Autumn fruit of the festival

Friday 2 November 2018

The trumpet shall be heard on high,

The dead shall live, the living die,

And music shall untune the sky

G.F. Handel: Ode for St Cecilia’s Day

With these words, Fflur Wyn and the combined forces of the Polish Radio Choir and Dunedin Consort concluded the 15th edition of the Misteria Paschalia Festival in excellent style. Despite the fact that nearly eight months have passed since that event, we can still enjoy the fruit of this year’s edition and the collaboration between the Polish and international music scenes.


The Misteria Paschalia Festival is presented by Mezzo television as one of the main points of Mezzo Live HD programming for November. Just pay a visit to the main site of the TV station – immediately, you can see a photograph from the Il terremoto concert from 2017 and a link to a page with information about the reports from the festival. This year, Mezzo Live HD and Mezzo will present a total of almost 60 broadcasts of concerts recorded during the last two editions of the festival. Thus, thanks to cooperation with this most prestigious classical music channel, 55 million viewers in over 60 countries around the world will have the opportunity to listen to masterpieces of Baroque music presented in Krakow. The roster of performers that we will soon be able to admire on our TV screens will also include Polish artists, such as the Polish Radio Choir, Capella Cracoviensis, Arte dei Suonatori and a large group of Polish soloists.


The first four retransmissions have been presented on Saturday. Viewers were in for a full set of concerts recorded in 2017, including Antonio Draghi’s Il terremoto, Jean Gilles’ Messe des morts and Claudio Monteverdi’s Selva Morale. The cherry on top of the set was the finale concert of the 2018 edition – Purcell & Handel: Arias and Odes performed by Dunedin Consort and the Polish Radio Choir led by John Butt, director-in-residence of this year’s festival.


But the TV broadcasts are not all there is in store! At the beginning of October, Linn Records, which is a subsidiary of Outhere Music Group, released an album recorded during the Misteria Paschalia Festival – Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day. In their review, The Guardian summed up the final verses of the album by saying: “It’s one of the greatest moments in all of Handel, superbly realised by Carolyn Sampson and the Dunedin Consort under John Butt, working here with the Polish Radio Choir.”


Later this month, another release will enable us to journey back to the Basilica of Corpus Christi, where on Holy Thursday the Cracow Singers ensemble premiered the Lamentationes by the Polish master of Renaissance polyphony, Wacław of Szamotuły, reconstructed by Marc Lewon. At the initiative of the Equinum Foundation and thanks to the support of the National Cultural Centre, which is also a partner of the Krakow concert, as well as several other partners, it was possible to record this work performed by Cracow Singers, who were led again by Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett. The album is set to hit the stores on November 30th.


We believe that these are not the last fruits of friendships and partnerships established on the occasion of the Misteria Paschalia Festival. Only on November 1st, during a concert in the church of St Catherine of Alexandria, Capella Cracoviensis was led by Skip Sempé, who started collaborating with the Krakow-based ensemble with the memorable concert, where the Capella choir presented Jean Gilles’ Messe des morts together with Capriccio Stravagante led by Sempé. We have already heard some rumours about the upcoming joint projects of the festival artists. We keep our fingers crossed and cheer for all of them!


Meanwhile, we will soon present the programme of the upcoming edition and invite all lovers of early music on a journey through various places in Italy that still hide their musical secrets. We hope that you will join us and let yourself be surprised more than once.


Joanna Broniec