Programme 2009

Programme 2009

Metamorphoses of Love

… in the chains of love

In 2009, the international music festival Summer Festivities of Early Music revived the eternal theme that had always inspired both composers and interpreters to exceptional artistic achievements. The best artists from all around Europe came to Prague to pay a tribute to Amor and to raise the emotions of the Prague connoisseur public. Both music and music-theatre programmes, all presenting the highest professional level of performing quality, treated on diverse spiritual and profane forms of love, varying from the Middle Ages love to Romanticism love, from various forms of courtship and respect to vulgar lascivious songs. The festival presented 9 concerts taking place in different Prague locations.

The biggest highlight of the festival was the performance An Evening in Venice performed by the renowned ensemble Le Poème Harmonique directed by Benjamin Lazar. The audience could acknowledge sophisticated baroque gestures on the part of the singers who had guided them through the Venetian streets and beautiful palaces where one can hear singing and cheering voices until morning hours, all this in the candlelight.

The festival also presented a number of stars from the realm of singing. The countertenor Damien Guillon excelled in the modern premieres of forgotten pieces found in the Prague Castle archives. The Spanish soprano María Espada, who had already charmed the Prague public during the last year edition of the festival, sang cantatas by D. Scarlatti, this time accompanied by the ensemble Forma Antiqva. Polish singer Anna Mikołajczyk presented songs written by Frédéric Chopin and Pauline Viardot, songs that are rarely to be heard in the Czech Republic.

The renowned oboe player and the important figure of the world of early music interpretation, Alfredo Bernardini, came together with his ensemble Zefiro to perform the programme entitled Pastorale with sonatas by Telemann, Schaffrath or Händel. For the second time in a row, the festival hosted the renowned ensemble Echo du Danube; they literally danced up the spaces of Letohrádek Hvězda with their 16th and 17th century music by such a forms like follia, napoletana or fandango.

The Summer Festivities of Early Music form the only festival showcase of music of historic artistic styles in Prague and Central Bohemia. The Festival is the gateway through which leading interpreters from abroad make their entry into Prague. Thanks to a thematic, innovative dramaturgy, modern premieres – not only for the Czech Republic, but world premieres too – represent a high percentage of festival projects. This year, the traditional list of concert venues, for example the Břevnov Monastery or the Troja Chateau, will be complemented by such locations as the renaissance Martinic palace, St. Agnes Monastery or The Parish of Our Lady before Týn. This year the Summer Festivities of Early Music joined European Early Music Network (REMA) – www.rema-eemn.net.

So many forms of music – so many forms of love!