FestiVita! brings music from the Middle Ages to Brussels

The Cercle Royal Gaulois, located in the Brussels Royal Park, will host the second edition of FestiVita!, a festival dedicated to early music, from 16 to 19 February. Sixteen performances, aimed at both the uninitiated and the well-informed music lover, will be on offer.

“FestiVita! tackles a repertoire ranging from the late Middle Ages to the post-classical period by sharing this approach, typical of early music, which consists of getting closer to the musical practices of the time,” flutist Michel Keustermans, organiser of the festival, explained.

“We play period instruments, respect the rhetoric, the tempo, the gestures of the time," he added. "It’s a very different experience from a contemporary performance on modern instruments.”

Opening the festival, Mon Amant de Saint-Jean concert by Le Poème Harmonique ensemble will appeal to all audiences and infuse the music of Monteverdi and his contemporaries with the gentle madness of the songs of the Roaring Twenties.

During the four days of the festival, works by Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven will also resound within the Cercle Royal Gaulois. They will be performed on the pianoforte – and by candlelight – by Petra Somlai.

The public will also be able to immerse themselves in early music during the “Banquet-qu’on-sert,” a gastronomic concert with a menu borrowed from 18th century Italy, in which the five courses will alternate with musical interludes of the period.

During the Renaissance Ball, dance master Lieven Baert will introduce historical choreographies, to the sound of the orchestra of early music students from the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

FestiVita! will also invite young ensembles to present the results of their research in early music. Among the ensembles that responded to the call for projects, five will perform on the “Premiere” podium.

This second edition of FestiVita! will close with a concert by the Ausonia ensemble, which will perform the Brandenburg Concertos No. 4 and No. 5, as well as Bach’s Concerto for two violins, under the direction of violin soloist Mira Glodeanu.

The complete programme can be consulted on the festivita.be website.



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