It is hard to imagine any other place with more connotations than Jerusalem, cultural in every sense of the word: its multitude of influences, of peoples, and its strong spiritual symbolism both within and outside Christianity over the centuries. This year’s edition of Banchetto musicale attempts to show but a few of these, allowing the audience to reflect upon the enduring influence of the Holy City upon the citizens of this world, past and present.
The festival’s opening concert will recall the journey to Jerusalem of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania’s Marshall M. K. Radziwiłł the Orphan, which took place in 1582–1584. It takes the form of a musical diary covering Palestine, Egypt, Crete and the Apennine Peninsula, created by Greek ensemble Ex Silentio. The ensemble Artefactum from Spain will present a programme of hymns to the Virgin Mary by the cosmopolitan King Alfonso the Wise (El Sabio).
The new historical organ located in the Franciscan Monastery Church in Vilnius, constructed by an international team of organ builders and inaugurated earlier this year, will be honoured in our festival with two organ solo recitals: a programme of Baltic Masters of the Baroque, performed by Gdańsk-based organist Andrzej Szadejko, as well as ‘An Wasserflüßen Babylon’, a recital presented by renowned scholar in the field of Renaissance and Early Baroque, Marcin Szelest – an organ recital that is also our festival’s contribution to the memory of the Hamburg organist and composer Johann Adam Reincken (1643–1722), in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of his death.
Prof. Detlef Bratschke from the University of the Arts in Bremen will lead a project of psalms by Königsberg-based composer Teodoro Riccio (c.1540–c.1600), a musical ambassador between Prussia and Poland.
The musical brainchild of artistic directors Gintautas Venislovas and Darius Stabinskas, ‘The Pillars of Heaven’ is a project created in honour of the lost Jewish population of Lithuania during the dark years of the Holocaust, with music by the Venetian-Jewish composer Salomone Rossi (c.1570–1630) and new compositions by Gintautas Venislovas based on the poems of the young Jewish-Lithuanian poet Matilda Olkinaitė, who was murdered along with her parents and sisters by White Armbanders in her native village of Panemunėlis, Lithuania, in July 1941.
Ensemble Organum from France will present ‘Chant des Templiers’ – hymns of the first Templars in 12th Century – from the manuscript of the Holy Sepulchre.
The Goldberg Baroque Ensemble, directed by Andrzej Szadejko, along with Lithuanian vocal ensemble Duodeco, will perform 18th-century gallant music from Vilnius and Lviv by Wojciech Dankowski and Jan-Piotr Habermann.
The closing event of this year’s festival, ‘Sehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem’, under the leadership of Christian Frattima, will be a programme of J.S. Bach church cantatas, composed in reflection of the suffering of Christ.
Musical education, as well as support for talented young artists, also forms part of this year’s edition. ‘Lauda Jerusalem’, a concert for children and families, will be presented by the ensemble Lux Musicae London. Banchetto Musicale has chosen for the Fringe Day two performances, which will be presented online. The young artists featured in the Fringe Day are: Fangchi Hsu & Consort Olentia Harmonia (Taiwan, Germany) and Pooyan Farzin & Danica Buric (Iran, Serbia). The masterclass tradition will continue this year with a singing workshop led by Marcel Pérès. The festival is also delighted to be hosting the second edition of the Sigismundus Lauxmin International Harpsichord Contest, a competition dedicated to the musical heritage of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
The festival’s events will take place in Vilnius on September 7–25, 2022, at the National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Franciscan Abbey, the St. Francis of Assisi (Bernardine) Church, and online.