Vanitas – the musical faces of transience
Add date: Tuesday, 14 February 2017
The main programming of the 14th edition of the Misteria Paschalia Festival is called Vanitas (Futility). The theme of futility, recalling the famous quotation from the Ecclesiastes (“vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas”) and the related fascination with death and transience have constantly appeared in music, art and literature, both medieval and Baroque.
For the opening of the festival and the inauguration of the Vanitas programming, Claudio Monteverdi's exceptional work, Selva morale e spirituale, will be presented for the first time in Poland at the Church of St Catherine of Alexandria (10 April, 8.00 p.m.). It is a collection of works of liturgical purpose, written by Monteverdi and intended for the Basilica of St Mark in Venice. It consists of brilliant vocal and complex in terms of construction vocal and instrumental works in the concert style, as well as chamber monodies referring masterfully to the principles of Renaissance polyphony. Monteverdi's religious work will be performed by the French resident ensemble of the 14th edition of Misteria Paschalia, Le Poème Harmonique, the Russian choir musicAeterna, performing in Poland for the first time, as well as outstanding soloists making their festival debut: Deborah Cachet – soprano Eva Zaicïk – mezzosoprano Cyril Auvity – tenor, Jean-François Lombard – tenor, Sébastien Obrecht – tenor and Geoffroy Buffière – bass. The artists will be led by the artistic director of this year’s edition of the festival, the charismatic director and founder of the Le Poème Harmonique ensemble – Vincent Dumestre. The concert will be broadcast by French Mezzo television.
On Holy Tuesday (11 April, 8.00 p.m.), at the Corpus Christi Basilica, we will hear the music of French Baroque composers Jean Gilles, Michel Corrette and Henry du Mont. Particularly promising is the Polish premiere of the Messe des Morts (Requiem) by Jean Gilles, whose works are rarely performed in Poland. The programme also includes Carillons des Morts (Bells of Death) by Michel Corette, and the Great Motet Super Flumina Babylonis by Henry du Mont. The performers will be the international instrumental ensemble Capriccio Stravagante, making their debut in Krakow, and the Capella Cracoviensis choir. The combined forces of the French and Polish musicians will be led by New Orleans-born harpsichordist and conductor, Skip Sempé. Performing the solo parts will be soprano Caroline Weynants, counter-tenor Marcin Gadaliński, tenor Davy Cornillot and baritone Benjamin Appl.
The concert will be rebroadcast by Mezzo television.