Selections from the festival programme

The captivating beauty of spiritual madrigals

The opening concert will be dedicated to the ancient patroness of choral singing – Polyhymnia, one of the nine Muses who are the dominant theme of this year’s festival edition.
The genuine muse of the first festival evening will undoubtedly be Italian music, which in several waves inspired the musical culture of the 17th century in the rest of Europe. As part of the attractive dramaturgy, Ensemble Polyharmonique will offer a direct confrontation of Italian models and their echoes in Protestant Germany.
The concert will feature spiritual madrigals, concertos and motets by renowned masters, including Heinrich Schütz, Claudio Monteverdi and Michael Praetorius.
However, the programme will also include remarkable works by lesser-known authors. The work of Wolfgang Carl Briegel is presented by Alexander Schneider, artistic director of the Ensemble Polyharmonique:


Spiritual Madrigals and Concerts
in Venice and beyond the Alps


Tuesday 18. 07. 2023 | 20.00
The Church of Our Lady and Slavic Saints
Vyšehradská 49/320, Praha 1


Documentary | Alexander Schneider on the work of Wolfgang Carl Briegel

The documentary has been filmed in German. For subtitles in English or Czech, turn on the automatic translation in the bottom bar of YouTube.


Wolfgang Carl Briegel

The youngest work in the programme will be a trio of six-part choruses by W. C. Briegel (1626–1712) from his collection Zwölff Madrigalische Trost-Gesänge. The composer skilfully combines contrasting voice groups in these pieces and even uses a recitative style in Ich habe dich ein klein Augenblick verlassen, which is also the final piece of the whole collection. Perhaps that is why he did not hesitate to name his cycle madrigals.