Forfest Kroměříž in the early third decade of existence - OPUS MUSICUM

Forfest Kroměříž in the early third decade of existence
by Jan Grossmann
for the leading Czech music magazine OPUS MUSICUM

Although the tone of the last major part 21st Forfest year has already passed some time, it is worth remembering the important moments.

It was divided into three parts: the main, which took place in the last week of June in Kromeriz and Olomouc and the accompanying events that took place in early June in Bratislava at the beginning and end of July in Kromeriz and Hodonin and during the first ten days of September again Bratislava.

Main events in the Bratislava exhibition have been reserved for activities under the joint title "Man 2010/Human 2010 - Letters to Heaven" music and visual performances entitled "Resonance" and "Dome - Klenba / Vault".

One accompanying the July event was held the following week after the end of the main parts like Postfest - composition courses for young composers (lecturers and Peter Graham, Pavele Zemek and Ondřej Štochl), the second event took place in July as "Multimedia Exhibition Project with International Participation " with the subtitle " Exhibition Street Hodonin.

September was devoted to the final art event called "Bratislava studios' and violin solo recital by Zdenka Vaculovičova, which deals to interpretation of contemporary Czech and international violin compositions in a systematic and long term.

The festival was held under the central idea of the "European high culture proves that contemporary art is constantly maintaining a dialogue between reality and the spiritual senses of space."

The main part of the festival took place from 18 to 28 June 2010 in Olomouc and Kromeriz and was broken down to the individual files and recitals (11), otherwise profiled concerts (2), "Audio program of works by composers (7)," Author concert (1) and Workshops (3). "Audio program of works by the composer" and " Author concert, although overlapping in content, logic, however, had different names, because one type of the recordings took place and the other in a live interpretation.

The musical events Forfest performed countless artists from the Republic, Slovakia, France, Germany, Slovenia, Japan, USA and Israel, the visual events, participated in fourteen artists from CZ, Slovakia, Poland and Italy.

Profile of the festival for its own benefit year by year is changing - some of the unique features on the other hand to stabilize.

It seems to be slightly non-sensual classification concert with "opening" almost the middle of the festival events. At least visually according to the poster. Despite of the fact that we visited this year already "The opening concert of Olomouc", "The opening concert of Kromeriz" and right at the beginning of June in Bratislava "Exhibition Opening".

Also, "final" action was more than one - "The Final Concert" at the end of Kroměříž main part of the festival, "Final Concert Bratislava in September at the conclusion of" Bratislava studios.

I admire how the two decades of existence the festival esters concentrate around Forfest very pleasant and selfless community of composers, performers, musicologists and "normal" Kroměříž students and volunteers in the service who is on every new year's welcome as old friends on a common wavelength. Of course, not everyone always comes out to arrive at least a few concerts. But friendship and spiritual kinship of this informal community persists beyond Forfest. And not just among believers, just as the festival is not only a spiritual songs, paintings and sculptures.

Mental kinship and deep friendship with many composers were also the reason why the organizers came up with the idea to include it in recent years by the festival event called "Listening program of works by the composer." This is a replay of selected works by Czech and Slovak composers who are no longer among us, but they were among the authors and supporters of tribal and contemporary music festival. They have character "Author concert”, but they are sacred, commemorative events. They are sad, because one still re-realize how short life is and final. However, the sentiment will not tolerate comments qualified with deep humanistic dimension by Zdenka Vaculovičová or the selection of compositions. This year, included programs from the works of such outstanding personalities, such as Ilja Zeljenka, Milan Slavicky, Joseph Ruth, Alois Piňos, Jan Hanuš and Josef Adamik.

The type of Authors concerts ' we should definitely include successful presentation of an ambitious young ensemble Miloslav Istvan Quartet, which in its program made especially unique pieces of his Maestro (1st and 2nd string quartet, Drapes the landscape), but also surprisingly mature intellectually early Divertimento by Arne Linka and excellent, sophisticated Lullabies written for string quartet and electronics, compositionally and technically well-equipped young composer Jana Vöröšová.

And then the author's concert of Russian-Slovak composer and pianist Yevgeny Iršai, which is ranked among the tops of the festival. By the way thanks to the performers - Yevgeny Iršai as a pianist, violinist Milan Paĺa (SR), which I have enthusiastically reported on last Forfest, and cellist Stephen Filípek (CZ). Each realized works would deserve special attention, so at least to name: Omni Tempore (solo cello), Farewell Sonata (Cello, Piano) Hatred (violin, piano) and Corta (solo cello), and then Hard Shabes (trio) and the world premiere of the trio allegedly holding a Bertolrettes to relationship with Martinů. Admiring compliment deserved every one of the performers.

As an "otherwise profiled concert," I mean performance in Olomouc by trumpeter and pianist brothers Bialas, violist Jan Řezníček and Slovak conductor, pianist and composer Marek Bohunický in the compositions of Icelandic composer Karl Otto Runólfsson, Icelandic music and culture influenced by Richard Mayer and the Slovak conductor, pianist and composer Marek Bohunický. The concert was called "Distant Island" and imminent danger descriptive title materialized in the verbose especially Fantasia for Piano Island R. Mayer (on the other hand, sounded very well in his Sonata for Viola Solo de Islandia), but in some twenty-three Bagatelles by Marek Bohunický.

