On Sunday evening, 25 September, the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra under the direction of Roberto Trevino concluded yet another weekend of musical madness – the 7th edition of La Folle Journée in Warsaw has come to an end.
The theme of this year’s edition provided an opportunity for the audience to hear a wealth of musical landscapes inspired by nature. To facilitate finding their way in this musical jungle, the programme had been divided into categories for various groups of listeners: classical, a fresh look at classical, young performers, as well as family concerts and concerts for children, including, of course, Smykofonia [Toddler Philharmonic] and Mad Fairy Tales.
As always, an extensive programme (182 works adding up to 2 915 minutes of music) was dazzling in its variety: 58 concerts in merely 3 days, involving 950 musicians from 10 countries: China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Russia, France, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, the United States and Poland. Another astounding statistic is the total distance all artists had to travel to play in La Folle Journée in Warsaw – 267 132 kilometres – enough to circumnavigate the Earth seven times. And speaking of circulation in nature – all seasons of the year managed to change several times in the course of three days – thanks to Antonio Vivaldi’s famous Four Seasons and other works inspired by the Four Seasons, written by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Astor Piazzolla, Philip Glass and Max Richter.
Artists performing at the festival included famous soloists: violinists Olivier Charlier and Mariusz Patyra, pianists Frank Braley and Francesco Tristano, ensembles: Motion Trio, Meccore String Quartet, orchestras: Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, Orchestra of theTeatr Wielki – National Opera, Sinfonia Varsovia and the Polish Chamber Orchestra. Conductors included Jacek Kaspszyk, Grzegorz Nowak, Robert Trevino, Alexander Rudin and Joshua Kangming Tan.
Sounds of nature resounded from every corner of the Opera. The duet of Johnny Rasse and Jean Boucault treated the theme very literally, imitating bird voices during their “Bird Singers” concerts. A remarkable closeness of nature to traditional music was shown by artists playing instruments from the Far East: Yang Baoyuan on the pípa (Chinese lute), Jiang Jian Hua on the er-hu and Makoto Tashiro on the taiko drum. The “natural” origins of wind instruments initially made from animal horns and reeds were brought to light in concerts by the Russian Horns Orchestra and the “Gaudeamus” Woodwind Ensemble.
Signs of nature during the Festival were not only heard, but could also be felt in the garden that grew in Teatralny Square for the duration of the Festival. The Public could relax on benches among footpaths full of autumn vegetation. The festival events brought listeners closer to sounds of nature, but also enabled them to discover their musical nature during interactive concerts in which the audience participated in the creation of the music.
As always, the Festival audience did not disappoint – a record number of tickets was sold and let the listeners’ statements on the La Folle Journée Facebook profile speak for themselves: “A whole year of waiting, but worth it. Best performances of great music”, “Great idea. Great organisation. Recommended.” “Music for everyone, an event for everyone”. These enthusiastic opinions only confirm that music has been written into human nature.
Those who had no time to get their fill at the musical feast in Warsaw are welcome to join the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra on 1 and 2 October in Żyrardów and Mińsk Mazowiecki in La Folle Journée in the Region. This is a total of eight concerts featuring soloists from the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, the Polish Chamber Orchestra, violinist Jakub Jakowicz and ensembles: Bizjak Piano Duo and Trio Hélios.
All music lovers whose daily rhythms are set to music will be definitely interested in the theme of next year’s La Folle Journée – DANCE. Those who caught the musical madness bug should start planning to attend next year’s festival today – it will be held from 29 September to 1 October 2017.