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Cinema Chorale will inaugurate the 12th FMF

The MissionKing of the Last DaysLes ChoristesDeath in VeniceHenry VLiliesThe Scarlet LetterThe Great Beauty – these are the film titles that will inaugurate the 12th Krakow Film Music Festival. On May 14, 2019, in the Gothic interior of the church of St Catherine will resound with the most beautiful film music arranged for choirs. The Pro Musica Mundi ensemble, which has been working with the festival since its inception, will be led by Krakow bandmaster Wiesław Delimat.

An atmospheric, electrifying, mystical Cinema Chorale concert marking the beginning of the 12th Krakow Film Music Festival is a special event, dedicated to choristers who have been co-creating the festival since its inception. “I have been postponing this idea for years; all while the choirs that sing for us are the essence of energy and festival beauty. These are people with passion, who love singing, who feel joy while doing it and thus are able to create a magical atmosphere and phenomenal sound creations. “Choirs have a great, yet underestimated power in cinema — we want to fully show their mysticism, power and brilliance” said Robert Piaskowski, artistic director of the Krakow Film Music Festival.

The first evening’s repertoire will include gems of classical and film music arranged for an a cappella choir, including Angele Dei by Ennio Morricone from Roland Joffé’s Mission, as well as the famous “Adagietto” from Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor, full of unusual tenderness, written in the first years of the 20th century out of love for Alma Schindler, who would later become the composer’s wife, used in 1971 by Luchin Visconti in the film adaptation of Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice. Polish music will be represented by Wojciech Kilar — the audience will listen to the dark, mysterious Agnus Dei from the so-called small mass, composed for a historical German TV series King of the Last Days by Tom Toelle. This is a very significant work in Kilar’s oeuvre, since it was written as the composer mourned his late mother, Neonilla Kilar-Graziadio — an actress who passed away on 21 February 1993. The Cinema Chorale programme will also include masterpieces by David Lang (“I lie” from The Great Beauty by Paolo Sorrentino), Patrick Doyle (“Non nobis, Domine” from Henry V by Kenneth Branagh), Mychael Danny (“Lux Aeterna”, “Pie Jesu” and “Agnus Dei” from John Greyson’s Lilies ), Christopher Young (“Lux Aeterna” from Chuck Russell’s Bless the Child) and Samuel Barber (“AgnusDei” based on the famous Adagio for Strings, used in 1995 in a remake of the Scarlet Letter by Roland Joffé). The programme will be complemented by choral film music by Bruno Coulais, French composer and a three-time César Award laureate (for music composed for Microcosmos by Marie Perennou and Claude Nuridsany, Himalaya by Eric Valli and Les Choristes by Christophe Barratier). The audience will be taken for a journey into the mystical world of cinema in a vocal setting by the Pro Musica Mundi choir — a project team founded in 2007 on the occasion of the 750th anniversary of the founding of the city of Krakow, which has been working with the Krakow Film Music Festival on large simultaneous productions created for every edition of the event. Following the example of European choral academies, Pro Musica Mundi creates a platform for the exchange of experiences between amateur and professional singers and vocal ensembles operating in Poland and abroad. The choir is led by Professor Wiesław Delimat, a Krakow-based conductor and organist. On the 14th of May 2019, the musicians of the Pro Musica Mundi ensemble will perform in the Church of St Catherine of Alexandria and St Margaret in Krakow, led by their artistic director.

“This will be a special concert – not only because of its mystical aura and intimate character, but also because of the clash between the film world and the Gothic interior of St. Catherine’s church, which dates back to the mid-14th century”, said Wiesław Delimat. “Cinema Chorale will therefore make us aware of two extremely important issues. First of all, that the role of the choir in film music is more significant than we think, and that it is worth showcasing it and showing its strength in cinematography. Secondly, we want to show that film art touches every sphere of human existence: life, death, emotions and faith. That there is no space that would be strange to film.”

Text: Maria Wilczek-Krupa