Tage Alter Musik Regensburg 2019
Bavaria, Germany. 7-10 June 2019
The Regensburg Tage Alter Musik festival takes place annually from Friday to Monday over the Pentecost/Whitsun weekend, whose dates move linked to Easter. The 2019 festival, the 35th, took place over the weekend of 7-10 June, rather later than in previous years and the latest Pentecost weekend until 2030. With 15 concerts over these four days, it is a total immersion of early music performed in some spectacular buildings in Regensburg city centre. The historic city of Regensburg has its roots in the Celtic settlement of Radasbona and the Roman Castra Regina fort, remnants of which can still be seen. It was the early Medieval capital of Bavaria. The 12th-century bridge over the Danube increased its importance as a Free Imperial City within the Holy Roman Empire. It adopted the Reformation in 1542 but retained its Catholic Cathedral and Abbeys. From 1663 to 1806, it was the permanent seat of the Imperial Diet of the Holy Roman Empire, the so-called ‘Perpetual Diet’. The whole of the historic city centre is now a World Heritage Site.
Friday 7 June
The festival weekend traditionally starts on Friday evening with the famed Cathedral boys choir, the Regensburger Domspatzen, on this occasion accompanied by the Hofkapelle Munich orchestra in the St. Emmeram Basilica, one of the oldest churches in Regensburg, albeit heavily drizzled with Baroque frippery. It was conducted by the Domkapellmeister Roland Büchner. Recognising the 300th anniversary of the birth of Leopold Mozart (1719-1787), they performed his short Symphony in G major, the Neue Lambacher and his substantial Missa solemnis in C major. The four-movement Symphony was conducted by the concertmaster of Hofkapelle Munich, Rüdiger Lotter. It is in the mid-18th-century Sturm und Drang style with dramatic changes of mood and texture in all its movements. The second movement is full of trills and suspensions, perhaps a lingering reflection of the Baroque era. The following Menuetto has a lovely rhythmic hiccup in the second phrase.
The substantial Missa solemnis was long thought to be by Leopold’s son, although I find that hard to believe on compositional terms alone. To me, the style seems to be earlier than WA Mozart, with frequent references back to Baroque era idioms as well as elements of the then current Sturm und Drang style and Hadyn. It opens with a tiny fugue on the first Kyrie, before the extended Christe and second Kyrie. Subsequent movements contrast full choral passages with extended solo moments, many with more than one cadenza. It is a powerful work, although musically it is caught in the awkward gap between the Baroque and Classical period and suffers from some rather predictable harmonic sequences. The key vocal soloist was soprano Katja Stuber with a number of well-sung arias. Unfortunately, the alto seemed to have an off-day, not least in that her part involved several tricky breaks of register. Key instrumental moments came from flautist Marcello Gatti and Christian Gruber, trumpet.
This concert was the last appearance of Domkapellmeister Roland Büchner at the Tage Alter Musik, as he retires in 2020. He has conducted the opening concert since 2010, and was given a rousing send off by the festival audience.
The Friday late-night concert (they start at 22:45) was given by the 18-strong British a cappella ORA Singers conducted by Suzi Digby. Unusually, it was in the vast Gothic surroundings of Regensburg Cathedral – the first time in all my years of reviewing there that any of the festival concerts have been held there. For some reason, vocal groups from the UK always seem to go down very well with Regensburg audiences, and this was no exception. The packed cathedral gave them a well-deserved standing ovation, calling them back for encores despite it already being well into the early hours of Saturday morning.
Their programme was based on settings of the penitential Psalm 51 ‘Miserere settings – songs of hope’ starting with Allegri’s famous version, in an interesting arrangement that kept the notable soprano high notes in reserve until towards the end. With the chant choir at one side, and the four semi-chorus singers at the back of the church, it was an impressive acoustic occasion. Six contrasting settings by Byrd and one by Tallis followed, each given superb performances, notably from the sopranos. Unfortunately, although they were standing on the chancel steps, it was impossible to see anything of the choir or conductor from my seat, so I can’t name any specific vocal soloist. But the overall sound and projection of the choir into the vast space was outstanding, as was their refined sense of consort.
They balanced the programme with two contemporary works, both using the space of the cathedral well, and based on the early pieces in the programme. Wolfram Buchenberg’s dramatic Reflektion über Tallis’ Miserere nostri Domine, featured large contrasts of volume and textures, some with influences of Messiaen. They concluded with Sir James McMillan’s Miserere, a piece based on Allegri’s version, with McMillan’s characteristic Celtic/Baroque ornaments, harmonic ‘nudges’, and evocative harmonies. One of the encores was Roderick Williams’ impressive Ave Verum corpus re-imagined, based on Byrd’s Ave Verum. An outstanding concert.
Saturday 8 June
Saturday’s concerts started with a concert of music for Pardessus de Viole given by the Canadian Mélisande Corriveau accompanied by Eric Milnes (USA), harpsichord, in the Ägidienkirche, one of the smallest of the festival venues. The Pardessus is the highest pitched of the viol family, smaller than the more usually heard treble viol. It came to the fore in the 18th century among French, generally female, amateurs. For most of this concert, the pieces reflected that period and genre, with pieces published between 1736 and 1753 by Louis de Caix D’Hervelois, Boismortier, and Charles Dolle, ending with a slightly incongruous arrangement of one of Bach’s Organ Sonatas. Playing a 1755 Pierre Le Pilleur viol instrument, Mélisande Corriveau produced some beautifully eloquent sounds, combining the delicate attack and quick decay of the sound with the mellow tone, particularly of the lower strings to lovely effect. Many of the pieces were based on dance forms, and Corriveau managed to elaborate on that mood, with some delicate ornaments and subtle finger vibrato.
It should have been easy to imagine the intimate Parisian settings of this music were it not for one major factor. The harpsichord playing was some of the most unsympathetic and insensitive I have ever heard. Seemingly intent on dominating the principal soloist, we were bombarded with loud, thick chords, irritating and unmusical countermelodies, often sounding above the Pardessus and, notably in the Bach Sonata, an overly-mannered style of playing that was completely out of keeping with the delicately sensitive playing of Mélisande Corriveau. She deserved better than this.
The mid-afternoon concert in the spectacular Baroque interior of the medieval Alten Kapelle was given by Höör Barock from Sweden. Their programme, Orchestral music of the Baroque, focussed on the Swedish composer Johan Roman (1694-1758) with two Suites made up from 16 of the 45 pieces in Golovin manuscript, composed by Roman for the Russian ambassador in Stockholm, Count Golovin, for his celebrations of the coronation of Tsar Peter II. The pieces in the manuscript range from less than a minute to over six minutes long, and are not arranged in an order that suggests any sensible grouping into suites. These two Suites were concocted by Höör Barock, with eight pieces in each. Some pieces were rather curious and even inconsequential, not surprisingly given the assumed background music intent of the commission. The most substantial was the six-minute ‘Allegro’, the seventh in the manuscript, with its contrast between two violins and two recorders. Rather large gaps between the individual pieces led to a loss of cohesion and momentum within the two Suites, but the music was nonetheless fascinating, if not always musically outstanding. Emilie Roos was an excellent recorder soloist in many of the pieces, and Hannah Tibell led the orchestra well.
The highlight of the concert came with Anna Paradiso’s excellent performance of Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto BWV 1057. Earlier Emilie Roos had been joined by guest Dan Laurin for Telemann’s approachable Concerto for two Recorders and strings, TWV 52:a2. The concert ended with a curious arrangement of Corelli’s Concerto Grosso in D Op6/4 with added trumpets. That was followed by Dan Laurin announcing that he had been told by the festival organiser not to talk, although he continued to do just that with a plug for a CD and a rambling description of an encore which might have been of interest to those in the front few rows who were able to actually hear it. Not impressed.
An unfortunate change to the published programme saw the return of Hofkapelle Munich heard earlier in the opening concert. Their programme of Bach Brandenburg Concertos 1, 3 and 5 and Orchestral Suites 2 and 3 was in the St. Emmeram Basilica, an acoustic not really suited to such chamber pieces unless the orchestra knows how to play in such an acoustic, which this one didn’t seem to. As with the previous concert, the highlight came from a harpsichord player, in this case, Olga Watts for her playing in Brandenburg 5 with its enormous first-movement flight-of-fancy harpsichord cadenza. Marcello Gatti, flute and Claire Sirjacobs, oboe, also impressed. But generally speaking, speeds were excessive, given the acoustics of the space, and there were some rather mannered interpretations in some of the movements. There were however some good moments, one being the nicely timed link passage between the Adagio and Allegro of Brandenburg 1, and the simple treatment of the two-chord Adagio of Brandenburg 3, here played with a simple harpsichord flourish. But it wasn’t really a suitable replacement for the programmed Matthew Passion.
