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TESS CREBBIN reports on the start of the
Europamusicale in Germany


2 May 2004 marked the start of the third European Music Festival for Classical Music, the Europamusicale. The Europamusicale is not an annual event but is reserved for occasions that are of special significance to the European Community. This far, it has taken place in 1993 to mark the European-year, in 2000 for the Millennium year and this year, in the month of May 2004, to mark the expansion of the European Community. The Europamusicale aims to make Europe's classical music culture known to a worldwide audience. The concerts always attract an international audience from all over the world as top performers from the different European countries are being invited to the German cities of Berlin, Leipzig, Munich and Wiesbaden and also at some special concert locations. The program is a clever mix of the works of the mainstream composers and some unknown or rare performances.

This year's Europamusicale highlights the ten new member states of the European Union, which are Czech Republic, Slovakia, Malta, Slovenia, Hungary, Eastland, Lettland, Lithuania, Poland and Cyprus.

For Hungary, there is a series of concerts that sadly does not include Kodály but there is an interesting piece: Gyoengyoesi's Five Symphonic Images for Orchestra. Slovenia, among others, will contribute Krek's String Quartet and Lithuania brings Kutavicius' Gates of Jerusalem to this year's Europamusicale. Lettland will showcase Esenvald's Boundaries of Time for Strings. Hummel's Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra is one of the Slovakian contributions.

Poland and the Czech Republic provide the highlights to the 2004 Europamusicale. Poland sends Krzysztof Penderecki, who conducts the Sinfonietta Cracovia as they play two of his own pieces, the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in a special Cello Version and his Sinfonietta per Archi. Other pieces on offer for Poland are intriguing: Lutoslawski's Funeral Music and Kilar's Orawa. The Sinfonietta Cracovia, Krakow's official orchestra, received the European Cultural Award 1998. The Polish performances will take place in Berlin, Konzerthaus, on 24 May, in Munich, Herkulessaal on 23 May and in Wiesbaden, Kurhaus on 26 May.

Munich's Herkulessaal. Photo © Mayr/Herrmann BSV
Munich's Herkulessaal. Photo © Mayr/Herrmann BSV

Another highlight is the Czech Republic's contribution, a concert performance of the Baroque Opera Sub Olea Pacis et Palma Virtutis by Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1745). This concert will be a German première. The moving opera was composed on occasion of the coronation of the German emperor, Hungarian King and Austrian Archduke Karl Sixth, to become Czech King in 1723. This opera will be performed by Musica Florea, which won the Classical Award 2002 in Cannes for its CD of the same piece. The Soloists are of the highest calibre. These include soprano Nancy Argenta and the Italian-born Spanish countertenor and composer Flavio Oliver.

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Copyright © 5 May 2004 Tess Crebbin, Germany


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