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History in sound

This year’s Krzy?owa-Music event marked several anniversaries, among them the festival’s own fifth birthday. Tully Potter attended a wealth of chamber concerts featuring young musicians and established artists, each staged in venues of historical significance

For two weeks each summer, talented young musicians come together at Krzy?owa in Poland to study and perform chamber music with artists such as violinists Shmuel Ashkenasi and Midori and cellist Gary Hoffman on the estate once owned by Prussian field marshal Helmuth von Moltke the Elder (1800–91). This historic village, with a population of around 220, is the site of an international youth centre which aims to bring German and Polish youngsters together; but during the Krzy?owa-Music fortnight, artists from all over the world – in the 2019 event, from 18 August to 1 September, 19 nations were represented – work together in their common language, music.

Lower Silesia was German until 1945, and Krzy?owa (Kreisau in German) was the centre of the Kreisau Circle (1940–4), an anti-Nazi group dedicated to restoring democracy to Germany – one member was hanged after the abortive 20 July plot (although they were against killing Hitler), and in January 1945 their host, Helmuth James von Moltke (great-grandnephew of Moltke the Elder), was executed for treason. This year marked not only the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War, but also the 5th anniversary of Krzy?owa-Music and the 30th of the reconciliation meeting between Chancellor Helmut Kohl of Germany and then Polish prime minister, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, which led to the establishment of the youth centre.

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About The Strad

We examine the 1677 ‘Romanov’ Nicolò Amati viola and the Royal Danish Orchestra’s instrument collection. Manfred Honeck explains how playing viola informs his conducting and Linus Roth discusses Weinberg. Plus the first in a two-part Berg Masterclass, with Leila Josefowicz.