Wrocław Baroque Ensemble / fot. Łukasz Rajchert
Wrocław Baroque Ensemble / fot. Łukasz Rajchert
Wratislavia Cantans
Power and Passion
7:00 PM
Głogów, Collegiate Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary

Alessandro Stradella San Giovanni Battista – oratorio


Andrzej Kosendiak – conductor
Piotr Olech – San Giovanni Battista (countertenor)
Alicia Amo – Erodiade Figlia  (soprano)
Tomáš Král – Erode (baritone)
Bożena Bujnicka – Erodiade Madre (soprano)
Krystian Adam Krzeszowiak – Consigliero (tenor)
Aldona Bartnik (soprano), Aleksandra Turalska (soprano), Maciej Gocman (tenor), Radosław Pachołek (countertenor), Volodymyr Andruschak (bass-baritone) – Discepoli
Wrocław Baroque Ensemble

Głogów, Collegiate Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary
plac Kolegiacki 10, 67-200 Głogów

In the Power and Passion concert, Wrocław Baroque Ensemble conducted by Andrzej Kosendiak. The oratorio San Giovanni Battista by the Italian composer of the Baroque era Alessandro Stradella features in the programme. This striking work based on a biblical story was written by an artist whose life was as dramatic as the events narrated in his work.

Stradella was one of the most popular composers of his time. The most famous were his vocal and instrumental works: operas, oratorios and cantatas. His great talent went hand in hand with his love of riotous life and engaging in numerous affairs. When he seduced the mistress of one of his patrons, he had to flee Venice for Turin, and the betrayed nobleman hired paid murderers to kill Stradella. He miraculously survived, and since the client’s involvement in the plot to murder the composer was revealed, a huge scandal broke out. The artist fled to Genoa, where he got into another romance. This time, however, he was less fortunate and was stabbed to death in Piazza Banchi in February 1682. He was only forty-three years old.

The San Giovanni Battista was first performed in Rome in 1675. However, also there, Stradella was not lucky – he was famous for his promiscuous lifestyle, and numerous affairs combined with the embezzlement of church money forced him to leave the Eternal City. His emotional, colourful music full of melodies enjoyed great popularity, which was only overshadowed by Italian composers in the next century, such as Vivaldi and Corelli. The story of John the Baptist, who was condemned to beheading in result of a plot by Herod’s wife, Herodias, is a parable of power. This dramatic work was unjustly forgotten for many years. However, it has also had spectacular returns to the stages. These include the performance in Perugia in 1949, during which the role of Salome was performed by Maria Callas.


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