Kings in the North
Music at the time of Margrave Georg Wilhelm | Jarosław Thiel | Wrocław Baroque Orchestra
Human beings in antiquity regarded the far North as a paradisal and mythical place, where hulking warriors and fiery heroes enjoyed a close relationship with the god Apollo, devoted equally to cultic ritual and art. The eternal ice and scintillatingly cold nights of the North fascinated Baroque artists as well, and from 1700 on a specific Nordic operatic tradition took hold in Hamburg, London, Berlin and Stockholm, which in its musical idiom in parts already anticipated the Romantic era. Particularly Margrave Wilhelm of Bayreuth was a patron of composers of this school; he was just as enthusiastic about this as he was about military and warrior traditions.
The Czech baritone Tomáš Král attires himself in suits of armour and royal cloaks, sets crowns and warriors’ helmets on his head and together with the Wrocław Baroque Orchestra under the musical direction of Jarosław Thiel researches the Baroque North. Composers such as Heinichen, Handel, Schürmann, Telemann, Keiser and Ariosti devoted themselves to the fabled heroes of the West Goths, the Lombards and Swedish kings, as did the now almost forgotten Swedish composer Johan Helmich Roman. The baritone voice, frequently forced into the persona of an austere priest or cruel adversary, takes front stage here in the far North and fathoms out the human depths of legendary rulers.