The most frequent type of concerts, recitals, eleven companies and individuals can hardly be summarized in few words. So at least - the most interesting:

Czech-France light soprano singer Stella Maris gave an excellent recital in Forfest with organ accompaniment by František Vaníček and legendary clarinetist and alto saxophonist Jiří Hlaváč, in collaboration with cellist Petr Nouzovský and pianist Daniel Wiesner.

At the first recital, I was excited by fine structure of the votes and color compositions by composers: Luboš Sluka, Zdeněk Pololáník, Jehan Alain and František Emmert (four pieces of the same name Ave Maria, and two Bible Songs František Emmert) and richness of sound, architecture and innovative polyphonic works in works of Petr Eben and Flora Peeters.

The second recital was very interesting by variety of stylish, interesting accompanying words by Professor Jiří Hlaváč, but also Hlaváč as a composer and poet. Each of the tracks had summoned other hand, a different structure and content, but not derogate from the quality. For example, in terms of technical shocks included with the collective improvisation enchanted me video song Logotetise Desmotropie A third Graphic composition, however, more creative product. The composition thus not interested in the way was composed, but as a graphic template able to agree on collective zaimprovizovat three great players, the listener succumbed to delusion, that they are deliberately planted, color composition and rich professional work with fixed compositional parameters. But hardly forget other works by composers Marek Kopelent, Leonard Bernstein, Jiří Hlaváč, Ernest Křenek and Karel Husa.

A great experience was for me some other recitals, including:
- young, but already the leading Slovak ensemble Quasars Ensemble specializes in contemporary music, including the so-called spectral music. The dramaturgy of the concert seems purposely selected several works related to a pronounced profile timbre or tending to spectral form of music, often combined with aleatory procedures - Ivan Buffa: Quasars, Luciano Berio: O King, Salvatore Sciarrino: Well Quintettino. 1 Viera Janárčeková: Nonet (a wonderful finish after a long area with the actual string quartet and then with tichoulinkými drums, absolutely fascinating), Tristan Murail: Baroque La Mystique (literally spectral composition). Creative color component, however, characterized the song and netémbrové nespektrální, which rather dominated the structure, method of installation and overall construction of buildings - Vladimir Bokes: Coll'Age or soft ostinato, sharp contours and contrasts, vast areas of silence and inner light - Jevgenij Iršai: Kyrie eleison;

- Slovenian pianist Polish-Macedonian origin, and professor of Music Academy in Ljubljana Marina Horak. The dramaturgy of her recital was built on compositions by composers of different ages, nations, generations and styles. One more interesting than the other and on at least one encapsulated: Impressions Night Pieces Australian author Peter Sculpthorpe, Little Pieces Franc Šturm Slovenian composer (apparently serial composition by the author, who died shortly after its completion in 1943 aged just 23 years old), three concert Stories of Slovenian composer Karol Pahor, a series of concert etudes Pianophonia by Polish composer living in the United States - Marta Ptaszyńská / interest aleatory part 1 with different shaped and overlapping of images, a mystical character and an interesting three-layer area in part 2 /, probably the composition with the timbre and aleatory elements Mysteries by Slovenian author Tadea Vulc mentioned in the premiere and dedicated to interpreter (sharp contrasts, clusters, whispering, singing, and talk to the instrument, different modes of play and strikes), Echos by Serbian composer Vasil Mokranjac (apparently echoes the soul, in some sections, indicating a much emphasized emotions), Firenze by Danish-Russian author Ilja Bergh (somewhere between impressionism and expressionism, multi-layer ness in both linear and vertical plane, the sharp breaks) and based more on timbre composition Utripi / Palpitations by Slovenian author Janez Matičič, which is composing also reportedly a specific electro-acoustic music.

- An excellent young Czechoslovak chamber duet (Czech violinist Pavel Burdych and the beautiful Slovak pianist Zuzana Berešová), which addressed an enthusiastic audience with his artistic enthusiasm and conviction, especially in the compositions of Antonio Caporaso - L'Urlo for violin solo (emotionally more strong track) and Sonata "Rosenberg "for violin and piano by Peter Machajdík (world premiere - at the beginning of a special combination of boisterousness and euphony - I wondered what the tone of this field is probably created by color-built beautifully contemplative space, sometimes nearly to the nature of minimal music in the 3rd sentence model repetitive piano ostinato in the turbulent and giving the impression of tonal centers, violin almost disappeared, and again stretches the feeling of being repetitive music). And then one of the newest pieces of music - doyen of 20 to 21 century - Krzysztof Penderecki, the Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano from 2000;

