Bach would have turned in his grave. Then he'd have stepped out, dusted himself and paid attention … The songs were most haunting when vocalist Fadia el-Hage reverted to Arabic. At those times, perhaps, Bach also wept.The quote above comes from a review in the Business Times , Singapore of The Arabian Passion according to J.S. Bach. This cross-cultural conflation of Bach's sacred music was performed by German early music ensemble Sarband at the 2007 Singapore Arts Festival, where my header photo was taken. The Arabian Passion, which is based on material from Bach's St. Matthew and St. John Passions, confronts current tensions in the Middle East. It is scored for string quartet, two jazz saxophones and Arab musicians, and has just been released on CD and as an MP3 download . Would Bach have turned in his grave? Read more, and listen to a sample to decide for yourself, here. Sarband are no strangers to the path. Their unique style of cross-cultural music making has already featured here and here.
More 'dust yourself down and start all over again' Bach here.
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