The sounds of Renaissance lute songs will welcome us right from the threshold in the walls of Wawel Castle. Such is the beginning of this unusual festival evening that will become a magical journey in time. During an independent walk through the state rooms on the second floor of the castle, we will also be accompanied by polonica from European lute tablatures and compositions by Francesco Rognoni and Tarquinio Merula interpreted by musicians of the La Morra ensemble. Their melodies carry history with them and form a special synthesis of arts along with historical interiors: paintings, tapestries and painted friezes at Wawel ceilings. 

The culmination of the evening will be brought by sounds of voices and instruments intertwined in one story that will resound in the majestic Senators’ Hall. La Morte vinta, the work by Marc’Antonio Ziani from the sepolcro genre, is not only a concert performed by outstanding artists from Les Traversées Baroques but also an intricate parable of death that must give in to the mystery of the Resurrection. Written specially for the Austrian emperor Joseph I and his entourage, Ziani’s composition is also a dialogue of histories of two royal courts in Vienna and Kraków. 

The last sounds will not be the end of this journey in time on which we will set off during the Good Friday evening. The participants should expect a surprise like a chapter concluding an unusual story: an opportunity to penetrate into unknown and unobvious places hidden from the eyes of an ordinary tourist. 




A walk through the Wawel royal chambers



La Morra:

Ivo Haun de Oliveira – vocal, lute

Michał Gondko – lute

Irena Troupová – soprano

Vojtěch Jakl – violin

Corina Marti – harpsichord


In programme:

Renaissance lute songs

Polonica from European lute tablatures (ca. 1600)

Francesco Rognoni (ca. 1570 – after 1626)

Tarquinio Merula (ca. 1595–1665)







Les Traversées Baroques: 

Il Demonio:  Yannis François – bass-baritone 

L’Anima d’Adamo: Capucine Keller – soprano  

La Natura Umana: François-Nicolas Geslot – countertenor 

La Fede: Dagmar Šašková – mezzo-soprano 

La Morte: Maximiliano Baños – countertenor 

Judith Pacquier, Liselotte Emery – cornett 

Claire McIntyre – trombone  

Monika Fischalek – bassoon  

Jasmine Eudeline, Jorlen Vega – violin 

Ronald Martin Alonso, Christine Plubeau – viola da gamba 

Clara Fellmann – cello 

Laurent Stewart – positive organ, harpsichord 

Etienne Meyer – conductor 



Marc’Antonio Ziani (ca. 1653–1715)

La Morte vinta (1706)


Sepolcro is a unique genre, closely related not only to a specific period of the liturgical year (it is performed only in the Easter Triduum, between Entombment and Resurrection ceremonies) but also to a specific place: the Imperial Chapel of the Viennese court, where it was performed annually for around 75 years. It was a kind of oratorio with paratheatrical elements (costumes, scenography) but with a limited storyline, focusing on disputes and meditations around Christ’s death by figures connected with these events, as well as allegorical personifications such as Death, Peace or Human Soul. 

In the work composed by Marc’Antonio Ziani, this oratorical joust takes place between the Devil (Demon), who rejoices in Christ’s death, and Death itself, which claims a victory over the Saviour, who was to be ‘life itself’. Meanwhile, in the midst of this rhetorical dispute, the allegory of Human Nature intervenes, bitterly mourning the death of its Saviour, but in turn insulted and threatened by the Devil for not having been redeemed from his sins. This is followed by interventions from Faith and Adam’s Soul, which profess Christ’s triumph over death. 

Ziani’s La Morte vinta was performed for the first time for Emperor Joseph I and his court on the evening of Good Friday in 1706. The dramaturgical dimension of the work – the signature element of the genre – is built both by Bernardoni’s poetic text and by Ziani’s splendid music. The composer – the deputy kapellmeister of the Vienna Court Chapel – displays a perfect mastery of counterpoint, while the orchestration, essentially in five-part strings, is skilfully enriched with cornets, trombones and bassoons to emphasise certain arias and characters (for example, the Devil). In La Morte vinta, Ziani showed how to combine the intelligibility of the poetic word with the eloquence of music, and his artistic intentions will be masterfully expressed by the Les Traversées Baroques ensemble under the direction of Etienne Meyer.