This year's edition of the Nostalgia Festival in Poznań focuses on modern interpretations of pieces by one of the most canonical European composers, the great German organist and teacher from the Baroque period, Johann Sebastian Bach. The climax of the festival will take place on November 2 at the Franciscan church in Poznań. The Hilliard Ensemble - a British male vocal quartet - will present motets and fragments of the two St John's Passions...
The Hilliard Ensemble; photo: Friedrun Reinhold (www.hilliardensemble.demon.co.uk)
Why Bach? "This is the Year of Chopin, so we looked for a composer who was not in opposition with Chopin, but someone who sounds just as strongly, loudly and clearly", explained festival coordinator Tomasz Cyz
The Nostalgia Festival Poznań 2010 will differ from the two earlier editions. As of this year, the Festival, which had, so far, been presented as a biennale, will be an annual event in response to the audience's great interest across a specific spectrum of themes. This year, it focuses on modern interpretations of pieces by one of the most canonical European composers, the great German organist and teacher from the Baroque period, Johann Sebastian Bach.
The climax of the festival takes place on November 2 at the Franciscan church in Poznań. The Hilliard Ensemble - a British male vocal quartet - will present motets and fragments of the two St John's Passions. Since its foundation in the 1970s, the quartet's repertoire has included sacred songs from the Medieval and Renaissance periods. At the end of the decade they started singing contemporary classical music. In recent years the group has garnered international attention with their Officium album, recorded with Jan Garbarek.
This is not the first visit of The Hilliard Ensemble to Poznań. During last year's Nostalgia, they presented Tenebrae Responsoria, by Carlo Gesualdo. Tomasz Cyz explains why the quartet was invited to this year's festival:
"They are a legend, among the best vocal quartets in the world. The deciding factor, however, was their 'Morimur' album, released following the discovery by musicologist Helga Thoene, of Bach's D minor Partita for solo violin and his chorales. After this discovery violinist Christoph Poppen and The Hilliard Ensemble recorded a CD, where one can listen to 'Partita in D minor' - one of the most beautiful songs on the violin in music history - in an unusual form".
Apart from David James (countertenor), John Potter (tenor) and Gordon Jones (baritone) from The Hilliard Ensemble, other musicians performing during the festival include: Monika Mauch (soprano) and Muriel Cantoreggi (baroque violin).
However, before the brilliant quartet takes to the stage, a "Silent Bach" event will be held around Poznań. From Thursday, October 28, wireless headphones will be available in various spots around Poznań (including Empik, Bookarest bookstore, university buildings) to listen to the music of Bach.
"This is an attempt to entice listeners who might not be familiar with Bach's music. The headphones will be playing 'non-classical variations on a theme' performed by the Loussier Trio, Uri Caine Ensemble and Raphael Rogiński as well as 'Morimur'."
This year's Nostalgia festival is not without its spiritual patron, Andrei Tarkovsky (the festival name is a reference to his film of the same title). This year The Sacrifice, the Russian director's latest film, will be screened. Portrayed by Erland Josephson (Domenico from Nostalgia), the main character, at the news of an impending nuclear explosion, has decided to offer himself to God in an attempt to delay the disaster. Bach is referred to in the soundtrack of the film with a fragment from St Matthew Passion.
The screening will be followed by a discussion entitled "Soundtrack by Bach" with musicologists Andrzej Chłopecki and Daniel Golianek.
"It will be a discussion about perception and the power of the works by Bach, his musical life after life", said Tomasz Cyz, who will lead the discussion. "As part of Nostalgia it will be possible to watch Pier Paolo Pasolini's 'The Gospel According to St Matthew'."
Admission to the Nostalgia festival is free, except for The Hilliard Ensemble concert. A detailed programme and more information on the Festival can be found at: www.nostalgiafestival.pl
Source: www.gazeta.pl, www.nostalgiafestival.pl