Another belated message (apologies if this gets double-posted, there is something wrong with the browser that's preventing my edited message from being posted).
Steven, thanks so much for your message and advice. Prague is so gorgeous (as you know well yourself!) that the disappointing concerts could not put a damper on the whole experience. If you're curious about why we were disappointed, here is a brief synopsis. We attended three concerts: two at churches and one at the Municipal House. The interiors everywhere are stunning, and this is a pleasure in itself. But the programs . . .
Every concert is about 60 minutes in length. That is fine, but they fill and pad it with a hodgepodge of crowd-pleasing pieces that lead to a classic case of over-saturation. Some of the things did not feel appropriate at all. For example, at the Municipal House we were treated to a ballet performance (!) as the orchestra played Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, which was just silly. We are not purists or anything. At a church concert in Venice, the musicians juxtaposed Vivaldi's Four Seasons with Piazzolla's Four Seasons (e.g., Vivaldi's Spring would be followed by Piazzolla's Autumn, etc.), and we thought that it was interesting. But this was just silly.
At the concert at St. Nicholas Church, Ravel's Bolero was performed. This is not really a work intended for a couple of violins and a cello. Ditto Smetana's The Moldau - you need more instruments. Consequently, many of the works were "abridged". Bolero was about 5 minutes in length (usually, it's supposed to be about 15 minutes long), and The Moldau was also reduced to about five minutes. At one of the concerts, they performed all the movements of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik except the second one. You get the idea.
Neither one of us is a trained musician, but I don't think you need to be one to understand that this isn't quite right. I wonder if it was because the audiences just didn't know any better. They clapped between movements, and some of the people had shown up in shorts (in the churches!). I don't mean to sound snobbish, but we'd expected something else. The ticket prices were quite steep too.
This was not a problem with, say, the church concerts in Vienna that we had attended. Those were also about 60 minutes in length, but you heard the works in full. For example, they would perform one of the late string quartets by Mozart and one of the Razumovsky string quartets by Beethoven.
We took the time to go to the Via Musica location in the old square to ask if there were any concerts that offered "complete works" instead of a melee; the answer was no. Must be the time of year.