The late night concert was in the Schottenkirche St. Jakob with its extraordinary medieval sculptured porch. It was given by the Belgian groups Utopia and InAlto the former with five singers, the latter with five instrumentalists (cornett and four trombones). Their programme Martin Luther – The Power of Music explored Luther’s own love of music and its importance in the subsequent Lutheran liturgy. After an introductory instrumental Douleur me bat from Josquin Desprez, his De profundis clamavi introduced a sequence of pieces based on three Lutheran chorales: Aus tiefer Not, Vater unser im Himmelreich, andChrist lag in Todesbanden and their Latin predecessors (De profundis clamavi, Pater Noster, and Victimae paschali laudes, by composers such as Crüger, Hellinck, Senfl, Walter, Hoyol, Lasso and Michael Praetorius. A larger gap between the three groups of pieces would have helped but, otherwise, this was an impressive concert with fine singing and playing. Soprano Veerle Van Roosbroeck seemed to be leading the singers, and her relatively subdued, but nicely-focussed voice was a feature of the consort. Countertenor Rob Cuppen also had an attractive voice. The programme was well planned, building to something of a musical climax from the Desprez Victimae paschali laudes through to Michael Praetorius’s concluding version.
Sunday 9 June
The Sunday morning concert was in the historic Reichssaal, home of the Imperial Diet of the Holy Roman Empire (the so-called ‘Perpetual Diet) and now part of the Rathaus. The performers were Seconda Prat!ca from The Netherlands, with their four singers and five instrumentalists. Their programme was Mussa Mundi – 15th to 17th-century musical traditions of Portugal and their worldwide impact, with a sequence of pieces alternating with settings of a Christmas Mass by different composers, all found in the same manuscript in Coimbra. The music ranged from around 1540 to 1697 and covered a wide variety of styles, from formal polyphony to folk-style Villancicos. Often overlooked in favour of their Iberian neighbours or the rich tapestry of Latin American music, this was a fascinating insight into the music of Portugal, and a reminder of just how important the city of Coimbra was. The music was evocative, with a nicely-chosen balance of vocal and instrumental pieces and a rich tapestry of accompanimental sounds.
After the opening processional and the introit Puer natus est nobis by Manual da Fonseca, there came an extended dramatic anonymous piece froma Coimbra manuscript, En un portal derribado with contributions from vocal representatives of various countries. A later dramatic piece was Mateo Flecha el Viejo’s lively El Fuego, this from a Barcelona manuscript. As is always the case with concerts in the Reichssaal, heat and lack of air was an issue for performers and audience alike. This really does need to be sorted out – it is unfair on the musicians and uncomfortable for the audience. Just leaving windows open up until the start of the concert would help, as would retaining some element of fresh air movement during the concert. The windows have to be closed because of noise from the lively square outside and the sound of the cathedral bells who toll enthusiastically at 12 on Whit/Pentecost Sunday.
Excessive heat was also an issue during the first of the afternoon concerts, held in the open air inner courtyard of the Thon-Dittmer-Palais. A spectacular space, but with the entire audience and most of the performers exposed to the direct glare of the early afternoon sun throughout. Moving this to the 4pm rather than the 2pm slot would have helped, but in the meantime, many of the audience sat with their programme books on their heads. The unfortunate performers were the Zefiro Oboe Band with their programme Von Hof zu Hof and a line-up of 8 oboes (two of them tenor), three bassoons, and percussion. Their programme of music with roots in the Court of Louis XIV by Lully (the processional Marche de Savoye), André and Pierre Philidor, Foerster, Paisible, and Fischer. Inevitably much of the music was martial in mood, although the two Suites provided some contrasting dance-based movements, including an impressive Chaconne at the conclusion of Johann Kaspar Ferdinand Fischer’s Suite No 1 in C, Le Journal de Printemps.
The central Concerto in C for two oboes by Johann Christoph Foerster gave some relief from the massed winds, even though it would not rank amongst my top favourite compositions, rather overdoing the key of C major and the use of scales. The bustling concluding Presto was nonetheless attractive. The French oboist Jacques Paisible started the first oboe band at the English Court, reflecting the French practice. His Suite in D from Queen Anne’s Book was an attractive sequence of pieces. The final piece was the jolly Marche du Regiments de la Calotte. The Zefiro Oboe Band’s peaked baseball hats certainly came in useful and led to some coordinated cap-doffing at the end.
