The Slovenia Times

New takes on early music at Radovljica Festival

A violin. Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Radovljica, a town in the north-west of the country, will host the 41st iteration of its signature early music festival from 5 to 22 August. The programme features new music set to 12th century poetry as well as music from later centuries performed on periodic instruments.

In one of the highlights the Festival Baroque Orchestra will perform Alessandro Scarlatti's dramatic oratorio on the Biblical story of Judith from 1693 at St Peter's Church on 7 August. The orchestra features 20 musicians as well as world renowned solo singers.

Most of the other concerts will be held at Radovljica Manor in the medieval heart of the city, including the opening concert where Hanna Marti, a Swiss vocalist and harpist, will take the audience back to the 12th century through a werewolf story by French poet Marie de France, who was associated with the court of Henry II of England.

There will be lute music from the Italian Renaissance, courtesy of American lutenist Paul Kieffer, and madrigals by the most prominent Italian composers of the 16th century will be performed by the renowned Italian early music vocal ensemble La compagnia del madrigale.

Chamber suites by Francois Couperin, preformed at the French court in the final years of the reign of Louis XIV, will be interpreted by Slovenian recorder player and masterclass teacher Mateja Bajt alongside Austrian harpsichordist Johannes Bogner.

The programme also features Viennese arias with obbligato trombone. The festival has a tradition of featuring Franz Schubert's music on period instruments. This time, Anne Freitag performing on the flute and Gilad Katznelson on the historical piano will present lieder, variations, and ballads themed around the Dance of Death.

The series devoted to Bach's music will continue with his sonatas for violin and harpsichord by Erich Höbarth and Aapo Häkkinen. Piano fantasias and related repertoire from the 19th century will be performed by Spanish pianist Rosalia Gomez Lasheras.

The festival will conclude with a musical comedy depicting the battle between the aristocratic instruments of the old regime and Italian virtuosos on violin and cello.

For dates and further details click here.


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