Semper in altum. Capella Cracoviensis (= CC) has been guided by this motto for a few years now, which makes it the most dynamically developing Polish ensemble specialising in historical performance practice CC is a professional music ensemble and mixed symphonic choir based in Kraków, Poland. It was formed in 1970 by composer and music conductor Stanisław Gałoński (b 1936), its first Director and General Manager. Capella Cracoviensis specializes in early music, Renaissance polyphonies, Polish Baroque, and classical chamber music played on period instruments, as well as oratorios, and operatic scores. The home base for the Orchestra is the historic Krakow Philharmonic Hall located at Zwierzyniecka street. Regular performances in many world-renowned venues have confirmed its status as one of the Poland's most outstanding period instrument ensembles. . Owing to the consistent support provided by the City of Cracow, Capella Cracoviensis may carry out uncompromising ambitious projects at the highest artistic level in collaboration with distinguished musicians of similar sensitivity and comparable courage.
The ensemble's performances feature instrumentalists and singers acclaimed in Poland and abroad. The list of regulars featured in concerts with CC includes Vincent Dumestre (Le Poème Harmonique), Fabio Bonizzoni (La Risonanza), Alessandro Moccia (Orchestre des Champs-Élysées), Andrew Parrott, Paul Goodwin and Ensemble Oltremontano while Accademia Bizantina, Fretwork, Nachtmusique, Paul McCreesh, Roy Goodman, Giuliano Carmignola, Christophe Rousset (Les Talens Lyriques), Giovanni Antonini (Il Giardino Armonico), Orchestra of the 18th Century, Alberto Stevanin (Il Giardino Armonico, I Barocchisti of Ravenna, Ensemble Matheus), Peter Hanson (Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique); and L'Arpeggiata come to Cracow to perform as guests. Guest performers have also included, among others: Andreas Spering, Les Sacqueboutiers de Toulouse, The orchestra works on projects with other early music companies such as Nachtmusique and Ensemble Oltremontano.
As well as performing concerts, CC explores the territories of Baroque (on period instruments) and classical opera and oratorios, successfully staging some of these works in Poland, such as George Frideric Handel’s Amadigi, W.A. Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. CC has recently performed G.F. Handel's Amadigi, Deborah, Rodelinda, Athalia, Theodora; Antonio Vivaldi;s Griselda; J.S. Bach's St John Passion (BWV 245), Weihnachts-Oratorium (BWV 248),W.A. Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor, L.v. Beethoven'S Missa Solemnis. The CC also produced a series of great Masses and Polish Baroque concerts across the region, which were free of charge.
The Capella Cracoviensis Choir is a vocal ensemble whose technical mastery as well as flexibility enable it to diversify its repertoire, which ranges from Gesualdo’s arduous mannerist madrigals to the avant-garde compositions of the 20th century, such as Szymanowski's Pieśni Kurpiowskie (Songs from the Kurpie).. The choir of Capella Cracoviensis has accompanied such eminent guests of Misteria Paschalia and Opera Rara festivals as Fabio Biondi with his ensemble Europa Galante, Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble, Le Poème Harmonique and ensemble La Venexiana under Claudo Cavina. A recent special project of the vocal group has been a novel crossover entitled: bar.okowa uczta (bar.oque banquet), directed by Vienna artist Cezary Tomaszewski - a performance of Monteverdi's madrigals in one of Kraków's diners accompanied by eminent actors (Jan Peszek, Maria Peszek) singing and reciting Petrarch's sonnets.
CC is often present at European festivals, including Haydn Festspiele Brühl, Bachfest Leipzig, SWR Festspiele, Händel Festspiele Halle. It gives regular concerts abroad: in Vienna’s Konzerthaus, in Versailles, Brussels, Ghent, Lviv and Kiev. The group performed in many European countries including in the USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, with the concert held for John Paul II at the Vatican on April 9, 2000, upon his return from the pilgrimage to Bethlehem.
Capella Cracoviensis has made numerous CD recordings over the years, most notably of the J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor (BWV 232), W.A. Mozart’s Coronation Mass, and of Darius Milhaud's 6 chamber symphonies and 3 Opéras-Minutes. In 1992 the company received two prestigious awards for their recordings of Milhaud: the French Diapason d'Or, and Grand Prix du Disque of the Académie Charles Cros.
Jan Tomasz Adamus, a renowned organist, harpsichordist, conductor and animator of musical life, became Head and Artistic Director of Capella Cracoviensis in 2008. He has honed his skills as an artist collaborating with many outstanding singers while drawing on the achievements of Europe’s most important centres of art as the permanent counterpoint of all developments in music can be found in painting, sculpture, architecture and philosophy. The invitation given by the City of Cracow to Jan Tomasz Adamus to become the general and artistic director of Capella Cracoviensis has been one of the most widely discussed transfers in the world of Polish culture of the recent years. The orchestra received nearly two million zloty in new-project sponsorship money from the Polish Ministry of Culture in 2011, which is a record for music locally. The funds helped them launch the Verba et Voces festival of early music featuring international stars such as Kai Wessel.