SUMMER FESTIVITIES OF EARLY MUSIC
14th international music festival
14 July – 6 August 2013
This July, the Summer Festivities of Early Music entered their fourteenth season. As each year, the festival took place in the exquisite surroundings of Prague’s historical architecture: Prague Castle, St. Agnes Cloister, New-Town Hall, Břevnov Monastery, and Troja Chateau. The programming focused on the musical tradition of Rome: the seven concerts illustrated the fascinating variety of genres and styles that thrived in the Renaissance and Baroque Rome as it held the status of one of the world’s music capitals.
The fourteenth edition of Summer Festivities of Early Music opened in full flourish: on 18 July the renowned Cantus Cölln appeared in the Spanish Hall of the Prague Castle. In a programme called Theatrum sacrum they performed splendid oratorios by Roman and German Baroque masters.
The festival further hosted artists from Spain, Portugal, Norway, and Holland, and offered programmes of music from the Middle Ages to the High Baroque. The night of 2 August was dedicated to one of the illustrious Roman authors, Arcangelo Corelli, whose innovations in instrumental music inspired several generations of composers.
On 6 August, the festival concluded with a grand Roman Festival, held in Prague Castle’s Spanish Hall. The programme, comprising arias by G. F. Haendel and A. Vivaldi, and orchestral pieces by Haendel and Corelli, was modelled on the opulent concert productions in the palaces of Roman cardinals. The brilliant French soprano Claire Lefilliâtre was accompanied by an ensemble created especially for this festive occasion – the joint baroque orchestras of Arte Dei Suonatori from Poland and the residential Collegium Marianum.
The festive and at the same time relaxed, summery atmosphere of the three festival weeks informed also the festival Preview on 14 July when the Baroque Clam-Gallas Palace in the Old Town was transformed into a Roman Palazzo in festa throbbing with Italian music and permeated by the aromas of caffè and gelato.