14th December 1989

Concert for the Civic Forum

On 14 December 1989, the Smetana Hall of the Municipal House in Prague played host to the legendary Concert for the Civic Forum, which was attended by the future Czechoslovak President, Václav Havel. Marking the setting up of the first post-revolution government, the performance was given by the Czech Philharmonic and the conductor Václav Neumann, who that year had refused to communicate with the Communist mass media in protest against the persecution of the signatories of the “A Few Sentences” petition. Besides the stellar soprano Gabriela Beňačková, Neumann invited along distinguished foreign soloists to appear at the event. Supraphon recorded the concert and released in on LP, MC and CD. The recording, featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, captured the enthusiasm accompanying the Velvet Revolution, the atmosphere of hope, humanism and belief in the victory of truth. For a decade that followed, it ranked among the bestselling Supraphon titles and received a Platinum Disc.