Giovanni Antonini
(c) Sébastien Grébille

In Wroclaw, Poland, the International Wratislavia Cantans Festival is scheduled to start on September 6. Founded in 1966 by Andrzej Markowski as an event celebrating oratorios and cantatas, it focuses primarily on presenting the beauty of human voice. This year’s Wratislavia Cantans turns to the South, looks at the inspirations constantly coming from there, observes the cross-over of traditions, and looks for sources of our contemporary culture in this region.

The current artistic director of Wratislavia Cantans is Giovanni Antonini, the Italian conductor, flautist and director of Il Giardino Armonico. He says: « Everyone has his own vision of the South. For the inhabitants of Wrocław, this idea may embody my native Italy, meanwhile, living in Milan every day, I feel more like a resident of the North and think of further regions of Italy as the south. Certainly this is the direction that attracts us, in the biographies of many artists we find noteworthy memories of the journey to the south. Goethe, when he reached Sicily, is believed to have said that he found the source of everything. We have also created a well-established myth of the South, an ideal place in which dolce vita prevails. »

Wratislavia will be inaugurated by the vocal music of the Coptic Church originating from Egypt, and thus outside of Europe – even further to the south. Two days later patrons will listen to the Byzantine chorale of the Orthodox Church from the south of Europe – Greece. Marcel Pérès with Ensemble Organum and Moroccan artists will present Mozarabic singing in the Catholic Church on the Iberian Peninsula during the Moorish era – when the South somehow entered Europe.

A concert with typically southern, African elements will be the programme presented by Giovanni Sollima, specially prepared for the Wrocław festival.

Antonini: « Naturally, the question arises about the music from the other extreme, from the North – the answer is the Fairytales programme also referring to folk culture manifesting itself in fairy tales: we will listen mainly to Dutch and Scandinavian works. I am very interested in a programme with Polish folklore, as folk music around the world had a major impact on the development of classical art in the nineteenth century, and today we observe a return to ‘music of our ancestors’ which may be related to our own time of redefining the identity of Europeans. »

The South at the festival is of course also present in concerts with Italian music. So, with Il Giardino Armonico and soloists, Antonini will present Antonio Vivaldi’s Juditha triumphans.

Already on the second day of the festival, a spectacular work involving vast performance forces – Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 is on the program. The concert will be a tribute to the great conductor Zubin Mehta. It will be one of his last concerts as Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The musicians will perform together with the NFM Boys’ Choir and NFM Choir – the collaboration of guest artists with Wrocław artists has been an important part of Wratislavia Cantans for many years.

The festival will end with one of the greatest operas of the 20th century, Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin.

6.09.2019, Friday, 7 pm
Wrocław, Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross and St Bartholomew (kolegiata Świętego Krzyża i św. Bartłomieja)
Coptic Hymns
Michael Ghattas – conductor
Radi Morcos – cantor
Coptic Orthodox Church Choir of Sacred Music
Coptic Hymns

7.09.2019, Saturday, 5 pm
Wrocław, NFM, Red Hall (Red Hall)
Domenico Scarlatti – Ptolemeusz i Aleksander
Domenico Scarlatti – Tolomeo e Alessandro
Jarosław Thiel – conductor
Wrocław Baroque Orchestra
Domenico Scarlatti Tolomeo e Alessandro – concert version

7.09.2019, Saturday, 8:30 pm
Wrocław, NFM, Main Hall (Sala Główna)
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra & Zubin Mehta | Mahler – Symphony No. 3
Zubin Mehta – conductor
Mihoko Fujimura – mezzo-soprano
NFM Choir
Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny – artistic director of the NFM Choir
NFM Boys’ Choir
Małgorzata Podzielny – artistic director of the NFM Boys’ Choir
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 3

8.09.2019, Sunday, 4:30 pm
Wrocław, Church of St Stanislaus, St Dorothy and St Venceslaus (kościół pw. św. Stanisława, św. Doroty i św. Wacława)
Beatum Incendium | Medieval Manuscripts
Pedro Memelsdorff – artistic direction
Mala Punica
Johannes Ciconia – motets; anonymous works from medieval manuscripts (among others Codex Faenza and Buxheimer Orgelbuch)

8.09.2019, Sunday, 8 pm
Wrocław, Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross and St Bartholomew (kolegiata Świętego Krzyża i św. Bartłomieja)
In the Shade of the Holy Mount Athos | Greek Byzantine Choir
Georgios Konstantinou – conductor
Greek Byzantine Choir
Works in honour of the Mother of God, traditional music from the Holy Mount Athos, and compositions by the Byzantine master Ioannis Koukouzelis

