The 12th edition of the Anima Mundi Music Festival in Pisa will cover over five centuries of sacred or religious music, from the discovery of a Baroque drama that will make its Italian debut in the City of the Leaning Tower to the debut of the winning work of the 2012 Anima Mundi Contest. Anima Mundi’s aim is to create a dialogue between different kinds of sacred music from the past to the present, in the enchanting backdrop of some of Pisa’s most stunning monuments: the main Cathedral and the Monumental Cemetery.
The exhibition is organized by the Opera della Primaziale Pisana, the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di San Miniato, the Municipality and the Province of Pisa, with the support of the Società Cattolica di Assicurazione e Fondazione Cattolica di Assicurazione.
Again this year, the entrance to concerts is free.
Anima Mundi opens the festival on September 13 with the Orchestra Sinfonica Caikovskij, directed by Vladimir Fedoseyev, maestro and student: Nikolaj Rimskij-Korsakov and Ottorino Respighi, who learned from the Russian composer that the score of an opera can be considered a white canvas that needs to be filled with color.
The second evening is on September 16 at Pisa’s Monumental Cemetery. Pianist Alexander Lonquich will execute the music of Stockhausen and Franz Schubert.
On September 18 the concert will be located in the Pisa Duomo: it is the Italian premiere in the modern age of the “Universal Flood” of Michelangelo Falvetti (1642-1692?), a religious lyrical drama that was recently discovered at the Ambronay Festival, the prestigious exhibition dedicated to baroque music. The concert is an opportunity to hear the music of a composer of the highest rank of the Baroque period: a Sicilian priest and musician who composed vibrant and expressive music, full of Caravaggesque contrasts.
The concert on Friday, September 21 in the Pisa Cathedral, takes as its title a famous sequence of the Easter rites, “Victimae paschali Laudes.” The Costanzo Porta Choir, directed by Antonio Greco, it give an overview of the stylistic evolution of this sequence, from the Middle Ages to the present day, with music by Praetorius, Di Lasso, Lotti, Purcell, Bruckner, Campori, Liszt to the winning piece of the 5th edition of the Anima Mundi Contest, won by Maestro David Di Paoli Paulovich (Trieste, 1973).
On September 22 at the Monumental Cemetery, an Anima Mundi production, created in collaboration with the Fondazione Istituto Dramma Populare di San Miniato, will be performed. Directed by Salvatore Ciulla, with Guido Corti, the festival will will stage a version of Noah’s Ark of Benjamin Britten. The production also involved some elementary schools in the Pisa area; students were able to watch preparations of the opera production and the amateur choir of the Church of San Sisto.
The baroque sounds, instruments and voice: these are the main features of the concert on September 25. The soprano, Nuria Real, with the prestigious Concerto Köln Ensemble, will perform music of three Italian maestros – Vivaldi, Pergolesi, and Dall’Abaco – and then move onto a Bach cantata.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, alongside the Monteverdi Choir and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, will close the Anima Mundi Festival on September 28 in the Pisa Cathedral. Gardiner will perform Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis.”