A glittering festival of early music – culture – news

author: Andreas Meixner

June 6, 2022

  • The culmination of early music days in R.gensburg: The band Jupiter from France almost took the audience out of their seats in the historic Reichssaal. Photos: www.altrofoto.de/Uwe Moosburger
  • Tradition: Domspatzen in Dreieinigkeitskirche
  • Crowds at night concert in Schottenkirche: Les Meslanges made a guest appearance here.

Regensburg.It’s Pentecost again. And after two difficult years of the pandemic, with a cancellation in 2020 and postponement in 2021 to autumn by just three festival days, the Early Music Days are returning to their traditional place in the annual cycle.

Concerters from near and far also return, mostly in ordinary numbers. Keeping your distance is no longer an option, and in your pews you often sit shoulder to shoulder again. The longing for cultural experiences is apparently uninterrupted, at least among early music lovers.

Traditionally, the Regensburger Domspatzen opens the festival on Friday evening in the Dreieinigkeitskirche. Together with the Hofkapelle Munich, they celebrate Mozart’s music with his great mass Credo and Vesperae solennes de configureore. The repertoire value itself is manageable, but the high quality of the interpretation is the measure of everything. Domkapellmeister Christian Heiss creates a powerful and inspired whole of the choir, soloists and orchestra, with consistent tempos and precisely sharpened articulation. Then we went to the Schottenkirche at night with atmospheric dense music from France in honor of Louis XIII as interpreted by Thomas Van Essen and the band Les Meslanges.

Live festival days

The morning of the next day was full of passionate attempts to reconstruct Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantatas and concerts with the Belgian group Les Muffatti conducted by Bart Jacobs. The technically successful and directed video projection from the organ gallery down to the presbytery made the concert a visual and acoustic experience. During the festival, Ahrend from Dreieinigkeitskirche was played for the first time on the new organ. As in the later concert with the sonorous motets of Hieronymus Praetorius (Alamire & His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts from Great Britain), the instrument with its characteristic feet turned out to be a sonic pearl and a great addition to the design of early instrumental and vocal music. .

On the second day of the festival in the afternoon, the vocal band Blue Heron (USA) made up for the concert originally planned for 2020 with fragments of the famous and groundbreaking collection “I Madrigali a cinque voci” by Cipriano de Rore in Schottenkirche. Katja Schild undertook the recitation of sonnets about love and death to music in an extremely sensual and gentle way in language and gesture. On the other hand, singers rarely found tonal and emotional variation, and the middle voices often struggled with hazy intonation. Some beginnings also seemed strangely fragile, it was always a long time before the uniqueness and magic of this vocal polyphony blossomed in madrigals.

It was different at the night concert of the 10-person Portuguese group Cupertinos with Advent vocal music by Manuel Cardoso. In a closed circle, the group contemplatively celebrated the Ordinary “Missa Dominicarum Adventus et Quadragesimae” and motets with southern European fervor, focused on content and impressive creative power. The peculiar but all the more amusing pieces by composers Michael Corrette and Johann Bernhard Bach were previously in the program of the Le Phénix Orchestra and Vital Julian Frey on harpsichord in St. Emmeramskirche on Saturday afternoon.

Concert “Viva Vivaldi!” of the French band Jupiter in the crowded Reich knocked the audience off their feet. Anyone who has been able to experience the furious, fiery and energetic art of interpretation under the guidance of lute player Thomas Dunford on Pentecost Sunday morning will not want to hear Vivaldi’s music, baroque music in general, or any other means.

The fiery art of interpretation

Lea Desandre made a big contribution to the fireworks with her breathtaking singing skills. With grace and almost impudent nonchalance, she struggled through the coloratura of her arias, not letting them turn into soulless vocal artistry. The same, but tender and intimate, he is completely in love sadness, in constant synergy and interweaving with the instrumentalist and sympathetic Thomas Dunford, who, despite his finger injury in the second part of the concert for lute and strings, completely transports the listener into the world.

The Minorite Church of the Historical Museum once again proves to be an ideal place for late medieval early music. On Sunday afternoon, Grace Newcombe and her Swiss band Rumorum invited to the music of the 14th century. Thanks to vocals, gothic harp, clavisimbalum, shawm and bagpipes, specialists traced French influences in Italian music of that time and thus marked the center of the lively and inspiring Early Music Days 2022.

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