Sunday, May 18, 2008
Symphonic suite after the Arabian Nights
This visual celebration of different cultures starts a week of cultural diversity On An Overgrown Path. I took the photos in the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech, Morocco. These famous gardens were created in North Africa in the 1930s by two generations of French artists, Jacques and Louis Majorelle and are now owned by Yves Saint Laurent who was born in Oran, French Algeria.
My week of celebration will culminate with two exclusive Future Radio programmes over the coming holiday weekend. At 5.00pm UK time on Sunday May 25 I will present an interview I recorded with Jordi Savall minutes before he went on stage last night with Hesperion XXl for the rapturously received closing concert of the 2008 Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Hear Jordi Savall talking about the relationship between early, contemporary and world music, about the music of Arvo Pärt, about the shortcomings of major record labels and about music as a humanitarian force in this exclusive interview. Jordi Savall's Norwich concert presented music from his Occident-Orient project, and my programme will also feature this truly multi-cultural music.
My interview with Jordi Savall will be followed a few hours later by another multi-cultural celebration, the webcast premiere of a complete African trance ritual recorded in the medina of Marrakech, Morocco. The performance is played by traditional gnawa musicians and is being broadcast at 12.01am on May 26 on Future Radio followed by a contemporary 'minimal trance' set.
Now playing - Rimsky-Korsakov's Symphonic Suite after "A Thousand and One Nights" Scheherazade in the classic 1959 recording by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Fritz Reiner. It is easy to understand from this extraordinary performance why Reiner was feared and hated by members of his orchestra. It is hard-driven with almost impossible tempi for the exposed parts and the result is one of the wonders of the gramophone. Not a first choice for Scheherazade, but no CD collection should be without it. Meanwhile back at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra it is still love 'em, hate 'em.
All photos (c) On An Overgrown Path 2008. Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk