Haapsalu Early Music Festival brings top musicians to Estonia

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Haapsalu Early Music Festival. Source: Sabine Burger

For the 28th time, the Early Music Festival will take place from July 22 to 25 in Haapsalu where the top performers of the genre will perform.

The festival will be opened on July 22 by "Theodora" - G. F. Händel's penultimate and most emotional oratorio on early Christian female saints. In the oratorio, Terry Wey in the role of Didymus performs as well, a U.S./Swiss countertenor who has been named as one of the best vocalists in the world. In addition, the chamber choir Voces Tallinn, the Baroque Orchestra of the Haapsalu Festival will perform at the concert, and the Finnish violinist Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch will perform as the concertmaster.

On July 23, there will be a concert called "London 1765: Carl Friedrich Abel, Johann Christian Bach" by Reet Suka (traverse flute) and Reinut Tepp (harpsichord). In addition, Cappella Pratensis from the Netherlands will perform music by composer Josquin Desprez. The day ends with "Evening I" - an insight into Handel's oratorio "Theodora" through the eyes of musicologist and conductor Toomas Siitan.

On Saturday, July 24, harpist Andrew Lawrence-King, one of the world's most renowned early music specialists, will perform at St. John's Church. He has performed and recorded with almost all the leading early music ensembles and conducts his own ensemble, The Harp Consort. The Estonian audience is familiar with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and Floridante ensemble.

The joint album "Barricades" by Jean Rondeau and Thomas Dunford was released in the spring of 2020, and the same music is played at the festival. The concert, which can be heard in the top halls of Europe and the USA and has received a lot of positive responses, is undoubtedly one of the top events of this year's classical music summer in Estonia.

The evening ends at 10.30 p.m. with the concert "Õhtutee II", brought to the audience by Taavi Kerikmäe and Anna-Liisa Eller. The focus of the joint concert is the instruments of the clavichord and psaltery, and the cooperation of two musicians and two instruments createing new timbres, colors and textures.

The band Floridante will perform on Sunday. The musicians revive four different scenes from Louis XIV France.

The projects of the festival bring together the choir of Estonian musicians and the greatest masters of their field from all over Europe - in their cooperation they want to revive the music of many centuries and offer the audience unforgettable experiences. The concerts take place in Haapsalu Cathedral, St. John's Church in Haapsalu and in the salon of Lahe House.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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