Misteria Paschalia Festival 2022


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  • Tuesday, April 12, 2022 - Monday, April 18, 2022

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One of the most important festivals of early music in Europe, Misteria Paschalia is held every year during Holy Week. It showcases the most fascinating music penned between the Middle Ages and the 18th century, performed by acclaimed interpreters of early music.

The programme recalls Christian roots of European spirituality, presenting some of the most important works by early masters alongside forgotten pieces representing important compositional and performance traditions. The festival is the perfect opportunity for musical discoveries and hearing brand-new interpretations of classical music prepared through extensive studies and reconstruction.

This year’s resident artistic director Martyna Pastuszka, violinist and leader of the {oh!} Orkiestra Historyczna, one of the best Polish ensembles specialising in historical performances, proposes a very personal, intimate journey of self-discovery. The music of different styles and periods, from the Middle Ages to the Classicism, form an account on the Evangelical events but also tell a universal tale about the way of human transition: from fall, tragedy and trauma, to denial, acceptance and hope.

12.04.2022, 8pm / HOLY TUESDAY
Archcathedral Basilica of St Stanislaus and St Wenceslaus on Wawel Hill
Psalms of Confession GOMÓŁKA
Anna Zawisza – soprano
Polish Radio Choir
Compass Consort
Elizabeth Rumsey – treble viol, leader
Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett – artistic direction

The concert will crown the Mikołaj Gomółka: Melodie na psałterz polski. Opera Omnia [Mikołaj Gomółka: Melodies for the Polish Psalter. Opera Omnia] phonography project, carried out by the Polish Radio Choir in cooperation with Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett – an outstanding Polish singer, harpist and teacher. The project envisages recording all the psalms from the famous collection by Mikołaj Gomółka. The concert programme is set to present a selection of psalms, including all seven Psalms of Confession, arranged by a composer who left a particular mark on the history of Polish Renaissance, thus perfectly fitting into the symbolism of the first day of the festival.
Psalms from Gomółka’s collection, published in 1580, were written to illustrate texts in Polish (translated by Jan Kochanowski). These small pieces were composed as four-voice arrangements with symmetrical structure and clearly visible stanzas. The work was dedicated to the then Bishop of Kraków, Piotr Myszkowski, which inspired the organisers to host the concert at one of the most important churches of Polish Christianity – the Wawel Cathedral.

13.04.2022, 8pm / HOLY WEDNESDAY
ICE Kraków Congress Centre, Krzysztof Penderecki Auditorium Hall S1
Davidde penitente MOZART
Niccolò Jommelli – Miserere in G minor (HocJ C1.23)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Symphony No. 40 in G minor K. 550
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Davidde penitente K. 469
Vox Luminis XL
{oh!} Orkiestra Historyczna
Lionel Meunier – artistic director of vocal parts
Martyna Pastuszka – conductor, artistic direction

One of the most important concerts of this edition of the festival is the result of cooperation between two excellent ensembles: {oh!} Orkiestra Historyczna led by Martyna Pastuszka, festival’s ensemble-in-residence, probably the best Polish ensemble that specialises in historical performances, collaborating with Vox Luminis (performing in Kraków as Vox Luminis XL with regard to the extended line-up of singers), one of the most outstanding vocal ensembles in the world, led by Lionel Meunier. The staple of their programme will be the rarely performed oratorio by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Davidde penitente, a work first presented to the Viennese public in 1785. The texts in Italian written by Saverio Mattei are based mainly on the Biblical Book of Psalms and the First Book of Samuel. The concert will be complemented by Niccolò Jommelli’s Miserere in G minor, an exquisite example of stile antico, and the most famous of Mozart’s symphonies – Symphony No. 40, penned in the same key.

14.04.2022, 8pm / MAUNDY THURSDAY
ICE Kraków Congress Centre, Krzysztof Penderecki Auditorium Hall S1
Gesù Cristo negato da Pietro FUX

Ars Antiqua Austria
Gunar Letzbor – conductor

According to the Christian tradition, the day and night of Maundy Thursday are filled with key events of the story of the Salvation. One of them is Peter’s denial of Jesus, which is the main theme of the oratorio by Johann Joseph Fux, a composer who worked in the transition time from the Baroque to the Pre-Classical period. As a great admirer of the Renaissance composer Palestrina, active during the flourishing period of the Baroque and able to see first-hand the changes brought about by the oncoming classical period, Fux is best known as the author of a seminal treatise on counterpoint Gradus ad Parnassum. His Gesù Cristo negato da Pietro will be performed by the excellent ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria led by Gunar Letzbor.

