The Ukrainian media The Claquers published an interview with the Polish harpsichordist Urszula Stawicka, who came with a concert to the Myroslav Skoryk Lviv National Philharmonic during the Lviv Early Music Festival on August 9.
Although the full-scale phase of the war with the occupier Russia continues in Ukraine, foreign performers joined the Festival, which lasted for 5 days in August. Among them, besides Stawicka, also Norbert Rodenkirchen and Benjamin Bagby.
In the interview, she talked about the philharmonic atmosphere: “The Lviv National Philharmonic has perfect acoustics that works well with the instrument. Such a problematic instrument as the harpsichord often requires additional sound and acoustic support. It is also essential that the listener coming to a big concert hall expects to hear enough sound from anywhere, which is rarely possible to get from a harpsichord, unlike a grand piano”.
The performer also emphasized the criteria for selecting the program: “Program selection is the second thing that is more consistent over time. We concluded with the festival organizers that these works resonate with today’s war in Ukraine. Most of these works were created during the Thirty Years War, one of the greatest catastrophes in Europe. Therefore, this music carries a wide range of emotions and tensions. The program wasn’t aimed primarily at performing virtuosity but more at listening and emotional experience while listening to music”.
The conversation also was connected with the “Academy of Early Music” Foundation created by Stawicka (“Fundacja Akademia Muzyki Dawnej”), and the European cultural institutions’ functions: “In Poland, an institution of this type, such as a philharmonic or an opera, has one collective. It is rather unusual that the Lviv Philharmonic has several collectives. In Poland, either there is no such practice, or it is pretty rare, only for large institutions. Therefore, many collectives do not search but create organizations according to their requirements”.
Read about the Lviv Early Music Festival:
Urszula Stawicka noted: “The cultural heritage here is simply huge if we talk about Lviv and the region. You can find Renaissance works and many other things in local archives. But this work still needs to be done, and that’s what I miss here. Because you have a lot of creative and talented people, you need to give them even greater chances for development. I believe that due to the diversity of peoples and cultures that lived in Ukraine, it is possible to find various genres of ancient music. This also applies to the variety of forms because you can probably find ancient vocal music in Kyiv, but there was probably much more of this music in Lviv.”
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