I didn't know what to expect from the evening concert despite the fact that the Marseille Musicatreize Ensemble interpreting Franz Schubert 's Nachtgesang im Walde and Gesang der Geister über die Wasser, as well as two contemporary composer's musical scores (Philippe Hersant's Illuminations after 4 poems by Rimbaud and Michel Petrossian's Amours Sidoniennes based on an inscription found at a Sidonian cave in Gallilee) under the direction of Roland Hayrabedian, have already earned their worldwide noteworthy musical recognition.
Schubert's celebratory evening deserved to see me at my best and it is precisely with that spirit that I walked into the premises of the Theatre. The stage had been expanded to accommodate the number of musicians and members of the choir, which unexpectedly saw me on the second row rather than the 4th I had expected to be sitting at, but what might have seemed a rather odd seat arrangement had me and everyone sitting so close to the stage feel the whole concert in a completely different type of mood ... it was as if we were on stage ... surrounded by the amazingly beautiful male voices intermingled with the instruments' sounds.
Both parts were interesting though the second one "stepped" into the intimacy of the public's frame of mind due to the complexity of the text that was behind the lyrics' interpretation and an ever present absence lingering on despite the words of negation together with the broken-like accords of the instruments. I was impressed by the way some of the musicians interpreted Amours Sidoniennes visually, which led me to conclude they themselves were " disturbed" by the fascinating and rather unique text and what his composer did with and around it. Some of the male voices were more "imposing" than others ... but that's also what in my opinion created the whole surrounding atmosphere as in preparation for the "high pitch" moments.
It was an undeniably magic evening that had the public of the almost sold out concert room applaud the Musicatreize Ensemble, Roland Hayrabedian and Michel Petrossian (who was called onto the stage four times) for minutes on end.
Note: I would like to thank Xavier de Lignerolles (Musicatreize Ensemble tenor) for having kindly authorised me to use the above seen photos of the concert in the blog.