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Today in Mailbox: Music on Radio Prague. Listeners quoted: Pat Barry, Canada; Jacqueline Berting, Canada; Georgine Nadeau, Canada; Mukesh Kumar, India.

Hello and welcome to Mailbox.

The main topic of today's programme will be music. We get quite a number of requests concerning Radio Prague's theme tunes and the music we play in general. Those come mainly from Canada, and this one was sent by Pat Barry who listens to us on Radio One, CBC in Montreal.

"This morning was a most interesting program on the life of journalist Ferdinand Peroutka - a remarkable person. I have a small request. At the end of this morning's program you played a lively jazz tune by a group that sounds like the Benny Goodman trio although I don't think it is them. The solo work is by the clarinettist and pianist and the latter resembles the style of Teddy Wilson. This is not the first time I heard this piece played at the end of the program. Could you provide me with the name of the group and the title of the piece as I would like to obtain a copy of it, if it is available in Canada."

The piece which closed the programme about Ferdinand Peroutka was "Bile sestry" or "White Sisters" by Czech composer Jaroslav Jezek who worked with the actors Jiri Voskovec and Jan Werich in Czechoslovakia before WWII but was forced to flee the Nazis with them and died in New York in 1942 at the age of just 36 years.

Jacqueline Berting from Saskatchewan had this question about music:

Ukraine,  photo: CTK
"My Mother was listening to the radio late at night and she told me to see if I could find the source of the amazing music she heard... it was a Ukrainian choir, mass. She said she had to find out more... and also said whoever the woman was who played it said it came in a double CD. Is it possible to find out what the name of the choir is and where I can get them?"

Hard as we tried we couldn't identify the music, I'm afraid. Is it possible that the programme came from some other station rather than Radio Prague? None of the music we played around that date fits the description.

Now away from music for a while (but we'll get back to it).

Georgine Nadeau who had written in before to our English Section recently listened to a programme presented by Radio Prague's Czech Section and she had this to say:

Volynia
"I was just listening in Czech to your report on Czechs in Canada. Are you aware of the Czechs that settled in Minitonas, Manitoba Canada? There are names like Jersak, Nemetchek, Moravec, Slama, Jahoda, Reichert, Nemec, Tucek, Vintr, Bures, Slavik, Munchinsky, Springle, Slepicka, Dvorak, Veselovsky, Horta, Pospisil, Koutecky, Rachinsky, (and many others that I can't recall right now) who first settled there. They are Czechs who kept their language and came from the Volynia area. Some from Michalovka, and others from other villages in what is now the Ukraine. I don't know when they all came but my dad (Bedrich Rejchrt) arrived in 1929 after a three-year stop in Slovakia. Most of them would have arrived around that time."

Thank you very much for writing in. Very often we can tell from our listener's surnames that they are of Czech descent and it is always interesting to hear about your Czech heritage and where in the world Czechs had settled.


Speaking of people of Czech origin, you can still send your answers to us to Radio Prague's monthly competition question.

This month our mystery person is a woman. She was born in the former Czechoslovakia, she started off as a skier and was a member of the Czechoslovak national skiing team. Later she worked as a fashion model in the US and Canada but today she is perhaps best-known thanks to her marriage to an American entrepreneur and media tycoon whom she divorced in 1992.

Please tell us the name of this Czech-born American celebrity by the end of February to English@radio.cz or Radio Prague, 12099, Prague, Czech Republic.

And finally, we have a chance to combine today's theme of music with the fact that this past week was National Week of Marriage in the Czech Republic. Our regular listener Mukesh Kumar from Cosmos listeners' club in India sent us this request.

"I am pleased to inform you that Mr. Shashank Shekhar Singh and Mrs. Sujata Singh are going to celebrate their 16th Marriage Anniversary on 18th of February. Recently, they are associated with the club and they also enjoy your various programs. On behalf of all club members, I would like to congratulate them on this auspicious occasion and pray for their happiness and prosperity in their life. I would also like to request you to play any appropriate song on this occasion."

Congratulations and for Mr. and Mrs. Singh here is a 1960s Czech song "Ach, ta laska nebeska" or "Oh, heavenly love" by Jiri Slitr and Jiri Suchy. The singers are Waldemar Matuska and Eva Pilarova and they are singing about there being no happiness without love. And this song is also Radio Prague's contribution to St Valentine's Day which has been celebrated in many parts of the world this week.