The Festival

Days of Wisdom - Cervià de Ter

Started and directed by Maria João Pires, this summer festival took place in August 2019 in Cervià de Ter, a town located in the province of Girona. The old and splendid monastery hosted this event, which lasted 3 days, offering concerts as well as artistic forms based on the dialogue between music, literature, theater and dance.

The first edition played tribute to the essence of the place itself, remembering its spiritual vocation and transposing it to artistic values. As a symbolism of refoundation, a group of women formed by Maria João Pires (piano), Lilit Grigoryan (piano), Jiana Peng (piano) and Talar Derkmanjian (soprano) became the guardians of creativity and vocalism.

The main purpose of this first edition was to emphasize the importance of the voice as a main life component and musical expression: the voice of the first breath, the first word, the first communication, the first singing voice, as well as the secret voice, sometimes hidden but always there – innere Stimme, as Schuman used to – of instrumental music.

The first concert, intended to remember the spirituality of the place, offered piano and vocal works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Frederic Mompou, György Kurtag, Komitas and Arvo Pärt. The second concert proposed pieces for voice and piano by Chopin and Liszt. The Mélodies polonaises by Chopin and some Lieder by Liszt, probably the most intimate and least known aspect of his art, alternated with Chopin’s solo piano works and Liszt’s Sonata in B minor. Within these two poetic and sound universes, we also heard pieces rarely performed, Liszt transcriptions for solo piano and Chopin’s melodies. The third concert was devoted to one of the main ensembles of universal music: the three last Sonatas for piano by Beethoven, op. 109, op. 110 and op. 111. In a spirit of dialogue between music and text, the interpretation of these three masterpieces was accompanied by the reading of a selection of letters by the same composer.

This project borns in Belgais Center of Arts, space founded in Portugal by Maria João Pires, where regularly take place interdisciplinary workshops, concerts and recordings.