People have to find the brightest pearl themselves
German recorder and Italian cello
First artist and concert Ķirsis advises to notice at this great festival programme is German recorder virtuoso Dorothee Oberlinger. „A recorder is truly an instrument most associated with baroque. This woman is an excellent musician showing a virtuosity with her instrument. I dare to say, she is the leading musician in her field right now. I have not experienced such musical quality anywhere else.” He thinks it is great that such well-known musician comes to Latvia. A recorder is seriously taught at Riga Dome Choir School, so both students and teachers will be able to experience how such an excellent musician plays her recorder. Dorothee Oberlinger will perform on 12 July at Riga Small Guild together with clavecinist Ieva Saliete and cellist Ilze Grudule.
Ķirsis also wishes to take out Italian cello virtuoso Mario Brunello. „Speaking of this musician, I would like to urge on seeing this concert. In fact, the first one might be incomplete without the second one. He will perform on 12 July at The Small Mezotne Palace and on 13 July at Rundale Palace playing at the Early Music Festival finale with ”Kremerata Baltica".
Indeed, Ķirsis emphasizes that these concerts will be quite different covering two various areas of this musician. "In Mezotne we will hear such performing style that is not quite usual for us.
„Imagine a meadow of Dolomite Alpes where suddenly a man comes, sits on a stump and starts playing a cello. Then another man joins, the third one..several hundreds of listeners who sit few hours and watch this man working with his cello, playing Bach or other composer's theme variations. In other words, he is playing baroque outside in nature, and it's a brand new performance!”
Festival organisers will try to show at least a part of this performance at The Small Mezotne Palace, though the concert most likely will be held inside. Maybe it will happen outside if the weather is good on 12 July, adds „Latvijas Koncerti” director.
What suits Rundale the best – Bach or Haydn?
Telling about the upcoming Early Music Festival finale when Mario Brunello plays together with „Kremerata Baltica”, Ķirsis notes: the time goes on, thus, we can relate early music to this genre now, but we would not call it like that hundred years ago. „So we have made a turn towards Wien classical music field with cello concert composed by Haydn. Guests will really benefit from this decision. Besides, this kind of music definitely suits Rundale.”
We have to keep in mind the architecture of Rundale Palace is more closer to Haydn times, not Bach."
Ķirsis laughs that this year's festival seems to be on „Italian wave” when he tells about the third guest, violinist Enrico Onofri. „Dorothee Oberlinger offers a unique sound together with ”Collegium Musicum Rīga„ orchestra. ”Sinfonietta Rīga„ and ”Kremerata Baltica„ represents a contemporary direction. Also Onofri is one of the brightest contemporary artists performing early music.” Ķirsis also adds that from the time „Latvijas Koncerti” and „Rīgas festivāls” ("Riga Festival") joined European Festivals Association, it's possible to speak of other festivals, too. „It's really important, and we plan to meet other festival organisers in order to create Latvian Festivals Association. So it's essential that Latvian festivals are well recognized abroad, and musicians also are aware of it. We invite world-known musicians to our festivals. We even don't have to persuade someone to perform in Latvia. There are just two main arguments: if they are available and, if we have enough money to pay them.”
„Pazudušais dēls”- beginning of Latvian opera
Next year's Early Music Festival is included into Riga programme of European Capital of Culture 2014. It's quite logical to find out what will be the offer from organisers. „Of course! We have in mind one pearl, well acclaimed around Europe, but we have not heard of it here. It's music group ”Collegium 1704„, early music ensemble residing in Prague,” reveals Ķirsis emphasizing that Prague was only added to Eastern Europe during the World War II, though it's in Central Europe region and considered as the centre of Europe.
„If we look at the cultural activities in Prague before the World War II, after that and now..let's take ”Prāgas pavasaris„ (”Prague Spring„). It's the oldest festival in Europe! Unfortunately, we are told that all good things come from the West, not the East. Speaking of Prague musicians, their music scene, we can't tell early music ensembles in Copenhagen or, say, Leipzig are more competitive than those in Prague, no.”
Ķirsis thinks that a performance of this ensemble is really awaited event especially for early music lovers. Authentic music in this form is rarely performed these days. „”Collegium 1704„ concert will be held in Riga. We are still planning our Rundale programme,” says Ķirsis.
The festival will prepare one more splendid event next year. It's „Orlando” opera by Vivaldi curated by early music interpret Māris Kupčs where a brand new stage version of opera will be prepared. „The Second show has already been presented, but I think, it has a place in every festival covering early music, besides it suits Riga city because the opera is composed in here. It's ”Pazudušais dēls„ ("The Lost Son") by Burkard Valdis, an original mix of opera, mystery and song play, we can call is as we like,” tells Ķirsis noting that it's written 500 years ago with the premiere concert next to St.Peter's Church. „Maybe we can even count him as the founder of Latvian opera,” smiles Ķirsis adding that this show will be organised at the newly renovated Spīķeri square. „Those are things we can consider quite seriously,” sums up Ķirsis.