writer Joseph Roth on the city of Prague in 1932.
(Joseph Roth: Heimweh nach Prag, Wallstein Verlag 2012)


The city of Prague was a cultural hotspot in the 1920s and 30s. From 1918 to 1935 the country's president was the European-minded and remarkably liberal philosopher Thomas Masaryk, and his successor Edvard Beneš was a kindred spirit. The three population groups, enriched by emigrants from Russia, the Ukraine, Germany and Austria, competed with one another but also inspired each other.
This was the Prague in which the composers on this CD were involved. In their music we hear the old and the new, tradition and renewal, but above all, imagination and talent.
When the border between East and West opened up in 1991, their music had hardly been heard in the West for some fifty years, having been suppressed first by the Nazis and then by suffocating communist rule. With the exception of Ullmann, even today these composers have hardly reached our concert halls.

More information on the period, the composers and their music can be found on

Ebony Band o.l.v. Werner Herbers
Soloists: Barbara Kozelj (mezzo-soprano), Daniël Esser (cello), Gerard Bouwhuis (piano)