Andreas Scholl / fot. Rolf Walter
Wratislavia Cantans
The Elements
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall

Jean-Féry Rebel Les  Élémens: Le cahos
Johann Sebastian Bach Zerreißet, zersprenget, zertrümmert die Gruft – cantata BWV 205
Jean-Féry Rebel Les Élémens: Loure I: La terre et l'eau; Chaconne: Le feu
Johann Sebastian Bach Schleicht, spielende Wellen – cantata BWV 206


Andrzej Kosendiak – conductor
Chen Reiss – soprano
Andreas Scholl – countertenor
Thomas Cooley – tenor
Tomáš Král – baritone
Zbigniew Pilch – violin, viola d’amore
Christoph Urbanetz – viola da gamba
Rodrigo Gutiérrez, Daniel Ramírez Escudero – oboes d'amore
Jana Semerádová, Małgorzata Klisowska – traverse flutes
NFM Choir
Lionel Sow – artistic direction of NFM Choir
Wrocław Baroque Orchestra
Jarosław Thiel – artistic direction of Wrocław Baroque Orchestra

120 min
NFM, Main Hall
plac Wolności 1, 50-071 Wrocław
from 30 to 130 zł

The concert programme of the Wrocław Baroque Orchestra conducted by Andrzej Kosendiak, crowning the 58th International Festival Wratislavia Cantans , will feature works of two Baroque artists. Among them are two cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach. The music of Jean-Féry Rebel may be a discovery for many listeners. The works of both composers are connected by the theme of the power of nature.

How to represent chaos with music? Jean-Féry Rebel in his ballet Les élémens decided on a trick that was radical for those times, and still makes a huge impression on unsuspecting listeners today. The composer uses all the notes of the D minor harmonic scale at once, which results in a dense and blatantly dissonant consonance. This trick later became a great “discovery” of the 20th-century avant-garde and is now known as a cluster. The sharp dissonance played forte by the whole ensemble immediately catches the attention of the listeners. A moment later, Rebel introduces suggestive motifs symbolising individual elements. Sometimes falling, sometimes rising, the melody of the flutes symbolizes water; the piercing trills of the piccolo flute are air, the sharp sounds of the strings in small rhythmic values are fire, and the long-held, stable and low sounds of the double basses are a symbol of the earth. It is radical music, and despite the fact that it was first heard in 1738, it is still surprisingly fresh. Two other movements from this ballet will also be played. The loure, a slow French dance from Normandy, is titled Earth and Water, while the energetic chaconne is titled Fire.

Zerreißet, zersprenget, zertrümmert die Gruft is a secular cantata by Bach with a text by Picander. The composition was commissioned in 1725 by the students of the University of Leipzig, who celebrated the name day of one of the professors, August Friedrich Müller, with its performance. The piece was played under the title Der zufrieden gestellte Aeolus.  Pallas Athena, together with Zephyr (god of the gentle west wind) and Pomona (goddess of harvest), try to appease the ruler of the winds, Aeolus, so that he does not interfere with the ceremony in honour of the professor. Schleicht, spielende Wellen is another secular cantata by the Leipzig cantor, dominated by aquatic motifs. It was written in 1736 on the birthday of the Polish king (and Elector of Saxony) August III, and is a musical tribute to the ruler. Each of the four solo voices symbolizes a different river: the bass is the Vistula, the tenor is the Elbe, the alto is the Danube, and the soprano is Pleissa.

Accompanying event of the International Congress City-Water-Life Quality taking place on October 24-25, 2023 in Wrocław

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