At the 52nd International Festival Wratislavia Cantans, we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which has inspired a unique meeting at St Elizabeth’s Church, almost entirely devoted to Protestant music of the Renaissance and Baroque, as well as to the works of Josquin des Prez, truly worshiped by Martin Luther.
Today, the musical pieces of Josquin des Preza are one of the most revered works of the Renaissance. The Franco-Flemish composer is mainly recognized as the creator of unique religious music which he wrote before the Reformation. In some compositions he used specific numbers of sounds and bars to hide some philosophical messages. Not without reason, Martin Luther himself mentioned the work of des Prez: “While other musicians do what they can do with notes, Josquin does what he wants with them.” Luther held in high esteem also his close friend Johann Walter. The composer not only co-authored Protestant chorale (which, unlike the Gregorian chant, was sung in mother tongues), but also, on Luther's request, developed a first songbook for the followers of Reformation. Among the Protestant songs sung to date, we also find those by Johannes Eccard. Heinrich Schütz – one of the fathers of the German organist school more than a century later perfected by Johann Sebastian Bach, is certainly also distinguished in the group of artists responsible for the musical setting of the renaissance and baroque liturgical liturgies.
The pearls of Protestant will be performed by Vocalconsort Berlin. The ensemble was formed in 2003 and since then has collaborated with many renowned conductors, such as Marcus Creed, René Jacobs or Gary Cooper. The musicians specialize in the performance of baroque music, although they are known to have surprised the audience with interesting interpretations of contemporary compositions.