The 30th anniversary of the festival in 2023 provides an opportunity to step out and seek new horizons. Beyond the unfathomable riches of liturgical and sacred music of past centuries and today, the festival takes its crucial inspiration from the Easter holidays and their message of death and resurrection. The blending of splendid musical and liturgical traditions provides the festival’s theme, transformations: seeking out semi-forgotten jewels, unexpected encounters between old and new music and presenting entirely new compositions.
The 30th year is adorned by an arch spanning the once famous Stabat Mater by the organist at Brno’s cathedral František Musil, which has been compared to the cantata of the same by Antonín Dvořák, and the well-known, yet still inspiring and joy-inducing, paean Te Deum by the latter composer. Several Brno choirs will join forces with the Filharmonie to perform Musil’s Stabat Mater at the opening concert of the festival under the baton of Tomáš Krejčí. The closing concert, featuring Dvořák’s Te Deum and Franz Schubert’s Mass in A-flat major will be presented by the Filharmonie, the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno and the conductor Jaroslav Kyzlink. The second concert of the festival, which presents among other works Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Méditations pour le Carême, begins a programming thread of French sacred music, punctuated by three different programmes for the Dark Hours and closing with an Easter organ recital showcasing works by Widor, Duruflé and Messiaen.
Slavomír Hořínka’s With All Strength and František Fiala’s Easter oratorio Mysterium paschale take pride of place among the premieres. The Czech chamber orchestra L’Armonia Terrena will present its blend of Baroque and more recent sacred music at the festival for the first time. As the festival entered its third decade, a programme of three Dark Hours was introduced. Now, in its 30th year, it joins an actual church service, with a performance of Knut Nystedt’s Missa brevis (1984) during the evening Holy Mass at St Thomas’s Church on Easter Sunday.
Vladimír Maňas, the festival´s dramaturge