Misteria Paschalia 2016
THE SALT MINE IN WIELICZKA
PL / DZIEŃ SZÓSTY:
26 marca 2016
Tekst w opracowaniu
EN / THE SIXTH DAY, GOOD SATURDAY, 18:00, SAINT KINGA CHAPEL,
THE SALT MINE IN WIELICZKA
Vox Luminis and Archéron directed by Lionel Meunier present
Membra Jesu Nostri by Dietrich Buxtehude, BuxWV 75 and Stabat Mater by Agostino Steffani
Entombment, Saint Kinga Chapel, the Salt Mine in Wieliczka
Dieterich Buxtehude c. 1637/39 – 9 May 1707, a Danish-German organist and composer lived in the Baroque period. He composed a wide variety of organ, vocal and instrumental works and had significant impact on his contemporaries, to mention only Johann Sebastian Bach among others, who is said to have gone on foot to Lubeca to listen to his organ playing. Buxtehude is considered to be one of the most important composers in Germany of the mid-Baroque, here playing viol in a painting by Johannes Voorhout, A musical party, 1674. His oratory played on the Good Saturday in Wieliczka consists of seven sonatas, each venerating different body parts which together build the mystic body of Christ, sacrificed for redemption of mankind. They are in sequence 1. Ad pedes, then 2. Ad genus, next 3. Ad manus, 4. Ad latus, 5. Ad pectus, 6. Ad cor, and finally 7. Ad faciem. The text used in Passione is predominantly the 12tcentury hymn entitled Salve mundi salutare . The choice of the body parts to be worshipped is Lutheran sensitivity and theology, and probably originated from medieval German aesthetic taste, if we recall their inclination for realistic expression in art:
Pietà, early 14th century, Provincial Museum, Bonn.
However the music form of the oratory in its structure and sonorousness produces some oxymoron quality,as Italian Baroque style of the music in its beauty, melancholic and contemplative as it is, makes an absolute contrast to the message of the text. If one visited Auschwitz and Hiroshima and Nagaski where Christ was crucified a few million times more, or watches the TV headlines news reporting on African, Syrian, Russian or terrorist genocide these days, one faces a sheer cognitive problem in believing the story sung is convincing. The beauty of the music and mastery of its production carry you to the highest of the finest aesthetic experience free of brutality, injustice and unbelievable suffering. The same concerns Stabat Mater by Agostino Steffani, 1654-1728, composed in the same Italian vain to the moving Latin text by Fra Jacob one da Todi, (ca. 1230 – 25 December 1306), an Italian Franciscan friar from Umbria in the 13th century. It would be worth remembering here that he was an early pioneer in Italian theatre, being one of the earliest scholars who dramatised Gospel subjects. Verily, the concert is conveying more the Paradisi Gloria than plagis vulneri.
Consequently one is bound to set in motion one's imagination and just dance mentally to enter as it both deserves and invites, the mystery of Christ passion. We may suppose this sacred dance movements of ours is all about the head bowing and kneeling, speechless entirely.
O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta
Quae moerebat et dolebat
et tremebat, dum video at
Nati poenas incliti.