Misteria Paschalia – From the Italian land to Poland

Wednesday 20 March 2019

The programme and cast of this year’s 16th edition of the international Misteria Paschalia Festival (which you are warmly invited to from 15 to 22 April) – dedicated mainly to Italian music – also included, quite a few Polish accents, which is always good news.

And so, during the inaugural concert at the Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria, the outstanding Polish Radio Choir will perform alongside the renowned Cappella Neapolitana ensemble, conductor Antonio Florio, as well as soloists: Dalma Krajnyak – alto, Luca Cervoni – tenor and Marco Bussi – bass. We will hear the work of Italian Baroque composer Gaetano Veneziano, La Passione secondo Giovanni, the recent artistic and literal discovery made by Antonio Florio, this year’s resident director of the Misteria Paschalia, who will be our cicerone after the music of the Apennine Peninsula.

One might say that the concerts of the second and above all the third day of the festival – also at the Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria – are Polish to the core. Firstly, the Italian countertenor Filippo Mineccia will be accompanied by {oh!} Orkiestra Historyczna – which needs no introduction – headed by their ultra-energetic Martyna Pastuszka. They will perform a pasticcio consisting of arias and overtures by Italian composers of the 18th century, which put to music the then avant-garde, operatic in spirit libretto La Passione di Gesù Cristo by the famous Pietro Metastasio.

In the second of these concerts, the choir and the orchestra of the Capella Cracoviensis ensemble, performing on historical instrument – which once again does not need introduction in Poland, Italy, France or the United Kingdom – under the leadership of their director, Jan Tomasz Adamus, will present the relationships and interaction between Italian and Polish music at the turn of the 17th century. They will accomplish this with works of Mikołaj Zieleński, inspired by the Venetian polychoral style and polyphonic madrigals, contained in two collections published in Venice: Offertoria totius anni and Communiones totius anni. One of these compositions, In monte Oliveti, gave the title to the entire concert, which will be complemented by works by another Pole, Bartłomiej Pękiel and the Italian Asprilio Pacelli.

Capella Cracoviensis is also the home of tenor Karol Kusz – founder of the Cracow Singers choir, famous for its extraordinary, often original projects, whom we will hear on 18 April at the ICE Kraków Congress Centre. They will perform alongside one of the most important early music ensembles, Concerto Italiano, its founder – conductor and harpsichordist Rinaldo Alessandrini and soloists: Sonia Tedla – soprano, Enrico Torre – alto, Luca Cervoni – tenor and Salvo Vitale – bass. They will perform quite an outstanding repertoire; we will hear three sacred gems of Italian Late Baroque: Credo in E minor RV 591 by Antonio Vivaldi, Stabat Mater in C minor by Antonio Maria Bononcini, and Miserere by Leonardo Leo.

The last Polish accent comes on Good Friday, when Cappella Neapolitana and Antonio Florio with soloists Leslie Visco – soprano, Anna Zawisza – soprano, Marta Fumagalli – alto, Alessio Tosi – tenor and Giuseppe Naviglio – bass, perform again at the ICE Kraków Congress Centre. We will hear them perform the sacred music of the early Baroque Neapolitan composer Antonio Nola, once very much appreciated, today being rediscovered.