The later afternoon concert (in the galleried St. Oswald Church) was given by the impressive Polish orchestra Arte dei Suonatori directed from the harpsichord by Marcin Świątkiewicz. Their programme, Bach, Telemann, Goldberg: Musical and human relations, contrasted the three composers linked around Bach. Telemann was godfather to CPE Bach, and Goldberg was Bach’s most talented student, best known for his possibly tenuous link to Bach’s Goldberg Variations, written when Goldberg was 14. There were also links with Poland, Telemann’s Concerto Polonois, has strong echoes of Polish folk music, no doubt linked to the years he spent in Żary Castle and Pszczyna. It was given a very sensitive reading by Arte dei Suonatori, particularly in the luxuriant and gently swaying Largo.
Although Johann Gotlieb Goldberg died just 6 years after Bach, he was only 29 at the time, having been born 42 years before Bach. It is, therefore, no surprise that his music was very different from that of his teacher, He was born in Gdansk, and was represented in this concert by his D minor Harpsichord Concerto, one of the longest of his time at about 35 minutes. It is an extraordinary tour de force of technical virtuosity and reinforced the reputation that Goldberg had during his short life as an outstanding player. Although elements of the Baroque style of his teacher crop up occasionally, the style otherwise combines elements of the Sturm und Drang and Empfindsamer Stil of CPE Bach. The bustling opening leads to a series of extended cadenza-like passages for the solo harpsichord (some with the cello picking out the bass line) and short moments of hiatus, finally dissolving into a slow coda. The lyrical Largo was full of lush harmonies, elegiac melodies, and a cadenza with a nicely timed pause before the turbulent final Allegro di molto. Marcin Świątkiewicz played this complex piece brilliantly, combining keyboard virtuosity with a lovely sense of rhetoric and sensitive direction of his fellow musicians.
They finished with the same Bach Orchestral Suite (No 3 in D) that we heard the day before, although their playing and the acoustic made their performance considerably more impressive, not least because of the clarity of the individual voices. Aureliusz Goliński also impressed as the first violinist.
The main evening concert (in the Basilika St. Emmeram) was given by the Chœur de Chambre de Namur & Cappella Mediterranea from Belgium, directed by Leonardo García Alarcón. Their programme Carmina Latina – a sound journey to the New World explored the fascinating music of the Spanish and Portuguese composers, most living in the New World. A sequence of well-known pieces pioneered by the likes of Ex Cathedra in the UK was contrasted with lesser-known music by, for example, the Seville organist Francisco Correa de Araujo (or Arauxo) (his impressive polyphonic Magnificat and a version of his organ Canto llano de la Inmaculada concepción with recorder divisions and percussion) and Juan de Araujo, organist of Cusco Cathedral in Peru and Sucre Cathedral in present-day Bolivia. The four singers and seven instrumentalists of Cappella Mediterranea combined with the 12-strong Chœur de Chambre de Namur to produce a fascinating range of sounds. Soprano Mariana Flores and the three Namur sopranos were particularly impressive (the former notably in Romero’s Romerico florido, with its flamenco-style guitar background) as were the instrumentalists Rodrigo Calveyra, zink & recorder, Quito Gato, guitar & theorbo, and Marie Bournisien, harp.
The combination of traditional polyphony and local musical influences produced an idiomatic musical genre, with many more pieces awaiting discovery. This concert focussed on music found in music libraries of the churches in Argentina, Peru and Bolivia. It opened with the wonderfully evocative processional Hanacpachap cussicuinin. Alongside the more serious religious pieces were lively acted-out scenes such as La Bomba and Salga el torillo.
