Back to medieval times with Slovenia's Radovljica Festival

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The international Radovljica Festival has, since its renewal in 1997, presented chamber music of past eras on authentic historical instruments and stylistically as close as possible to historical performance practices. The contrasted concert programmes also include contemporary music and new commissions by Slovene and other composers for period instruments.

The theme of the Radovljica Festival 2005 - Ares-Eros - derives from the concept of polarity between the principles of war, fight, power, inner conflicts and soul searching and on the other hand on love, joy, devotion and peace. All concert programmes will present a dynamic choice of pieces from the rich music literature of the medieval times, the Renaissance and the Baroque eras.

The festival opens on the 10th August with the concert by the highly acclaimed German vocal-instrumental Orlando di Lasso Ensemble that will perform the madrigals of war and love from the famous Eighth Book of Madrigals by Claudio Monteverdi. The Spanish ensemble Accademia del piacere will dedicate the concert about love, sorrow, war and peace to Spanish and Italian music of the 17th century, the French ensemble La Fenice will perform battaglias and laments from the 16th and 17th century, the British viol consort Concordia and the soprano Julia Gooding will introduce an exciting programme of German and English music with laments and more dynamic pieces and one of the leading American Early Music sopranos Jill Feldman will perform with the Italian Concerto delle viole a specially created programme presenting The Soul in Conflict and Peace with music from the English and Italian musical heritage of the 16th and 17th centuries.

The earliest music will be presented by the leading German ensemble for Medieval music Ordo Virtutum which will introduce the precious collection of laments, plaints and love songs from the early Middle Ages, and by the famous vocal ensemble for Medieval, Renaissance and Contemporary vocal music Gothic Voices from Great Britain, illustrating the glorious variety of love and the many kinds of battles of war, featuring works from the 13th to the 15th centuries.

The virtuoso Amsterdam Baroque Quartet will point out instrumental nuances of the competing Italian and French musical styles of High and Late Baroque, and the Slovene Musica Cubicularis will appear for the first time in this international festival with sacred cantatas and instrumental music from the same period, introducing also new music by Slovene composers.

The final concert of the Radovljica Festival 2005 will be performed on the 23rd August, again featuring music by the great Italian master of the early Baroque Claudio Monteverdi and his famous dramatic madrigal Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, performed by the Italian ensemble La Risonanza. The concerts will be held at three different venues: the Manor and the Church of St Peter in Radovljica, as well as the Church of St Kancian in Kranj; there will be lots of good, exciting and profoundly expressive music presented for everyone.