Cappella Amsterdam / Layale Chaker / Aftab Darvishi
Cappella Amsterdam - Compositions by Layale Chaker and Aftab Darvishi
The vocal ensemble Cappella Amsterdam has received several awards for its outstanding choral recordings. Its work is characterized by a great love of discovery, be it in the music of the past or the present. The ensemble comes to the Morgenland Festival Osnabrück with two works by young female composers.
The Bow and the Reed is the title which Layale Chaker has given her cycle for solo violin and a cappella choir. In this composition, the Lebanese violinist and composer combines contemporary Aramaic poetry with traditional poetry. She uses contemporary texts by the Iraqi poet Nineb Lamassu, who writes in Neo-Aramaic, an endangered language. Layale Chaker studied in Paris and London and now lives in New York. In her music she draws on classical Arabic models as well as on western traditions and jazz.
The second work of the evening is also by a young female composer. Aftab Darvishi was born in Tehran and has been making music since she was only five years old.
She studied instrumental music and composition in Tehran and at the famous Royal Conservatory in The Hague. She now works with international festivals and ensembles such as the Kronos Quartet and the BBC Singers. Her composition Hamzaad (My Companion) for duduk, kamanche and choir is a commission from Cappella Amsterdam. The source for the composition is the poem of the same name by Hooshang Ebtehaj, who was considered to be one of the most important modern Iranian poets. He died in Cologne in 2022, aged 94. Three cultures meet in this music: the European vocal tradition, the Armenian duduk and the Persian way of playing the Kamanche. The text of the poem tells of a person without a name, Hamzaad, who is called by a big old voice. Where the person lives remains open, it is always the same eternal question about our existence, our soul: who are you?