The Sunday late night concert was in the Reichssaal, now mercifully a little cooler than before. The USA group Piffaro, The Renaissance Band gave their programme Back to the time before Bach – Musical Travel. The five core members of the groups were expanded by five guest players, the ten of them listed as playing nearly 40 instruments between them. The sheer logistics of their hot-desking the music stands was an achievement in itself. Bach’s family roots were in the Stadtpfeiffer musical tradition, his father being Stadtpfeiffer (in Lübeck and Arnstadt) as was his father-in-law and godfather (in Zeitz & Weißenfels and Gotha respectively). Their programme was focussed on different versions of Stadtpfeiffer pieces, including Christ ist erstanden (from the Glogauer songbook, Heinrich Isaac, Heinrich Finck, Johann Walther, Michael Praetorius and Bach), Heinrich Isaac’s Innsbruck, ich muess dich lassen (with arrangements by Joan Kimball), and A solis ortus/Christum will sollen lobenschon (from Johann Walter, Samuel Scheidt, Michael Praetorius, and Bach).
There was a wonderful range of Renaissance instrumental colour, one particularly attractive combination being bagpipes and recorder followed by dulzians at the start of the Innsbruck sequence. That group ended closer to home with Zu Regensburg, an anonymous piece from the 16th-century manuscript. In contrast, the A solis ortus cardine sequence was played throughout on recorders. starting with the simple chant melody and finished with Bach’s chorale Christum will sollen lobenschon. Melchior Frank’s Da pacem, Domine returned to the louder instruments of pommer, posaune, dulzian and zink, including a splendid low bass. They finished with a sequence of German Renaissance dance pieces by Johann Giro, Samuel Scheidt, and Michael Praetorius. An excellent concert.
Monday 10 June
The Monday series of concerts started in the enormous Gothic Minoritenkirche (now part of the history museum) with Ensemble Céladon from France and their programme of Occitan Nights: 12th/13th century Songs of the Troubadours. The most southern region of France (much larger than the current Region of Occitan) saw the flourishing of poet and musician troubadours, singing of courtly love. The well-planned programme moved from dusk to dawn with pieces by Marcabru, Raimon Jordan, Bernart de Ventadorn, Raimon de Miravel, ‘Cadenet’ and Berenguier de Palazol, all born between about 1110 and 1165. Soprano Clara Coutouly and countertenor Paulin Bündgen were accompanied by recorder, lute, fidel, rebab and percussion. We have little idea of how this music was performed, and the use of percussion is always a tricky issue. On this occasion, I felt that the percussion moved rather too often into a rather generic ‘new-age’ mode. Apart from that quibble, the sound world was attractive and apt, with particularly effective playing from Nolwenn Le Guern on fidel and rebab. This would have made a delightful late-night concert, but its subtle soundworld was also appreciated by those had already sat through 11 concerts and had another four to go.
The early afternoon concert was back in the heat of the Reichssaal and was given by the French ensemble Le Caravansérail with soprano Rachel Redmond. Their programme, A Fancy – Fantasy on English Airs & Tunes was a generous acknowledgement of the musical achievements of England, their historic enemies, during the 17th-century. The mid-17th century Restoration period in England saw a revival of English music and theatre after the Puritan Commonwealth, with a French influence that came from the period of Royal exile in France. Their extremely well-planned and well-presented concert segued groups of pieces by Purcell, Locke, Draghi, Hart, Grabu, and Akeroyde into a coherent whole. Given the history between England and France, it was perhaps appropriate that they had a Scottish soprano, reflecting the historic Auld Alliance between Scotland and France. Rachel Redmond’s singing was the highlight of the concert, notably with Purcell’s See, even Night herself is here from The Fairy Queen. Her impressive clarity and focused voice was ideal for the repertoire. She is also one of the rare singers who can do a proper trill.
Much of the music of the period is related to theatrical works and is often difficult to programme successfully as a whole. This approach of combining selections worked very well, not least in revealing the wealth of music from this period. Purcell was represented by extracts from the music to The Virtous Wife, The Fairy Queen, The Theatre of Music, Abdelazar, The Mock Marriage, The History of Timon of Athens, and King Arther. The key instrumentalists were Stéphan Dudermel, violin, Marine Sablonnière, recorder, Isabelle Saint Yves viola da gamba, and director Bertrand Cuiller, harpsichord & organ, the latter producing a wonderfully bouncy organ part in Purcell’s Curtain Tune from The History of Timon of Athens.
A review of their CD of this programme A Fancy: Fantasy on English Airs & Tune (Harmonia Mundi. HMM 902296), can be found here.
