Early Music Concert Filharmonia Narodowa

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Early Music Concert
Period Instruments Ensemble of the Polish Royal Opera Capella Regia Polona, photo: Maciej Czerski

In early modern Europe, it was received wisdom that every self-respecting ruler ought to maintain a music ensemble, the basic duties of which would include embellishing religious ceremonies. Professional music ensembles were also attached to major churches (after the fashion of Roman vocal ensembles), to mention but the chapel of Wawel Cathedral in Kraków. Music and archive sources confirm that such an imperative was taken seriously by the nobility in the seventeenth-century Commonwealth of Poland–Lithuania, which spent large sums on raising the standard of music at courts and in churches. Sacred music, ostensibly linked to an exclusively religious context, not only served to suitably enhance church services, but also reflected the splendour of a court, and sometimes of an entire state. The extant repertoire from the lands of the Commonwealth confirms the awareness of the latest trends emerging on the Apennine Peninsula at that time. Italy provided numerous European courts with instruments, repertoire and artists. New genres and styles spread across Europe thanks to migrating musical sources and musicians themselves, who were employed at Polish courts as well. We will learn about all of this during a concert given by the Capella Regia Polona soloists and ensemble, during which we will hear vocal and vocal-instrumental works by leading representatives of the early Baroque in Poland, who were also perfectly au fait with current trends.

Bartłomiej Gembicki