Monday, October 10, 2011

Cleveland Museum of Art: Folias & Romances: Music Dialogues between Orient and Occident (@ClevelandArt)

(The full program is at the conclusion of this post)
Ferran Savall, Voice and Toeorbo; Jordi Savall, Lira da gamba and seven strings bass viol.

One of the reasons I love living in Cleveland is that you're virtually surrounded by the arts -- be they performing or classical -- and near the end of this chock-full weekend I found myself in the Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art for father and son team Jordi and Ferran Savall's performance.

While I'm at the museum practically weekly, this was the first event I've attended at Gartner. While the performance was fantastic, the organization didn't quite meet my expectations for the museum (for one, at least three different times were advertised depending on where you looked) and the event started late and ran longer than the box office had indicated, leaving me a bit harried and stressed about being late for the next event on my schedule. I probably should have left at intermission, but I was otherwise enjoying the concert too much to leave it unfinished.

I wasn't sure what to expect musically; the three instruments used aren't exactly common, but the result was musical magic. The program wove a selection of music picked from a progression of regions together. Within each grouping (From Orient, The Celtic Traditions, The Catalan traditions, The Spanish Folias, From Occident, Dialogues: The Mediterranean Traditions, and Ostinatos from the Old & New World) the music was played without pause, resulting in a beautifully flowing  program with a color that evolved slowly but clearly.

Being a Celtic fan, it is perhaps without surprise that my favorite portion of the program was the lively and animated -- entirely instrumental -- The Celtic Traditions, where at points it was hard to resist dancing a little jig in the auditorium. The Catalan Traditions that followed shifted to beautifully soothing (Particularly the younger Savall's voice in El Mariner. The second half of the program was more in the direction of lullabies, between two wonderfully voiced instruments in the hands of Jordi Savall and the voice in the hands of Feran Savall.

It was no accident that the concert ended on Jarabe Loco with the lyrics translated as "At last they are united / the old and the new world / and now they only stand divided / by a sea as deep as it is old" -- that is precisely what the program accomplished.


The full program:
From Orient
Shepardic (Sarajevo): Paxarico tu te llams (Instrumental)
Hebrew Lullaby (Israel): Noumi, moumi yaldatii
Traditional (Afghanistan): Nastaran (Instrumental)
Shepardic (Music) and Muguel de Cervantes (text): Marinero soy de amor
The Celtic Traditions
Dan R. MacDonald: Abergeldie Castle Strathspey
Traditional (Scottish): Regents Rant
Ryan's Mammoth Collection (Boston, 1883): Crabs in the Skillet
Ryan's Mammoth Collection (Boston, 1883): Lord Moira's Hornpipe
The Catalan Traditions
F. Savall (Music), Manuel Forcano (text): Mireu el nostre mar
Traditional (Catalonia): El mariner
The Spanish Folias
Antonio Martin y Coll: Diferencias sobre las Folias
From Occident
Traditional (Catalonia) and F. Savall: La canco del lladre
Marias: Muzettes I-II
Traditional (Breton) and J. Savall (Improvisations and variations): Gwerz "O Sonjal"
Dialogues: The Mediterranean Traditions
Traditional (Greece): Apo zeno meros
Shepardic Lullaby: Durme, hermosa donzella
From Morocco: Ghazali tal jahri (Instrumental)
Traditional (Turkey): Uskudar'a
Ostinatos from the Old & New World
Diego Ortiz: Romanesca & Passamezzo Moderno (Instrumental)
Canarios (Ostinato improvisations)
Improvisations after A. Valente & Jarocho traditions: Folias Criollas / Jarabe loco.

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