The Forum Musicum Festival is dedicated to early music performed on historic instruments in a proper, historically informed way
Forum Musicum Festival, photo provided by organizer
Established in 2003, the Forum Musicum Festival is dedicated to early music performed on historic instruments in a proper, historically informed way. The Festival is focused on repertoire from the 17th and 18th century, during which period most of the famous works of European music were composed. It was the time of Enlightenment, the birth of modernity.
This year’s Festival will be focused on the manifestations of national and folk traditions in early music. Although music history commonly links them with the Romantic Era, they were present in early music composed in various parts of the world. Examples of such manifestations, coming from different countries and periods of history, will presented at the Festival. Special attention will be paid to instruments that have functioned on the borderlands between courtly and folk music, i.e. bagpipes, tabor pipe and tabret.
The Festival will open with a very unique project – the Pestilence Orchestra, led by Paweł Iwaszkiewicz, will play the role of an 18th century tavern band, with bagpipes, a regal, a trombone, and bound violin. This show was based on George Philip Telemann’s manuscript, which is kept in Rostock, and describes varieties of Polish dances.
One of the most interesting shows of the Festival will surely be “La Virgen Americana,” a collection of 17th century Marian music from South America, a mixture of styles of Italian baroque and the music of indigenous Indians. The concert will be performed by Elyma, a band specializing in unearthing such musical curiosities, accompanied by students from Centre de Musique Ancienne, a department of the Geneva University of Music, led by Gabriel Garrido.
Each year, a score of young Polish musicians are invited to play during the Festival. Most of the are in some way linked with the early music scene of the Schola Cantorum in Kalisz. This year, we’ll see Semibrevis, a medieval music ensemble from Kalisz, Horrendus, a group from Ciechanów that plays 17th century Italian virtuoso music, and Antiquo More from Międzyrzecz, which will stage a dance spectacle based on 17th century French music and stories from the court of the Sun King.
The folk-inspired compositions of George Philip Telemann will be played by the Warsaw-based Il Tempo, led by Agata Sapiecha. Sixteenth century music from the Aragonese-ruled Kingdom of Naples, which at the time was a melting pot teeming with different cultures, will be played by the German group Oni Wytars. We will also hear Spanish villancicos and Italian tarantellas, villanelles and frottolas.
The Italian singer Viva Bianca Luna Biffi will perform a very peculiar show: accompanying herself on the viola bastarda, she will play 15th and 16th century Italian frottolas. This concert will also serve as a reconstruction of the Italian tradition of viola-accompanied singsong storytelling.
One very interesting combination of instruments, which functions even nowadays in the traditional culture of various countries, is the tabor pipe and tabret (sometimes simply called pipe and tabor) played simultaneously by one musician. This combination was especially popular in Europe, from the Middle Ages up to the Baroque. The festival will close with a performance by Poul Høxbro, a Danish virtuoso of pipe and tabor with the dexterity of a circus performer. He will be accompanied by Susanne Ansorg on fiddle.
Organiser: Vratislavia Cantans
This event is part of the Attention Culture!, the Cultural Program of the 2011 Polish EU Presidency.