Albrecht Forum

Past

Music in the Albrecht family

The tradition of home music sessions started well before the Albrecht family moved to the house on Kapitulská Street. The family tradition of chamber music gatherings played a crucial part in the life of Bratislava’s educated burgess society. Music was a natural and frequent guest to the Jurenák family (the family of Margaret Albrecht’s – Alexander’s wife’s – uncle) that had personal relations with both Brahms and Wagner. The same is true about the Riegele family (Margaret Albrecht’s aunt) that hosted for example the Czech Quartet as well as the Lehner family (Margaret Albrecht’s sister) and many others.

Musica aeterna

It is thus only natural that music sounded often in the Albrecht family; indeed the tradition was intensified by the fact that there were professional musicians among the members of the Albrecht family. The family that lived first at Lodná Street No. 12 and later, after the World War II, at Kapitulská Street No. 18 (nowadays No. 1) was visited by such notables as the Viennese conductor Rudolph Nilius, the baritone Elemér John, the conductor Ladislav Holoubek, the composers Mikuláš Schneider-Trnavský, Emanuel Maršík and Iša Krejčí, the critics Ivan Ballo and Gustáv Koričánsky, the violoncellist and the composer Ľudovít Rajter, the representatives of the younger generation of composers Eugen Suchoň and Štefan Németh-Šamorínsky and many others. The visits commonly involved a chamber music playing.

 

The Albrecht HouseAfter the death of his father, Ján Albrecht took up and further developed the tradition of home musicking that for him was inherently attached to the idea of a noble pastime. Later he merged this hobby with his profession. As a Chamber Music lecturer at the Music Academy he preferred pursuing the music of an earlier provenance. Albrecht started his tenure at the Academy in 1967. When Otto Ferenczy left the position of the Rector of the Music Academy, the school was not interested in maintaining the elective course in “early music”. This prompted Ján Albrecht to invite his most promising students into his house at Kapitulská; the result was the establishment of the “Circle of Friends of Early Music”. It was out of this group that Musica aeterna, the first professional early music ensemble in Slovakia, was born.

Ján Albrecht´s Study 

Remembering Albrecht house

“Students were drawn to the personality of Ján Albrecht because they were excited by his spirit, by his knowledge of music and arts, his erudition, and his wit. For the open heart of Albrecht, teaching in school was not enough. That is why he taught at his house where he served tea and coffee in chinaware. He never minded going overtime with a lesson when the need arose. His mother, known to everyone as Gréti néni, and, from 1969, his wife Viera helped him create appropriate conditions and maintain a friendly atmosphere. His vast personal library was generously made available to anyone who needed it, even if the head of the household himself was not present”… “He always listened to students and discussed even the more remote matters with them if those helped them to fully grasp the problem at hand”… “In a group setting, he observed the principle of the qualitative hierarchy – if one was more accomplished in a particular task than others, he was given the opportunity to realize his skill to the fullest. The overarching goal of Albrecht was to attempt to awaken the sensitivities towards beauty and passion, and to maintain a sense of humor, even in his pedagogical activities.”

(Veronika Bakičová: Musica Aeterna & Ján Albrecht, AE Press, 2006)