This September, our loyal audiences and visitors to Vilnius will be able to attend the 27th Banchetto musicale Early Music Festival. Eleven concerts have been organised where everyone is sure to discover their favourite soloists, ensembles, composers and works. Music from different lands and performers from various corners of Europe and the world gather in Vilnius each year for this annual banquet of early music.The festival's organisers have chosen the internationally celebrated 500th anniversary of the Reformation as this year's theme. Posting his theses on the doors of the Wittenberg Cathedral in 1517, Martin Luther started an uproar which ultimately led to the spreading of a movement that grew into an entire epoch, and contributed significantly to the history of humanity. Many of this year’s festival concerts will thus in one way or another touch on the legacy of the Reformation, reminding us of the significant music creators from that time.
The festival's opening performance is the theatricalized concert “A Journey to Königsberg”, directed by the Spanish director Adrián Schvarzstein. Not a stranger to Lithuania, Schvarzstein will offer our audience another staging in which everyone will be drawn into the action of the story. Ensemble Morgaine will take us on a journey around the Reformation churches of the 16th–17th centuries in Germany, Prussia and Lithuania Minor, while also honouring the forefathers of Lithuanian writing. German Lutheran composers' music will be featured in “Lamentations of Jeremiah”, a program arranged by the Brevis soloists and consort, which will be broadcast to an international audience live on Euroradio on September 15. Danish ensemble Blackguard will present a musical narrative based on the surviving letters of King Christian IV of Denmark. Two concerts are dedicated to the music of J. S. Bach – the Baroque genius, a devoted Lutheran whose contribution to the Lutheran Church music was fundamental. Selected organ works shall be played at the recital of French historical keyboardist Benjamin Alard, while the crown of the festival will be the performance of three of Bach's Reformation cantatas.
Fans of medieval music will be spoilt this year by the Greek ensemble Ex Silentio and their program of colourful music from the lands of the Mediterranean region. In a diametrically opposite, serene atmosphere, the voices of the German women's ensemble Ars Choralis Coeln will open the pages of early manuscript hymns, revealing the ideas of the devotio moderna movement.
The performance of one of the most celebrated Spanish music groups Accademia del Piacere will certainly be brimming with Southern temperament. The viola da gamba duet Les Voix humaines from Canada is offering two concerts – one for children, which will tell the story of a boy born into royalty, Louis XIV, the Sun King; while the other will focus on the repertory of the French court for two violas. This duet will also join the musicians of the Brevis consort in “The Lamentations of Jeremiah”.
The festival's concerts will be taking place on September 7–23, 2017 at the National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, the Franciscan Monastery Church and the Sts. Johns’ Church in Vilnius.