Chaconne is a festival that wishes to raise awareness of the infinite potential of human creativity. A celebration where a 16th-century genre gains new meaning and where classical and contemporary go hand in hand.
Originally, chaconne was a fast dance song often accompanied by mocking lyrics and suggestive movements. It is of New World origin and appeared in Spain at the end of the 16th century. It quickly spread in the courts of Europe and among the people. By the early 17th century, in the Baroque period, it was transformed into a slow triple beat, mostly instrumental music. It consists of a few stubbornly repetitive bass notes and a series of variations on the melody that appears above it. It was one of the most popular forms of Baroque music, Still the principle itself, the duality and parallelism of constancy and change, is not only reflected in the associated arts but is also a fundamental concept in social and natural sciences.
Although it abandoned its original name, this formula has survived, and remained fundamentally unchanged with just a few or more modifications in other musical eras and genres. A case in point is folk music, repetitive music, contemporary genres, or jazz.
Upon hearing the word chaconne, everyone thinks of the final movement of J.S. Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D minor. This work will be the festival’s focal point, surrounded by the inexhaustibly rich Baroque chaconne repertoire, written for a wide variety of instruments, offering solo, vocal, orchestral and chamber ensembles the opportunity to perform.
Contemporary arrangements of the form can be particularly inspiring, even for a competition for composers. The same is true of jazz, with opportunities for comparing improvisation skills.
Chaconne was very much in vogue in the Baroque period, at the time when stringed instruments took on their present form, and the most famous violin-making dynasties, such as Amati, Guarneri, and Stradivarius, were all active. It should not, therefore, come as a surprise that together with the master violin maker Elemér Sümegi, who works in Veszprém, we dreamed up an international meeting of instrument makers and an instrument exhibition. It has already debuted in 2012 and is crying out for continuation as an essential complement to the Chaconne Festival.
Although the boundaries of the chaconne as a musical principle extend far beyond the eras of early music, the festival will nevertheless focus on the Baroque. After all, it has played a lasting and decisive role in the architectural past of Veszprém, although unfortunately, very few traces can be seen today outside of the castle buildings.
Joshua Bell wrote of Bach's Chaconne: "It is not only one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest intellectual achievements in the history of mankind: it is spiritually and emotionally moving, and its structure is simply perfect."
Implemented by: Veszprém-Balaton 2023 Plc.