Ivan Blatný

Poet, son of the writer Lev Blatný (1894-1930). Born in Brno, he spent the first part of his life here – before escaping into exile in 1948. He lived in a house...

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František Halas

Poet, translator and publicist, Brno born, spent his childhood and youth here. He learned the bookseller’s trade from A. Píša and for a brief period (1919–1921)...

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Oldřich Mikulášek

Poet and publicist. Lived in Brno from 1937 until his death, latterly at Mášova street. He is linked to several cultural institutions (the Brno studios of Czechoslovak...

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Jaroslav Seifert

Poet, publicist, memoirist. The first – and so far the only Czech to receive the Nobel prize for Literature. In addition to the lasting popularity he won through...

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Jan Skácel

Poet, writer, editor and translator. Spent most of his life in Brno and is closely linked to a number of Brno cultural institutions (the magazine Host do domu...

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Vít Slíva

Poet and schoolteacher. His connection to Brno dates back to his university days. Apart from one interlude, he has been living to this day at Poděbradova street....

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Places (in alphabetical order)

Karel Tachovský

1926  –  1989

Editor of Czechoslovak Radio in Brno, journalist, writer of poetry and drama. One of the notables of Brno cultural life, ostracized during the ‘normalization’ by losing his job and being banned from publishing. His poem “Mozartův trylek”  (Mozart’s trill) harkens back to the Brno visit by that musical prodigy, who performed here as an eleven-year-old, when his family left Vienna for Moravia in fear of an outbreak of chickenpox. Mozart’s family most probably stayed at the Schrattenbach palace (today’s Mahen Library situated at Kobližná street no. 4) and spent Christmas there in 1767. During his visit, Mozart, together with his sister Nannerl performed to great acclaim on 30 December in the Taverna (today’s Reduta Theatre on Zelný trh) at a concert put on for local nobility.

The author and the places of his/her poems

The poem and the place

Mozart’s trill

Very sombre gentlemen and ladies,
elegant, conceited,
porcelain figures seeming
to Kobližná came, waited-
on by servants, footmen, braided,
opening gates, gold-gleaming –
and with so much commotion
the scarcely noticed, rather,
that youngster, little Mozart
with Leopold, his father.

With only fame’s small Kreuzer
did they, for form’s sake, pay him
his debtors ever, leaving
him nought, but life’s long hardship –
no more than alms receiving.

Yet on he played, to please them,
till the room sparkled, soaring,
just as if liquid silver
from Mozart’s hands were pouring,
giving all, never heeding
fame would not flower forever,
child minuets once over
life would weigh heavy, cover,
gripping his throat and stifling
his Requiem composition,
Mozart’s last before dying,
unsung to its completion.


Yesterday was a day so clear, trop beau.
Over the city snow-white clouds’ full sail,
a when the sun hit the streets,
the Palace at Kobližná shone
like a golden flambeau.
A cheery Mozart trill
in silvery quivering flutter
finally freely rang
out over Brno city.

                                             translated by Václav Pinkava

Tachovský, Karel: Město v notách (The City in Music), Brno: Krajské nakladatelství 1957


Jiří Trávníček  -   travnicek@ucl.cas.cz
Michal Fránek  -   franek@ucl.cas.cz

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