9.09.2019, Monday, 7 pm
Wrocław, NFM, Black Hall (Sala Czarna)
Fairy Tales. Finding or Losing Our Identity – a MusMA concert
Jessica Bäcklund – soprano
Elin Lannemyr – alto
Love Tronner – tenor
David Wijkman – baritone
Stina Ekblad – narrator
Krzysztof Rau Foam
Jean-François Jung The Formidable Mill
Andrea Tarrodi Vintergatan (The Milky Way)
Liesbeth Decrock I Am
Aart Strootman Once Upon a Two Times Three

10.09.2019, Tuesday, 7 pm
Wrocław, Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross and St Bartholomew (kolegiata Świętego Krzyża i św. Bartłomieja)
A Mediterranean Mosaic | Mozarabic Chant
Marcel Pérès – artistic direction
Ensemble Organum
Mozarabic chant with Moroccan samaa singers

11.09.2019, Wednesday, 7 pm
Wrocław, Church of St Mary Magdalene, Polish National Catholic Cathedral (kościół pw. św. Marii Magdaleny, katedra Kościoła polskokatolickiego)
Dixit Dominus – from Venice to Naples
Giulio Prandi – conductor
Coro e Orchestra Ghislieri
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi Mass in D Major
Niccolò Jommelli Miserere a 4 per S. Pietro in Roma
Antonio Vivaldi Dixit Dominus RV 594

12.09.2019, Thursday, 7 pm
Wrocław, University Church of the Blessed Name of Jesus (kościół Uniwersytecki pw. Najświętszego Imienia Jezus)
Alessandro Scarlatti – Rediscovered Works
Paolo Da Col – conductor
Alessandro Scarlatti Missa defunctorum, Magnificat

13.09.2019, Friday, 7 pm
Wrocław, NFM, Main Hall (Sala Główna)
Vivaldi – Juditha Triumphans
Giovanni Antonini – conductor
Il Giardino Armonico
Sonia Prina – Juditha (contralto)
NFM Choir
Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny – artistic director of the NFM Choir
Antonio Vivaldi Juditha Triumphans – oratorio RV 644

14.09.2019, Saturday, 5 pm
Wrocław, NFM, Red Hall (Sala Czerwona)
Songs from the Forests and Fields | Traditional Polish Folk Music
Joanna Janik, Oliwia Łuszczyńska, Zofia Tarasiewicz, Feliksa Cierlik, Michalina Mrozik – vocals
Góralski Teatr Pieśni „Dunawiec” ze Zbylutowa (Highland-style song theatre ensemble ‘Dunawiec’ from Zbylutów)
Zespół „Waliszowianie” z Nowego Waliszowa (The ‘Waliszowianie’ ensemble from Nowy Waliszów)
Zespół Łemkowski „Łastiwoczka” z Przemkowa (Lemko ensemble ‘Łastiwoczka’ from Przemków)
Zespół „Gościszowianie” z Gościszowa; gm. Nowogrodziec (The ‘Gościszowianie’ ensemble from Gościszów; commune of Nowogrodziec)
Traditional Polish folk music

14.09.2019, Saturday, 8 pm
Wrocław, Holy Name of Jesus University Church (kościół Uniwersytecki pw. Najświętszego Imienia Jezus)
Weneckie inspiracje
Andrzej Kosendiak – conductor
Wrocław Baroque Ensemble
Mikołaj Zieleński

15.09.2019, Sunday, 4 pm
Wrocław, The White Stork Synagogue (Synagoga pod Białym Bocianem)
Sud, sud – a Musical Journey From Rome Beyond the Mediterranean Sea
Giovanni Sollima – cello
TBA – cello
TBA – theorbo
Baroque, Folk, and Contemporary Music of the South:
Giovanni Battista Costanzi Sinfonia in B flat Major for violoncello and b.c.
Eliodoro Sollima Sonata 1959 for cello
Giulio de Ruvo Romanella, Ciaccona, Tarantella for cello
Bartolomé de Selma y Salaverde Fantasia No. 5 for cello and b.c.
Moj e bukura more Moj E Bukura More (traditional Albanian melody from Sicily) for cello
Iannis Xenakis Kottos for cello
Zèzèzè (Ngòmbì chant from Central Africa) for cello
Francesco Scipriani Toccata No. 5 for cello and b.c.
Giovanni Sollima Lamentatio for cello
Santu Paulu (traditional melody from the Salento region) for cello and b.c.

15.09.2019, Sunday, 7 pm
Wrocław, NFM, Main Hall (Sala Główna)
Summertime – Porgy and Bess
Wayne Marshall – conductor
Angela Renée Simpson – soprano
Indira Mahajan – soprano
Ronald Samm – tenor
Kevin Short – baritone
Hertfordshire Chorus
David Temple – artistic director of the Hertfordshire Chorus
NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
George Gershwin Porgy and Bess – concert version

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