Kraków Philharmonic Wawel Evenings

Sunday, May 12, 2024, 7:00 PM

  • Sunday, May 12, 2024, 7:00 PM

The Kraków Philharmonic has returned to the Wawel Hill! The Royal Castle Senator Hall, that once held the senate meetings and royal weddings, resounds with early music again. This season we will hear works by Baroque giants including Bach, Monteverdi and Vivaldi, works found in  old tablatures and monastery libraries, Baroque arias as well as compositions for flute and harpsichord.

21 October 2023, 7pm
Natalia Jarząbek – flute
Wojciech Turek – bassoon
Zdzisław Bogacz – bassoon
Magdalena Turek – violin
Agata Sanchez Martos – cello
Zofia Satała – harpsichord
Johann Sebastian Bach Flute Sonata in C major BWV 1033
Antonio Vivaldi Bassoon Sonata in B flat major RV 46 
Johann Sebastian Bach Vilin Sonata in C minor BWV 1017
Johann Sebastian Bach Fantasia and Chromatic Fugue in D minor for harpsichord solo BWV 903
Georg Friedrich Haendel Sonata g –moll na dwa bassoony i b.c. op. 2 nr 8 HWV 393

4 February 2024, 7pm
Annika Mikołajko-Osman
– soprano
Male Voca, Ensemble Triplum:
Piotr Piwko – tenor
Maciej Michalik – baritone
Mariusz Zarzycki – bass
Collegium Clara Tumba Early Music Ensembele:
Francesco Tozzi – artistic direction, recorders
Adrianna Kania – hurdy-gurdy
Agata Sanchez Martos – soprano and bass violas da gamba
Kristin Jurkowski – bass viola da gamba
Agnieszka Kaczmarek-Bialic – harp
Anna Huszczo – harpsichord
Tiago Matos – percussion instruments
Breve regnum erigitur (anonymous, 15th c.)
O najdroższy kwiatku (anonymous, 15th c.) 
Alfonso X de Castilla (1221–1284) Rosa das rosas (Cantigas de Santa Maria, 13th c.) 
Wacław of Szamotuły (1520–1560) Modlitwa gdy dziatki spać idą
Giovanni Francesco Anerio (1569–1630) O Virgo Benedicta a 2 (Viridario Musico-Marianum, 1627)
Marcin Mielczewski (1605–1651) Exaudi Domine
Organ Tablature of Jan of Lublin Poznanie – Cenar (ca. 1540)
Alia Polonica (Codex Vietoris, 17th c., anonymous) 
Pagamoszka Bergamasca (17th c., anonymous)
Wojciech Długoraj (1550–1619) Vilanella Polonica (Lute tablature, 1619) 
Diomedes Cato (1560–1627) Chorea Polonica (J.B. Besard, Thesaurus harmonicus, 1603) 
Polish Dance (Lute tablature, 16th c., anonymous) 
Valachia tanz (Vietoris Codex, anonymous) 
Ave in aevum (15th c., anonymous) 
Johannes Nucius (1556–1620) Salve Regina Misericordiae 

17 March 2024, 7pm
Joanna Stawarska
– soprano
Violetta Szopa-Tomczyk – Baroque violin
Paweł Stawarski – Baroque violin and viola
Bartosz Kokosza – Baroque cello
Justyna Grabowska – harpsichord
in programme: Giovanni Gabrieli, Claudio Monteverdi, Antonio Vivaldi, Francesco Spinancino, Joan Ambrosio Dalza, Vincenzo Capirola 

12 May 2024, 7pm
Magdalena Di Blasi
– flute
Andrzej Zawisza – harpsichord 
Johann Sebastian Bach Sonata in C major BWV 1033
Joseph Bodin de Boismortier Sonata in G major Op. 91 No. 3
Jacques Duphly La de Belombre for harpsichord solo
Antoine Forqueray La Portugaise for harpsichord solo
Claude Balbastre La Lugeac for harpsichord solo
Antonio Vivaldi Sonata in C major RV:48
Antonio Vivaldi / J.J. Rousseau La printemps de Vivaldi for flute solo
Joseph Bodin de Boismortier Sonata in E minor Op. 91 No. 4

Wawel Royal Castle

Wawel 5

The spectacular renaissance palace that we admire today atop Wawel Hill is the result of the refurbishment of the Gothic Royal Castle in the first half of the 16th century according to the wishes of Sigismund I the Old (Zygmunt Stary). It was the abode of Polish kings and their closest family, while the stately halls provided a backdrop for courtly and political life.

