Les 1001 Nuits

The Franco-Algerian soprano Amel Brahim Djelloul is one of the leading figures of the young generation of Mediterranean singers. She is keen to experiment with different musical styles, is proud of her heritage and gives it a resolutely contemporary tone. Unpredictable. Just like her evocative programme, behind which lie composers from the classical repertoire.

What they have in common is that, between 1900 and 1930, they were inspired by the exoticism of oriental scenes and landscapes, and that they conceived melodies from them, an intimate form particularly honoured in the previous century by the Romantics, and that, behind the heady perfumes and striking contrasts, they showed the influence of Debussy. Louis Aubert (1877-1968) was the first, in his Six Poèmes arabes (1907): passionate declamations, these six melodies offer a variety of atmospheres whose images and delicate charm reflect his admiration for the French symbolist.

The Quatre Poèmes hindous by Maurice Delage (1879-1961) reveal a veritable cultural melting pot: tempted by exoticism, the composer displayed a daring and refined style that placed him alongside the leading figures of the musical avant-garde - Ravel, Stravinsky, Debussy, Schoenberg. The Italian Francesco Santoliquido (1883-1971), the least known, wrote for the voice, notably his Tre Poesie persiane (1914), but also operas, symphonic pieces and chamber music. As for the Orient by the Pole Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937), it combines Byzantine Christianity, Greek mythology and the Islamic Middle East, in languorous volutes and softened melodic lines...

Running time: approx. 1 hour 20 minutes (with intermission)

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Ashraf Kessaissia