18th Bach Festival in Świdnica (English translation)

The concert, during which we were listening to Easter Oratorio, BWV 249; Magnificat, BWV 243 and Harpsichord Concerto No.2 in E major, BWV 1053 by Johann Sebastian Bach closed the 18th Bach Festival in Świdnica yesterday.

Vocal and instrumental works were performed by the Bach Academy, which is an ensemble that consists of young singers and instrumentalists playing period instruments. This year’s intensive workshops preceding the concert were run by Paul Goodwin, one of the most famous British conductors.

The youthful enthusiasm of the Bach Academy members and Paul Goodwin's experience resulted in a concert full of passion, spirit, freshness, positive vibrations, good energy and beautiful emotions. I had the opportunity to talk to Paul Goodwin after the concert. He emphasized that he was really impressed by the talent of the young musicians, their spontaneity and the pace at which they learned not only their parts but also the elements of teamwork essential for such pieces.

The second part of the concert began with the Harpsichord Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV 1053, performed by Marcin Masecki. On Saturday, this year's resident Artist of the Bach Festival captured the audience with a brave performance of the Piano Concerto in C major, KV 415 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. On Sunday he confirmed that he is a charismatic, thrilling and versatile artist, and the musical experiments we witnessed in Świdnica were expressions of his personality and musical maturity.

It is worth adding that the festival's positive organ was lucky to have wonderful musicians playing it on Sunday. Kamil Lis performing basso continuo part in Magnificat and Easter Oratorio was also very good. I was really impressed with his positive and elegant "flow".

I traveled to Świdnica with great hope. The reality however, surpassed all my expectations. The Bach Festival is not only the series of concerts under the same name; this is a celebration in which music is very important, but not the only main character. For a long time I will remember the unusual and surprising concert of La Fonte Musica, the evening with Monteverdi and I Fagiolini, the virtuoso performance of Lotz Trio in the Mill in Siedlimowice, the music during luteran liturgy, Mozart's Così fan tutte performed by Capella Cracoviensis directed by Jan Tomasz Adamus, the Bach Academy and the Bach Academy Junior. 

There are many things just as important as music during the Bach Festival: exploring the region, hospitality, making relationships, learning from others, talking about music, feeling alive and smiling at each other. Even the usual "good morning" is different at the Festival - joyful and festive.

Of course, one of the main characters of the Bach Festival is the city of Świdnica itself. For a few days it offers the Festival everything that is possible. The whole city lives in music. There are ice creams with the images of composers, the dishes in the restaurants are named from the titles of concerts, the clock on the town hall tower sounds with Bach music. In the city, the Bach Festival is the number one thing on everyone’s lips. 

I was a witness to a specific phone call last night where one person said:

- Mom, we are not coming back to Katowice today. Everyone in Świdnica speaks only about Baroque and Bach, today is the baroque concert, so we have to be there.

It is all beacuse during the Bach Festival Świdnica is not only the place you have to be, it’s the place YOU WANT TO BE.

The Bach Festival shows that music allows us to experience life differently than we do every day. More patient, mindful, calm and happy. In these crazy times there are places where one can feel the spirit of the community; where we are neither are lonely nor ordinary; where we gain strength to deal with life problems - or rather, where we learn to treat the more difficult issues we face not as problems but as opportunities for positive change and strengthening experience.

See you next year in Świdnica!

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