Release Date: January 25, 2019
Catalog #: NV6205
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Vocal Music

When The Soul Speaks

Choral Music By Jan Jirásek

Jan Jirásek composer
Bonifantes Boys Choir & Czech Soloist Consort | Jan Míšek conductor

The Bonifantes Boys Choir showcases the best of the best of the Czech boy singers and composer Jan Jirásek over the past 20 years. WHEN THE SOUL SPEAKS demonstrates the abilities of both the ensemble and its leaders through the performance of Latin Christian masses, Buddhist mantras and Quran excerpts, and traditional Czech hymns — together presenting the idea that different religions and cultural customs can stand together side by side.

The album, in three sections, begins with Missa propria, based on Latin Christian mass liturgy. These mass settings transcend time with youthful voices and contemporary compositions that resonate with the settings of ancient masses and chants. They are followed by the Mondi paralleli cycle, which continues with the Christian liturgy, but developed with texts from Buddhist mantras, Islamic texts, and ideas from Judaism. This synergy of various faiths being professed through single voices presents the idea that perhaps, beneath various opinions, there is the same intention of praising a higher power and discovering how to become one’s best self. WHEN THE SOUL SPEAKS concludes with the three-piece cycle Tam, kde sláva nepřestává, which explore the fundamentals of the Czech church and state, while also looking at the violent, tumultuous times of of the Czech heritage’s beginnings and how the nation has developed since.

WHEN THE SOUL SPEAKS peers through religious and cultural texts and voices. While paying respect to these traditions, the Bonifantes choir presents the voice beneath — the voice of the soul, speaking for both the self and the connection to all of humanity and beyond.


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Artist Information

Jan Jirásek


Since 1989, Jan Jirásek’s works have been presented on numerous stages and festivals worldwide. Jirásek composes music for major music houses and interpreters. Examples include his Bread and Circuses composition for six players on percussion instruments (Munich Biennale, 1992), a postmodern arrangement of J.S. Bach’s St. Luke Passion (Munich Biennale, 1996, Minneapolis MN, 2000), Dance with the Universe concert for the organ and orchestra (Portland Chamber Orchestra, 2012), Missa propria choral composition (Prague, Spring 1994 and 2014, Carnegie Hall, New York, Lincoln Center, New York, Avignon Festival, France etc.), Fragile Balance/Letter to Heaven (Vega String Quartet, Atlanta GA, 2012), King Lávra (micro-opera, Khorikos New York NY, 2013), and other works.

Bonifantes Boys Choir


The BONIFANTES Boys Choir was founded in 1999 and in its short life has won a place among the cream of the choir ensembles in the Czech Republic. Talented boys from the ages of 4 to 20 years work in seven departments of the singing school known as “BONIFANTES School of Arts” with a capacity of 350 students. All the singers have solo voice training lessons and many of them play musical instruments. Almost 100 boys visit the concert department alone and the choir takes part in up to 100 concerts and performances each year.