Mahler Not Spiritual Enough to be Performed in Czech Church

Classic Arts News   Mahler Not Spiritual Enough to be Performed in Czech Church
Mahler has come under fire from the bishop of a small Czech Republic town, who wants to ban the composer's music from the church where it is performed in annual September concerts.

Mahler's music is performed each September in Jihlava, south Moravia, the composer's birthplace. According to the English-language Prague Daily Monitor, the local bishop wants to ban secular music from churches, basing his decision on the Vatican's directive on church music issued in 1987, which stipulates that churches should "only be open to liturgic or religious music."

The Brno Bishopric, which administers the St Ignatius Church in Jihlava, apparently does not regard Mahler's symphonies as "spiritual" enough to be performed in churches, according to the Daily Monitor.

The final decision will probably be made at a meeting between Jihlava Mayor Vladimir Hnik and representatives of the Brno Bishopric. Concerts of secular music are often held in churches in a number of other Czech municipalities.

Municipal officials at the Jihlava Town Hall, which organizes the annual Mahler Music Festival, are considering halting subsidies for the church's repairs in retaliation.

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