The penultimate concert of the festival was in St Oswald Church where the Canadian group L’Harmonie des Saisons gave their programme Las Ciudades de Oro – Music of the Golden Cities. Charting similar territory to the previous evening’s concert by Chœur de Chambre de Namur & Cappella Mediterranea, they started with the same Hanacpachap cussicuinin, on this occasion starting with a recorder solo followed by a lone soprano walking down the central aisle towards the exit, an innovative approach to a processional song. She walked back in again with a processional with the rest of the musicians which featured the harp player Maria Cleary playing her harp while carrying it horizontally on her shoulder. Their programme drew on music from archives in Puebla (Mexico), Antigua (Guatemala), Bogota (Colombia), Cordoba (Argentina), Lima and Cuzco (Peru) and Sucre (Bolivia). With six singers and 11 instrumentalists playing violins, recorders, cornetts, dulzian, guitars, harp, dulcian, bass, harpsichord and percussion, they produced an enticing range of tone colours in Villancicos, Folias españolas and Canarios by Juan de Araujo, Tomás de Torrejón and Velasco, José de Orejón and Aparicio, Alonso Torice, Santiago de Murcia, Juan García de Zéspedes, Domenico Zipoli and Roque Jacinto de Chavarría. Yet again, the influence of Ex Cathedra was apparent in their choice of pieces and interpretations.
The Tage Alter Musik Regensburg festival finished as it began, in the St Emmeram Basilica, this time with the Italian group La Risonanza directed by Fabio Bonizzoni. Their programme of music by Dietrich Buxtehude and Johann Sebastian Bach started with Buxtehude’s 1680 Cantata cycle Membra Jesu nostri. This cycle is a meditation on the feet, knees, hands, side, chest, heart and face of the crucified Christ in seven cantatas, each with similar form. The sixth cantata uses the evocative sound of a consort of violas da gamba, while the rest use two violins and continuo. The two violinists, Carlo Lazzaroni and Fabio Ravasi, were particularly effective, as was the principal viola da gamba continuo (who I guess from the programme was Noelia Reverte Reche) who also had some virtuoso moments in the following Bach cantata.
Bach’s cantata Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich dates from around 1707/8 and is one of Bach’s earliest known church cantatas. It opens with a short Sinfonia, with a descending chromatic theme, which continues into the first chorus. It is scored for the small forces of two violins, bassoon and basso continuo. The second aria is a vocal trio over a rapid viola da gamba bass, which leads to a chorus over a rocking bassoon bass, here played by Anna Maria Barbaglia. The final chorus is a chaconne, reversing the opening descending motif. It inspired Brahms in the last movement of his 4th Symphony. The whole cantata is a fascinating, if rather unusual piece, by the standard of later cantatas.
Of the four vocal soloists, the most successful was tenor Raffaele Giordani. I was not so happy with the other singers, particularly the sopranos and alto whose voices seemed unstable at times, with excessive vibrato and intonation issues. The instrumentalists, in contrast, were excellent, as was the pacing of Fabio Bonizzoni’s direction.
And so concluded the 35th festival. Hard work for a reviewer, with so many concerts to cover in four days, but very rewarding for the impressively large audiences. Although there were the usual musical and performance highlights, some of the concerts this year were not up to the high standards of previous festivals. Most concerts were sold out, even in the largest venues and the latest times. As well as the concerts, there was the traditional exhibition of music, CDs, and instruments in the historic Salzstadel adjoining the Sreinernen Bridge over the Danube. Next year’s Tage Alter Musik is from 29 May to 1 June 2020.
Last year I mentioned the annual appearance of the embarrassing, thoughtless and irritating collector of autographs who hunts down performers immediately after the performance, following them into their dressing rooms and asking for repeat copies of their autograph. Bizarrely, he demands five or more signatures from many of them. He clearly wasn’t put off by my mentioning him and was back. I wonder if he ever considers the musicians who have spent many hours travelling, rehearsing and performing? Or the friends and audience members who would also like to speak to the performers without him taking up their valuable time. At the end of the first late-night event, he followed a couple of singers down the aisle despite it being well past midnight and very obvious that they were leaving in a hurry. With admirable patience, they eventually gave in to his demands and stopped. Did he not think that they wanted to get to their hotel and well-earned sleep? He might not have known, and they were too polite to tell him, that they had to leave their hotel at 4am in order to catch the flight to their next gig. I strongly suggest that the festival management put a stop to this in future years. Apart from being grossly insensitive, it is unfair to the musicians, and to others who want to engage with them.