Paul McCreesh and the Wratislava Cantans Festival Orchestra – September 11, 2011 – Polski Radio –
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Music from the Wratislava Cantans Festival 2012 this week. Led by Paul McCreesh and offering one intensely soothing concert. Beginning with the Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis, followed by Howells Elegie for viola, string quartet and string orchestra, Samuel Barber’s Canzonetta for Oboe and Strings and ending with Elgar’s Symphony Number 1. All recorded by Polish Radio on September 11, 2011 and rebroadcast here via Radio Nacional España the following year.
The name “Wratislavia Cantans” is the Latin phrase for “Singing Wrocław”. The festival from the beginning has focused primarily on presenting the beauty of the human voice. Each year, concerts attract thousands of music lovers to the concert halls of the National Forum of Music, the historic interiors of Wrocław and a dozen or so cities of Lower Silesia. In recent years, the festival has hosted, among others Philippe Herreweghe, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Zubin Mehta, Cecilia Bartoli, Julia Lezhneva, Philippe Jaroussky, Mariusz Kwiecień, Jordi Savall, Marcel Pérès and such ensembles as: Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Collegium Vocale Gent, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Monteverdi Choir, Gabrieli Consort & Players, Il Giardino Armonico, The Swingle Singers, and English Baroque Soloists. Since 2008, Andrzej Kosendiak has been the festival’s general director, and since 2013, the outstanding Italian conductor and instrumentalist Giovanni Antonini has been the artistic director.
From the beginning, the festival’s events take place in the historic interiors of Wrocław, such as the churches: Basilica of St Elizabeth, Cathedral of St Mary Magdalene, Cathedral of St John the Baptist, University Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, Evangelical Augsburg Church of Divine Providence, Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross and Saint Bartholomew, and the White Stork Synagogue, as well as the Town Hall and university rooms (Aula Leopoldina, Oratorium Marianum). In the past, concert venues also included the Radio Wrocław Concert Hall and the hall of the former Wrocław Philharmonic.
Apart from Wrocław, Wratislavia Cantans concerts take place in the towns of Lower Silesia and Wielkopolska province, so far these have been: Bardo, Bielawa, Bolesławiec, Brzeg, Dzierżoniów, Głogów, Jelcz-Laskowice, Jelenia Góra, Kalisz, Kamieniec Ząbkowicki, Kłodzko, Krotoszyn, Krzeszów, Legnica, Lubiąż, Lubomierz, Milicz, Oleśnica, Oława, Polkowice, Prochowice, Strzegom, Szczawno-Zdrój, Syców, Środa Śląska, Świdnica, Trzebnica, Wałbrzych, Zgorzelec, and Żmigród.
Paul McCreesh is founder and artistic director of the Gabrieli Consort & Players. He has previously been the artistic director of the Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Wrocław, Poland and of the Brinkburn Festival in England. With the Gabrieli Consort & Players, McCreesh has performed in major concert halls and festivals across the world. In 2005 Loughborough University conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters. He made his name in the music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. In recent years he has also worked with modern instrument orchestras including the DSO Berlin, RSO Berlin, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Sinfónica de Euskadi, Stockholm Philharmonic and Beethovenhalle Bonn, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra Sinfonica dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia di Roma.
Relax and enjoy. You probably still have Christmas shopping to do.