15.04.2022, 8pm / GOOD FRIDAY 
ICE Kraków Congress Centre, Krzysztof Penderecki Auditorium Hall S1
Passio secundum Johannem SCARLATTI
Giuseppina Bridelli – mezzosoprano
Salvo Vitale – bas
Choeur de Chambre de Namur
Cappella Mediterranea
Leonardo García Alarcón – conductor

In Christian culture, Good Friday is the time of reverie and reminiscing about the passion and death of Christ. Traditionally, during the festival, we dedicate that day to works thematically related to the events that are said to have transpired on that day. During the 19th edition, we will listen to St John’s Passion by Alessandro Scarlatti, performed by last year’s would-be residents of the festival – Leonardo García Alarcón and his ensembles Cappella Mediterranea and the Choeur de Chambre de Namur (their live concerts were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Alarcón is not afraid to put his personal twist in Scarlatti’s work: he adds six responsories for Holy Week, also composed by Scarlatti, and puts them in the key moments of the plot, to give the listeners an opportunity to reflect and meditate upon the events (the responsories function in a manner similar to the chorales in Johann Sebastian Bach's Passions).

16.04.2022, 8pm / HOLY SATURDAY 
“Wieliczka” Salt Mine, St Kinga’s Chapel
Firenze 1350
A Medieval Florentine Garden

Sollazzo Ensemble
Anna Danilevskaia – vielle, artistic director

The concert programme reflects the ethical problem, which we take up at this point in our deliberations on the events of Holy Week. Following the tragedy and trauma of Good Friday, the experience of emptiness and abandonment on Holy Saturday leads us to a kind of denial. In this context, the programme proposed by Anna Danilevskaia – a Russian violinist and a fiddle (vielle) virtuoso – which takes us on a journey to medieval Florence seems like an apt fit. It is an extraordinary repertoire representing a highly developed musical culture with a very strong sense of identity; however, when listening to this music, we have to put aside the romantic narratives about Florence that we have known. In the mid-14th century, the city was going through a rough time. Back in the 1340s, several important banker families, including Bardi and Peruzzi, went bankrupt plunging the city into a deep economic crisis. In 1348, the plague started, decimating the population. Despite these tragic events, the local musical culture survived. The idyllic lyrics certainly clashed with the dramatic situation of the city and its residents, but the music also carried consolation. In Giovanni Boccaccio’s famous Decameron, a group of young people fleeing the plague gathers in a garden in the hills around Florence, spending time telling stories and making music. In a way, the Sollazzo Ensemble’s concert is meant to be such a metaphorical musical garden where you can forget about the outside world.

17.04.2022, 6pm / EASTER SUNDAY
ICE Kraków Congress Centre, Krzysztof Penderecki Auditorium Hall S1
Joseph Haydn – Symphony No. 49 in F minor “La Passione” Hob. I/49
Joseph Haydn – Symphony No. 30 in C major “Alleluja” Hob. I/30
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Exsultate, jubilate K. 165
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Symphony No. 41 in C major “Jupiter” K. 551
Florie Valiquette – soprano
Le Concert de la Loge
Julien Chauvin – violin, conductor

The programme of the Easter Sunday concert refers to the next stage of the mourning experience after Saturday’s denial – acceptance and reflection on the Good Friday tragedy through Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 49 “La Passione”, only to immediately move towards a joyful and solemn celebration of the resurrection through Mozart’s two masterpieces: Exsultate, jubilate and the famous Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter”. The concert will be performed by the excellent French ensemble Le Concert de la Loge led by the outstanding violinist Julien Chauvin. The ensemble was founded in 2014, with the ambition of reviving the tradition of an essential component of French musical history: the Concert de la Loge Olympique, founded in 1785 and considered one of the best European orchestras at the time. The ensemble has already joined us at the Misteria Paschalia Festival in 2017. The vocal parts will be performed by Florie Valiquette.

18.04.2022, 6pm / EASTER MONDAY
ICE Kraków Congress Centre, Krzysztof Penderecki Auditorium Hall S1
Die Jünger zu Emaus SCHUBACK
Stefan Sbonnik – tenor
Tomáš Král – baritone
Sreten Manojlović – bass-baritone
Polish Radio Choir
{oh!} Orkiestra Historyczna
Maria Piotrowska-Bogalecka – choir conductor
Martyna Pastuszka – conductor

The conclusion of the festival will be the contemporary premiere of Jacob Schuback’s oratorio Die Jünger zu Emaus. Jacob Schuback was a German lawyer and composer, active in Hamburg during the Baroque. While his works remain obscure and unknown to the public today, he was an extremely influential figure in the musical life of Hamburg in the first half of the 18th century. He collaborated with Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, exchange letters with Metastasio, published a treatise on declamation, and was a cantor and conductor. The oratorio performed during the festival’s final concert focuses on the meeting of two disciples with the risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus – an event that from a psychological point of view can be interpreted as a stimulus to cange and to take action. The concert will be performed jointly by the ensembles-in-residence of the 19th edition of the Misteria Paschalia Festival: {oh!} Orkiestra Historyczna and the Polish Radio Choir. Vocal parts sung by the choir will be prepared by Maria Piotrowska-Bogalecka, and the concert will be led by violinist Martyna Pastuszka, the festival's director-in-residence.



  • Organiser: City of Kraków, KBF
  • misteriapaschalia.com
  • MisteriaPaschalia
  • Tickets and festival passes available from 25 February 2022, noon, on kbfbilety.krakow.pl, at InfoKraków tourist information points and on eventim.pl. Free entry passes to the concert on 12 April 2022 available on kbfbilety.krakow.pl from 29 March 2022.
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