During the Baroque era in Germany, the term ‘cantata’ referred to two types of works. It was used for describing secular vocal-instrumental pieces of extended length, often in different sections, and usually Italianate in style (with arias and recitatives). At the same time, vocal pieces of similar scope and instrumentation, but of a religious nature, were in great demand for the services of the Lutheran church. They were also called ‘geistliche Konzerte’ (sacred concertos). 


The best known of them were composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, whose output stands out not only by quantity but also by a high level of expertise and craftsmanship. Other masters of the genre include Dieterich Buxtehude, Christoph Graupner, Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel, and Georg Philipp Telemann, to name a few. ‘Geistliche Konzerte’ were composed mainly for occasions occurring in the liturgical calendar of the German Reformation era, including Passion cantatas for Good Friday. Their texts referred to relevant fragments of the Scriptures, whereas melodies of Lutheran hymns and chorales appeared as a cantus firmus or in four-part choral settings. 

The programme prepared for the festival by Patrick Ayrton and Arte dei Suonatori is built on a selection of works of the aforementioned composers, albeit with a surprise – or even two! The repertoire of the concert will remain a secret until the end, and it will be up to the audience to decide which cantata was penned by whom. In addition, one of the cantatas will be a fully experimental piece composed by… AI. Will the listeners be able to recognise it among works of old masters? 



Joanna Radziszewska-Sojka – soprano 

Rafał Tomkiewicz – countertenor 

Karol Kozłowski – tenor 

Sebastian Szumski – bass 

Arte dei Suonatori 

Marcin Świątkiewicz – harpsichord, artistic direction of the ensemble 

Patrick Ayrton – conductor, artistic direction of the concert