Ivresse de l'aube

Rich in diversity and rare in colour, most of this programme of Franco-Japanese melodies is completely new. It has never before been performed, let alone recorded. You will hear, for example, melodies from the 19th century to the present day composed on ancient Japanese poems or on poems by Camille Loivier, a contemporary poetess.

The programme takes the form of a recital, during which the artists provide invaluable listening tips to make it easy to spot the Japanese cultural references slipped into the scores, including a reading of some of the poems sung, anecdotes about the authors and historical contextualisation. Like life in Japan, this concert illustrates and touches on the country's pictorial and sonic universe with infinite accuracy, far from any Japanese caricature, but described with sincerity and intelligence. Some of the music is meditative, slow and concise, and reflects many Japanese skills such as the tea ceremony, the art of kintsugi, calligraphy and the conciseness of their Wakas and Haikus.

In an atmosphere that is at first spare and whispering, we find the graceful, sweeping gestures of the Geishas and their kimonos; the unique sound of their footsteps, the rustle of snowflakes or the sound of traditional instruments making their way through the thickness of the air, in magnificent imitation of Noh theatre.

But far from falling into a state of lethargy, it also explores the language of love, immersing us in the intimate life of a courtesan and poetess from the Heian period (7th century), Ono No Komachi, thanks to a powerful musical score, as close as possible to the words of composer Kaoli Ono. The title 'Ivresse de l'aube' is taken from the melody written for Brenda Poupard by Fabien Waksman, the composer who won the 2023 Victoires de la Musique Classique. It forms part of an exhilarating, luminous dyptic.

From surprise to surprise, the two performers offer us this sensory tale into the very soul of Japan, and the more you listen, the more intoxicated you become.