The festival’s guiding theme this year is Catharsis.
The concept of Catharsis through art is a process that was originally coined by the Greek philosopher Aristotle who highlighted that we can surpass a state of emotional turmoil by watching it unfold on a stage. In that moment, music on the one hand mirrors our own inner emotional conflicts and on the other hand becomes the therapeutic energy that ultimately heals us – the power of art and music in particular to purify us from trauma.
This year, we have programmed some of the main works of the classical chamber music repertoire that trigger a cathartic process within the listener. You will hear works such as Messiaen’s “Quatuor pour la fin du temps”, that deals with re-discovering hope and strength through music even in the most hopeless situations (he composed it whilst being held as a prisoner in a German concentration camp) and Schubert’s famous Octet in F major. Furthermore, we will also explore this process from the perspective of the ancient Greek culture that saw the flute and the guitar as the central instruments of cathartic music making, through pieces such as Debussy’s “Syrinx” for solo flute, Tarrega’s “Capricho arabe” for solo guitar or Piazzolla’s “Histoire de Tango” for flute and guitar. Arguably one of the most important composers of classical music associated with Catharsis is Johann Sebastian Bach, whose Cantata “Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut” for voice, oboe, strings and piano will also be performed.