The annual International Lviv Early Music Festival in 2022 will be held from August, 9 to August, 14. It will occur for the nineteenth time, within the “Ukraine-2022. Muses Are Not Silent” Project, launched by the Myroslav Skoryk Lviv National Philharmonic with a full-scale Russian military invasion of Ukraine.
The deep history of the Festival, established in 2003, encourages us to remember the countless and extraordinary events of the Ukrainian cultural scene. After all, this is the only festival in Ukraine that in such a dimension and at such a professional level presents the early music of different European countries, vocal and instrumental, church and secular, opera and oratorio. Founded by the famous musician Roman Stelmashchuk and, after his untimely death, continued by the leader of the famous choir “A cappella Leopolis” Lyudmyla Kapustina, this year the festival will once again be held under the patronage of the Lviv National Philharmonic.
During 5 concert days, six exceptional programs with the works of the Ukrainian and European Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque will be presented. Famous Ukrainian performers and bands, as well as foreign participants from Poland (Urszula Stawicka), Germany (Norbert Rodenkirchen) and France (Benjamin Bagby), will perform at the Early Music Festival. Masterpieces of early music will symbolize the idea that the past is not dead, as its response inevitably reaches our present.
Therefore, the title of the Festival will become the slogan “At the Edge of Time”. From the height of the present, it is essential for artists to reflect on the past, and to be as close as possible to new changes, despite the dangers; to respond decisively to the challenges of time. Even despite martial law in Ukraine, artistic life must go on, and in the most difficult conditions must remind us of the victorious vitality and value of creative expression from the distant past to the yet unknown future.
The Festival Preamble of the harpsichord works of the 17th-18th centuries will be performed by Urszula Stawicka on August, 9. The music of Podbielski, Scheidenmann, Duben, Froberger, as well as Forqueray, Couperin, Duphly and Schildt will provide a worthy display of the diverse culture of the past in the modern world, which is the main goal of the Festival.
Another important constant of the Early Music Festival is the presentation of the medieval and early modern musical culture of Ukraine to the world. That is why the opening program called “Duma-Ukraine” will be performed by Taras Kompanichenko, a famous performer of ancient instruments, on August 11. Ukrainian ancient chants, chivalric songs and songs from manuscript collections of the 17th-18th centuries will be heard.
On August 12, the third day of the festival will be marked by a chamber concert of harpsichord and vocal music accompanied by basso continuo, called “Lumi, potete piangere”. As the soloist, well-known countertenor Roman Melish notes, “We will feel how the European composers of the Renaissance and Baroque eras loved.” Also, other renowned performers from Kyiv will be Nataliia Fomenko, Nataliia Khmilevska and Dmytro Tretiak.
In the program on August 13, the performers will combine apparently distant instruments such as the nyckelharpa, which is still widely used in Scandinavian traditional music today, and the harpsichord, which has become a kind of symbol of aristocratic and refined baroque music. Soloists Olena Yeremenko and Hanna Ivanyushenko will reveal unique instrumental colours to the listeners.
On the final day of the Festival, August 14, the Philharmonic invites listeners to join two concerts with European performers. Based on his wide experience of medieval improvisation, Norbert Rodenkirchen uses rare musical patterns to weave a series of enchanting melodies in the style of travelling musicians. Ukrainian poet Ostap Slyvynsky will perform as a reader of ancient texts that will complement the aura of antiquity. The closing of the Lviv Early Music Festival will take place in the atmosphere of the performance of the leading European ensemble of medieval music “Sequentia”: Norbert Rodenkirchen and Benjamin Bagby will perform songs of medieval warriors in the “Discordia / Concordia” program.
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