From Fes to Jerusalem / Classical Music and Song of the East/ France
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Ensemble La Tempête
Simon-Pierre Bestion: conception, arrangements and direction
Georges Abdallah: traditional song
Milena Jeliazkova: traditional song
Twelve singers and four instrumentalists: cornett (wind instrument), percussion, clarinet and duduk (double reed wind instrument), serpent (base brass wind instrument)
For this concert, with musicians and singers of the Ensemble La Tempête directed by conductor Simon-Pierre Bestion, the links that have woven our Mediterranean cultures together for centuries are expressed in a great celebration dedicated to common roots and the way in which popular, sacred rituals always play across borders and identities. The three great monotheistic religions are striking proof of this and provide the true meaning of ‘From Fes to Jerusalem’.
The story we are going to tell you begins with a wide, chronological and geographical journey with its origins in the multiple, complex roots of our age-old Mediterranean societies. Each song resonates with a tiny part of the building we inhabit at the same time as with our own feelings that are the fruit of our diverse backgrounds. It is a free musical process playing with centuries and places visited, attempting to offer a magnified perception of our differences while all these rites echo each other.
Twelve languages rub shoulders and respond alternately. They reflect the wealth of this crossroads within the Mediterranean basin: Latin, Greek, Armenian, Arabic, Hebrew, Galician, Spanish, Bulgarian, Turkish, Slav, Ethiopian, Judeo-Spanish. There are as many colours in these languages as we have in the instrumental and vocal palette for this concert: rich voices of a wide range using the very diverse vocalities found in the repertoires of these borrowed countries. Prayers, lullabies, dances, love songs, invocations, all these forms of music make up a great unified vocal ritual dedicated to love and to the memory of Jerusalem, that eternal, mystical city, in which a part of every one of us vibrates. In ‘The Prophet, Khalil Gibran expresses it thus: No, I will not leave this town without wounding my soul … There are many plots of spirit that I have scattered in these streets.’Simon-Pierre Bestion
On the programme: Sergueï Rachmaninov, Arvo Pärt, Heinrich Schütz, Zad Moultaka, Jean-Louis Florentz, Salomone Rossi, Pierre Le Vénérable, Alfonso X El Sabio, Robert White and music from traditional Orthodox, Sephardi Yemenite, Arab and Melkite repertoires.