"The festival is the country's largest early music festival, and at such an artistic level that it must also appeal to the large foreign early-music audience. The big festival every two years and all the concerts that NEMF organizes during the year have become an unprecedented success among the citizens of the city and the country. For Næstved a feather in the cap, which has made the city more attractive to both residents, newcomers and tourists. And an initiative that in the short and long term has an impact on the whole country's interest in live early music.”
Custos - Early Music Magazine - December 2018 

 

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In the garden of Eden of Baroque music

A happy coincidence with an admirable example for similar initiatives: The first festival for early music with leading artists in Næstved

BY MARKUS THIEL in Münchener Merkur - August 24th 2016

Naestved ... Where? The same question, which probably employs many in the darkest Bavaria, also posed Peter Stevnhoved himself, when his wife who is a vicar got a job in Næstved, 90 minutes drive south of Copenhagen.

What to do here? Why not make a music festival. For us it would hardly have had any significance if there had not been a happy coincidence. As a former manager of Baroque orchestra Concerto Copenhagen, he made use of his connections, got hold of the excellent violinist Peter Spissky and some musicians, and above all he succeeded in committing one of the leading personalities in early music, Jordi Savall, for three concerts.

The Baroque fever rages in a city with 80,000 inhabitants. Five permanent staff, 30 volunteers, a number of sponsors and a relaxed, curious, enthusiastic audience, who on three festival days (often with only two hours interval) in three different churches enjoyed the 70-minute long concerts including a musical city tour - and sometimes with a change of the concert timetable because of Savall's relentlessly extended rehearsals.

For example, L’Accademia dei Dissonanti, a French ensemble that gave us a charming concert in a church outside the city, with works of Charpentier, Lambert and Lully with an erotic sound. The audience was also infected by the violinist Peter Spissky's temperament and entertainer qualities, when he baroqueed through the programs with his Camerata Øresund. The highlights were, of course, the meetings with Jordi Savall: the nightly, contemplative solo concert, the large choir and orchestral concert, where Lully's suite from "Alceste" or Charpentier's "Te Deum" (with Eurovision fanfare!) Lost all the external tame. But also an afternoon concert where Savall showed why he is the leading viol-player of our time - because he also manages to connect sensitivity and reflection into the difficult works of the Couperin or Marais with wild, but never less effective virtuosity.

When Peter Spissky at the end of the final concert ran Rameau's instrumental works from the opera "Dardanus" up to tempo-madness, two things could be felt on the musicians, who had been running almost in the day-to-day operation: the exhaustion, but also a desire to play that could only be explained by adrenaline which had accumulated excessively. The Baroque fans had not only come from Germany, but also from France and Poland. Festival leader Peter Stevnhoved admits that the marketing probably leaves room for improvement. There are already plans for the next festival in 2018: Not French baroque as now, the theme will probably be early Italian baroque. The veil of the star (Antonini? Alessandrini?) cannnot yet be lifted. However, there are plans of staging an opera with a Swedish co-producer.

The temporary garden of Eden of Baroque Music is obviously located at the southern end of Zealand.”

 

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Listen to the radio Broadcast with Solamente Naturali here along with I Fagiolini performing their renowned ‘The Other Vespers’ by Monteverdi.  

 
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Accommodation in the city

 

 

Before Trio Savall