- The Prague ensemble Convergence, which is appreciated for its exceptional contributions to the promotion and marketing of contemporary avant-garde music. Composition “I tuned his violin as deeply as possible” for viola and electronics by Tomáš Pálka has delivered bats quiet electronics, viola diverse color options and a gradual increase in communication and blending the two planes. Tetralogy of cello and electronics by Ondřej Štochl – work, which are musically describes psychological types of people - impressed me particularly its second and
3rd sentence. In 2 sentence to link the cello with electronics so interesting gradually and organically, and was no longer distinguish what's what. In the 3rd sentence, sometimes dominated by electronics, with well-composed 'live' cello, sometimes alone cello and electronics, but also sections of solo electronic tone was unmistakable sound of treated cello. Sections solo cello have been based more aleatory, the participation rate electronics and a "live" cello is constantly changing. Albert Breier Trio (violin, viola, cello) started very promisingly wonderfully soft timbres, over-moving sounds, and occasional bulges dynamic and predominantly static character. Widely used in the silent pause, contemplative and cultivated areas avail the music breathing space. Gradually, the dramatic contrast practices and rotation positions. The composition is gradually losing traction, and ended in the intolerable three-quarters of an hour;

- Prague Chamber Orchestra Berg headed by its founder and conductor Peter Vrábel. Berg has chosen to file programming, which gave the enthusiastic response of Olomouc audience. Above the initial Good Company for Piano and String Orchestra Boudewijn Buckinx shook my head a long time and I admit - even fidgeting. It seemed to me that the talent and experience with contemporary music of Slovak pianists Elena Letňanová were wasted. But I understand. The artist had ironically meant by this "Good Company" snobbish and uncultured admirer of music. Thus, translated into musical language: a deliberate ambiguity stylish, foolish cheesiness in the last section of the quasi-dance piano accompaniment, the total over-sweetness leaving a bad taste in the soul of artificial sweeteners. On the other hand - the Berg Chamber Orchestra presented the composition “Prodigal Son” by Peter Pokorny / well-crafted processed work fair, but without the irony and ridicule, with the orchestra as a vehicle for the development term, going on the philosophical dimension of (a bravura solo by baritone Peter Matuszek). Great compositions exhibited the authors introduced two Brno: Pavel Zemek “Pacific hymn” (wonderfully brought forward by the soprano Emilie Řezáčová) and Jaroslav Stastny alias Peter Graham and his “Ataraxia”. While work by Zemek Hymn was based on non-effect homogeneity of sound and calm atmosphere of solos, Graham “Ataraxia” with little effect, both visual and counting - concert master stood facing the audience, while the other violinists stood apart with his back to audience, the spatial composition of moving the timbre of clusters col'arco and gradually pizzicato, tremolo and various dilutions of the sound gradually fades. Older composition by Josef Adamik
“Shading I” with micro-intervals, violin echoes in the piano cabinet and various ways of playing the flute and violin reminded how great pity that this talented composer and a modest left prematurely.

Great audience response attracted the performance of Olomouc child ballet, along with expanded reporting Berg Chamber Orchestra in the composition of Robert Hejnar “Andrsen stories”. The dancing bird really tried - performances at the festival was for them -their teachers and parents were present obviously a great experience and the result was a lovely sight. It's a new and extremely promising direction of the festival, leading to the smallest non-violent capture of valuable non-commercial art direction.

Surprise especially for the festival audience was Kromeříž performance of the young Japanese soprano singer Nao Higano accompanied by Slovak organist Marek Vrabel. Higano studied in his native Japan, solo and operatic singing, and then went to the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava; a number of years lived in the Slovak Republic, performed around the world in 1999-2004, a regular guest in the opera ensemble of the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava. So, two years ago settled directly at the scene Forfest - Kromeriz, what the city knows perhaps only a few insiders. All the submitted works have been focused primarily or entirely of classical and romantic.

The festival attracted the carefully prepared the choir and orchestra of the Conservatory of the Evangelical Academy of Olomouc, led by choir master and conductor František Fiala and conductor Peter Šumník and with cooperation of organist Peter Rajnoha and perfect technique and enjoyment of the game possessing unusual duo of cello, bassoon Rebecca Rust (USA) and Friedrich Edelmann (Germany) - among other things, musically interesting and non-musical composition “Songs of Ascents” / Shir Hamaalot personally present Israel composer Max Stern (dominated by the inspiration of the Old Testament and natural motifs).

Enlightening events accompanying festival program were the morning workshops Marina Horak, Nao Higan and Max Stern, who have insight into their sources of inspiration (Stern), of interpretations of contemporary music (Horak, Higano) and contemporary Slovenian composers' scene (Horak ).

Finally, I would like to emphasize that the International Festival of Contemporary Music and Fine Arts Forfest is unique and viable project - from a European perspective and with more than twenty years of tradition, not counting the so-called Sedánky – non-conform and no-official underground event during 80-ties preceding the today spiritual orientation.

And yet it is still underrated due to the spouses of artistic initiatives of Vaclav and Zdenka Vaculovičovi because of their work - despite the constant socio-economic distress - selflessly organized. I feel that it is my duty to express gratitude and thanks to them.

Doc. Jan Grossmann / composer, musicologist – Ostrava University CZ /