Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fez Sacred Music Festival Highlights #1

From now until the opening of the Fez Sacred music Festival (Le Festival de Fès des Musiques Sacrées du Monde), The View from Fez will highlight each of the artists who will be appearing. The festival runs from June 3 to June 11.

The afternoon concert on Saturday June 4th (16h00 Batha Museum €19) will be Cantendi a Deus (Songs for God) performed by Elena Ledda and her quartet with the Polyphonic Choir Su Cuncordu 'E Su Rosario de Santu Lusurgiu from Sardinia in Italy.

Born in 1959, Ledda has a wonderfully dramatic soprano voice suitable for opera, which she originally performed as an artist, but was attracted by the folk singing of her native Sardinia and has chosen a career primarily in that genre of music. She worked with the Cooperativa Teatro di Sardegna in the late 1970s. She has toured and recorded widely at the international level.

Her versatility has taken her down many musical paths and lead to collaborations with a range of interesting performers including Lester Bowie, Israeli singer Noa, Maria Del Mar Bonet, Paolo Fresu, her long time personal friend as well as Andreas Vollenweider, Don Cherry, and Nana Vasconcelos.

After releasing a live album in 2007 as a result of her gripping concert at the Sardinian Jazz Festival, Ledda released another album in 2009, Cantendi a Deus, which was comprised entirely of Sardinian sacred songs. This album was the result of long-term musical and linguistic research into the different regions of her native isle, where tradition preserves the power of the social and artistic expression of the whole community.

Accompanied by the most beautiful voices of Sardinia, Elena Ledda will present the sacred songs of this pastoral society which retains its oral heritage, a heritage born of the wild beauty of the ancient Mediterranean mountains.

A true journey of initiation, Cantendi a Deus recalls the traditional songs of multiple linguistic origins, such as the Ave Maria Catalane that comes from Alghero; the original compositions such as Sa pregadoria, inspired by Campidanese poetry and a text by the poet Chicheddu born in Quartucciu in 1763; very ancient songs in the style of S’incominzu, drawn from the Chant de la Sybille which is 15th century Catalan … As well as songs that express the spirituality found in tiny chapels perched on mountain-tops where shepherds still live in the style of the Bible or the Qur’an.

One of the oldest polyphonic choirs in Sardinia, Su concordu ‘e su Rosariu de Santu Lussurgiu belongs to the Confraternita del SS. Rosario, created in 1605 by the Dominicans of Sassari in the Santa Maria degli Angeli church in Santu Lussurgiu. They achieve an almost supernatural dimension of song that is both profound and humble.

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