The impressive space of the arcaded courtyard is where you enter the individual exhibitions: the State Rooms, Royal Private Apartments, Crown Treasury and Armoury, and Oriental Art. Those interested in the history of the castle and the hill in the early medieval times are welcome to visit the Lost Wawel exhibition.

Visiting the castle interiors provides a great opportunity to imagine details of the lives of bygone kings. The first-floor chambers (Royal Private Apartments) are designed to portray their former character and furnishing. Here you will find royal quarters, chambers of the royal courtiers, quarters for the guests, and the premises where monarchs yielded to their passions. The special interests of the kings of Poland in the 16th century were connected with arcane knowledge and alchemy. Sigismund (Zygmunt) III Vasa had a laboratory set up in one of the towers, where he conducted experiments with the participation of an eminent alchemist, Michał Sędziwój. Earlier, the semi-legendary master Twardowski allegedly operated in the castle. They say that King Sigismund II Augustus (Zygmunt August) had him summon the spirit of his beloved though prematurely deceased wife, Barbara Radziwiłłówna. The collection of tapestries from the unique collection of Sigismund II Augustus, made in Brussels in the mid-16th century, are the most valuable of all the works of art displayed here. It is the largest collection of tapestries in the world to be made to the commission of just one ruler. Displayed in the Private Apartments are primarily the examples with landscapes and animals, that is the verdures.

Visiting the second floor (the State Rooms), you enter the space of official events of state significance that took place during the Golden Age of Polish culture. Worth special attention are the assembly halls of the two houses of the Sejm: the Polish Parliament. The first took counsel in the Senators’ Hall. The largest in the castle, this chamber doubled as the place where other important state and court events and ceremonies were held: balls, plays, musical performances, and even royal weddings. On the walls of the Senators’ Hall, covered in cordovan (Cuir de Cordoue), that is dyed and lavishly decorated leather, we can admire successive majestic tapestries from the collection of Sigismund II Augustus, this time with biblical themes. The lower house of the Sejm held sessions in the Audience Hall, also known as Under the Heads, from its most characteristic element, that is sculpted renaissance heads set in the coffers of the ceiling. It was also here that the King would receive envoys and issue judgements. There is a legend connected to one of the decorative heads presenting a woman with a ribbon covering her mouth. When Sigismund Augustus was about to issue a verdict in a difficult case, the head spoke out from the ceiling: Rex Auguste iudica iuste (“King Augustus, judge justly”). Her words were followed, yet from that time on the mouth of the woman has been gagged with a band, so that she would never again intervene with royal decisions.

When the Sejm was in session, the royal tribunal moved to another stately chamber, known as the Chamber under the Eagle. Today we can admire on its walls not only the cordovan but also royal portraits and historical scenes from the 17th century. Maintained in a similar baroque style is the Chamber under the Birds with a marble fireplace designed by Giovanni Trevano and portals with the coats of arms of the Vasa dynasty. This was the favourite chamber of Sigismund III. Adjacent to it is a little chapel richly decorated with stuccowork, where the king used to hear mass. A bonus for aficionados of all things military and knightly are the Military Review Chamber with a frieze portraying a military parade before the king and the Tournament Hall, with a knightly tournament depicted on the frieze. The paintings, works of Antoni of Wrocław and Hans Dürer (brother of the famous Albrecht) originated in the first half of the 16th century.

Trophies can also be admired at the exhibition of Oriental Art, which is a collection of objects obtained through military and commercial contacts with the countries of the Middle East, and of Chinese ceramics. Works of artists, craftsmen and artisans from Turkey, Crimea, Caucasus, and Iran made their way to Poland over the centuries, and in the 17th century the local custom among the nobility and court ceremonial acquired slightly oriental – Sarmatian – features.

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