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Prague: ARTĚL Style

Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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Holiday Must-Listen: Karel Gott's Christmas in Golden Prague

Published on December 17th, 2015 in Entertainment

  • Karel Gott - Bílé Vánoce [White Christmas], 1981 (photo courtesy of www.45cat.com)

  • Karel Gott - Bílé Vánoce [White Christmas], 1982 (photo courtesy of www.bontonland.cz)

  • Karel Gott - Zázrak vánoční [The Miracle of Christmas],1995 (photo courtesy of www.discogs.com)

  • Karel Gott - German Christmas album,1979 (photo courtesy of http://hitparade.ch)

  • Karel Gott - Vanoce ve zlate praze, 1969 [Christmas in Golden Prague] (photo courtesy of www.cdandlp.com)


Czech crooner Karel Gott is practically a saint in the Czech Republic. Known as the Sinatra of the East, Singer of the Century, and the Golden Voice from Prague, he has sold over 30 million records worldwide – he's also big in Germany and Russia – and has won the Czech Grammy award for Most Favorite Male Singer forty times, including this year.

 

Sir Gott's role in the traditional Czech Christmas festivities is undoubtedly on par with Bing Crosby or Nat King Cole: during the '70s he held a regular series of holiday concerts at Lucerna Concert Hall in Prague, his songs appear in the season's most-viewed fairy tale, “Three Nuts for Cinderella” (Tři oříšky pro Popelka), and his 1984 rendition of the Czech song “Bells of Happiness” (Zvonky štěstí),” a duet with Czech pop singer Dara Rolins (who was 8-years-old at the time), is one of the best-known, most-played and possibly cheesiest Christmas songs there is.

 

 

 

  

Probably the most beloved of the singer's albums is his “Christmas in Golden Prague” (Vanoce ve zlate praze). Recorded in September 1969 in Týn Church in Old Town Square, it includes soaring arias, Czech folk carols and religious standards like Silent Night, Ave Maria, and Agnus Dei. The singer is accompanied by The Prague Madrigalists, a world famous chamber music ensemble. It is truly a masterpiece that is said to capture something of the political turmoil of the time and many Czech families play it while serving up their carp and potato salad.

 

 

 

 

 

Just in time for Christmas, download it from iTunes or the Czech site Supraphon where the entire album is just 99 CZK. But if you are in Prague around the holidays and would like to buy the CD as a festive souvenir, it can be found at most larger book shops and music stores.

 

On a sadder note, 2015 saw the singer diagnosed with cancer, though he is said to be on the road to recovery. Let's hope the prolific performer and Czech legend will be crooning his way through many Christmases to come.

 

 

 

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