for (In Krakow) – Photo: Krakow Festival Office

A good beginning can be a delicate time. And as a cool wind enveloped Krakow and provided some chill, once inside ST Catherine of Alexandria church, a 17th century baroque monument of celestial beauty and acoustic, the delightful opening of FMF Film Music Festival, Cinema Chorale, sure provided the required warm up.

Contrary to recorded material, live music, even well prepared as it was, can also be about the odds and the curious, brisk atmosphere certainly added some unexpected ingredients into the mix and ambiance.

Under insured direction by Wieslaw Delimat, the Pro Musica Mundi Choir, along soprano Jolanta Kowalska-Pawlikowska, tenor Piotr Windak and organist Filip Presseisen, gloriously celebrated the most human of instruments, voice, before an audience quietly listening with religious commitment. The sound was sweet, slowly abducting the crowd.

It was captivating to hear a series of choral arrangements for music mainly not prepared for the voiced medium  but rather for orchestral purposes in their original incarnation.

Wojciech Kilar (from King of the Last Days), Patrick Doyle (from Carlito’s Way- Arr. by Mikael Carlsson), Ennio Morricone (The Mission –Arr. by Marek Pawelek), for instance, got some beautiful treatments, as well as guest Don Davis who seemed to really enjoy (I sat behind him) this edition of his theme to Behind enemy Lines.

Once more artistic director Robert Piaskowki gamble against the odds (he could have chosen to go for a more ‘spectacular’ opening but pushed the Dracula in Concert to day two) is a winner. We get a magical build up here. And it is what good artistic direction is about.

Did I say Build up?

Dracula by Kilar World Premiere is Next… Tonight!

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