Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A trip to “Baroque Music” at the Damascus Opera



On Thursday evening, the band “Damascus Baroque Music Players” held an evening performance at the Opera House in the Syrian capital.

The orchestra took the audience on a journey through this melodic form, full of emotion and feeling, from the period between Avon (1580-1650) by teachers of various Italian, German, English and French nationalities.

The first part is a concerto for strings and clavison composed by the Italian Antonio Vivaldi, and is known as a dialogue concerto for orchestra with other instruments.

However, in this work, heroism is not singular, but collective, which highlights the aesthetics of polyphonic melody that characterizes that stage in musical history, according to three movements: fast, then slow, then fast.

As Arabs, we carry a great emotional side to our personality, which enables us to do this kind of art with all merit.

Mahdi Mahdi

A second work by German Georg Philipp Telemann, Sinfonia no. The fourth represents the character of the German Baroque, which is more solid than its Italian counterpart. The classical era of music was the symphony, as a symphony consisted of four movements performed together by an orchestra.

From France, the Damascus Ensemble of Baroque Music presents the Sultan’s series of strings and clavis by teacher François Coubertin, which includes a pleasant form, continuous and entertaining dances.

It is one of the manifestations of Western influence on Arab civilization. Towards the end of the Andalusian era, a musical style associated with traveling musicians known as “troubadours” spread, in which a singer plays with a lute. In later times it became a veena.

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It was in the era before the Baroque Revival, but during the Baroque period the style was developed and mixed with church music, meaning that religious music was connected to the world and charged with emotion and passion.

The fourth piece of the evening was written by Englishman Henry Purcell titled Three Pieces for Strings.

The opera festival ended with Giulio Cassini’s “Ave Maria” (The Virgin Mother), with the participation of soprano Haneen Al-Halabi, who displayed important vocal skills and the ability to express throat drama as an allegory of her prayer. Peace be upon Mary.

This piece, as concert supervisor Mahdi al-Mahdi explained, is a prayer for the souls of the victims of the earthquake that struck Syria last February sixth.

Al-Mahdi said in a statement to “Erm News”: “We, the Arab people, carry a big emotional aspect of our personality, which is able to perform this art form with full merit, and highlights the aesthetics of the songs. The polyphonic musical style.”

“What distinguishes polyphony from harmonic music, which consists of a main melody and accompanying melodies, is that in the polyphonic style there are many musical voices at once, and each of them has the same importance, which complicates the writing. In the form, but it is very melodic, so all the players are single heroes.”

It is worth noting that the Damascus Baroque Music Ensemble previously existed and was supervised by Dr. Nabil al-Aswad, in addition to the workshops supervised by the Italian musician Marco Vitale at the Higher Institute of Music.

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Mahdi Al-Mahdi became a member of the band in 2014 and he has performed with them in many concerts and festivals over the years.

“I want to revive this band to transfer the experience he gained in this musical style to the new generation, and he emphasized that this band should be a means to support the radical cultural and artistic movement of Syria with a quality musical style. , people all over the world are more or less closely related.

The orchestra, supervised by Mahdi al-Mahdi, consisted of a group of string instruments, the first violin and its players: (Yara al-Asha, George Abu Shar), and the second violin: (Tima Khair Bey, George Saad).

As for “Viola”, it was played together with (Qays Abu Faqr, Mulham Al-Massad), cello (Kara Bait Arslanian), double bass (Sara Sinjar), and harpsichord (Tariq Sharabi). The cello and double bass form the basic harmonic basis for the music of this era, known as the “baso continuo”.

Pandora Bacchus
Pandora Bacchus
"Coffee evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Hardcore creator. Infuriatingly humble zombie ninja. Writer. Introvert. Music fanatic."

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