XVIII-21, Le Baroque Nomade (FR)

When: Monday, 22. 6. 2015 at 20:30

Ticket order:

5 / 20 / 25

Festibus: 18:15 - Ljubljana - Brežice - Ljubljana (10,00 EUR)

XVIII-21, Le Baroque Nomade (FR)

Travels are an integral part of the musical approach of XVIII-21 Le Baroque Nomade. Every single time, the meetings are memorable: the concert in Kabul with Afghan musicians, right after the lifting of Taliban music prohibition will remain an unforgettable memory. A lasting cooperation with Chinese artists has allowed the cultures to observe, understand each other before attempting common experiences. A six yearlong partnership, still going on, with l’AGORA-La Marsa, in Tunisia, created the possibility of long term project about the musical exchanges between both banks of Mediterranean Sea. 15 years of common experience with Romanian/Hungarian artists from Transylvania led to a European international project, built by the cultural centre of Gödöllö Castel in Hungary, together with other partners. The musicological rigour must go hand in hand with a great vivacity on stage, XVIII-21 Le Baroque Nomade therefore attaches a great importance to the intensity of its concerts to make them unique, singular: presence of the dancer Merlin Nyakam, staging, interactions with the public, etc. We need it now more than ever, XVIII-21 Le Baroque Nomade keeps using music as a social link, a hyphen between cultures to keep bringing people together, to encourage understanding, dialogue, and peace. XVIII-21 Le Baroque Nomade already gave hundreds of concerts in France and abroad, in more than 45 countries, and published more than twenty critically acclaimed CDs: Télérama, France Musique, nomination to the « Victoires de la Musique », Classic News, Classica, Le Monde, Diapason, La Terrasse, etc. https://xviii-21.com/

XVIII-21, Le Baroque Nomade (FR)

Cyrille Gerstenhaber: soprano

Jean-Christophe Frisch: traverso, direction

Mohamed Zied Zouari: violin

Andreas Linos: viol

Florian Baron: oud

Spyridon Chalaris: qanun

Mathieu Dupouy: harpsichord

Romain Falik: theorbo

Pierre Rigopoulos: percussions

Merlin Bleriot Nyakam: dancer

L’Eloge de la Folie
(The Praise of Folly)

Music in pursuit of madness as far as Africa

From the set-up of deranged at the Bedlam Hospital in London in order to entertain the pretty idles, as depicted by Purcell or Blow, to the Bimaristan in Alep where deranged were treated through music and then reinstated into society as artistes, an arc is stretched. The choreography of contemporary dancer Merlin Nyakam, inspired by oral traditions, takes integral part in our trip ...

Artist message to visitors

It was a Folly, twenty years ago, to start looking for hidden partitions on the other side of the world, but the Baroque Nomade brought them out of the shadows; it was a folly to perform baroque music following traditional music’s lead. Like composers’ folly, and their genius that build inexhaustible musical universe, a sort of creative paranoia. Or the folly of some sublime pieces of music: we play the last notes in a groggy style, like a little flabbergasted to be done. The swirling Folly of tarantellas, gigues and passacaglias. And the one to really improvise in public ... The Baroque Nomade, as a vocation, is the Praise of Folly!

About the concert programme:

A drop falls from the vault into a fountain, at regular intervals. The stone walls resound with the echo. It’s degree zero of music. A simple pulse, almost mineral. We’re in Alepo, Syria. Here, the ones the society considers as “mad” are taken care of. They’re cured with music, with the hope that they will be able to become musicians and be admitted in the society thanks to the necessary serenity they would have recovered. The Bimaristan was built in 1354. In others parts of the world, fascinating therapeutic music rituals still exist, linked to the trance, through dancing. Here, madness is felt like a communication with the world of the spirits and gods. Folly of the gesture, of the body; the sacred folly of possession. 

In London, madness is a show, loved by the beautiful idle rich and used by musicians to set to music. The airs are countless, which depict the most extravagant passions, heroines falling into hysteria, nymphs torn between despair, rage and exaltation. Those are the Follia, some call « from Spain », but also the Tarantella or the Saint Vitus' Dance.

XVIII-21 has given concerts in France at more than 100 festivals and theatres and in 30 foreign countries as far afield as China, Brazil, Ethiopia and the Middle East. Each time, the encounters have been memorable. Just after the Talibans' ban on music was lifted, the concert given in Kabul with Afghan musicians will always be an unforgettable memory. A long collaboration with Chinese artists gave the two cultures time to observe, understand and respect each other before attempting joint experiences.

About the project

You should probably wonder about the original sense of the word “madness”. Already Erasmus and Foucauld worked on that issue. But how can the deep link between music and madness be explained? Music was used either to stage madness or to treat it: does not that confirm that musicians are always regarded with suspicion? On one hand, the singing seems to tell what society wants to forbid, such as extreme passions and unutterable desires. On the other hand, musicians are admitted in society, even if their personalities are weird. Or else, with dance and trance, folly becomes messenger of the hereafter, and socialized then.

Music and madness have strange relations: should someone be mad to become a musician? And at the end of the concert, such as in the Bimaristan, will the insistent pulse of oriental music be able to overcome madness? The one of the madmen, ours, or yours?

About the artists:

XVIII-21 Le Baroque Nomade aims at finding other kinds of music: music that is exotic or different; music that is listened to in other ways, by other kinds of people. This pursuit sometimes involves violence, restrictions or confrontation. But it also makes way for an encounter, a fundamental, liberating passion. For XVIII-21 Le Baroque Nomade, everything began in Italy. Since its foundation, the ensemble has worked to explore the Italian repertoire, including its style, with its indispensable ornamentations, improvisations and digressions. Beginning years ago in this Italy of Tiepolo and Caravaggio, Jean-Christophe Frisch followed Marcello in the discovery of Jewish music, Scarlatti in the conquest of Spain, Pedrini in China, Esteves in Brazil, and Pietro della Valle, known as "Pellegrino" (Pilgrim), who left his native Italy to visit Syria, Persia and India, bringing back music that he hoped would be universal... Making his way, he savoured Ottoman, Persian or Afghan music, music brought by travellers and introduced to their hosts. After having been enriched by contact with musicians from Transylvania for the Caioni Codex project, and following a stopover in the Philippines, XVIII-21 now makes us dream of the Baroque in Ethiopia where, four centuries ago, the Jesuits transported an organ from Lisbon.

Event programme

Henry Purcell (1659-1695), lyrics by John Dryden (1631-1700)
Musick for a While (Z. 583)

John Blow (1648-1708)

Henry Purcell (1659-1695), lyrics by Thomas d’Urfey (1653-1723)
A Fool’s Preferment (Z. 571)

6. I’ll sail upon the Dog-star / 1. I sigh’d and I pin’d

Anonymous (Italy, 16th Century)
La morte de la ragione

Henry Purcell (1659-1695), lyrics by Thomas d’Urfey (1653-1723)

A Fool’s Preferment (Z. 571)
3. Fled is my Love / 4. ‘Tis death alone

Santurî Ethem Efendi (1885-1926)
Şehnaz longa

Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
From silent shades “Bess of Bedlam”

Nem Conga

Les Folies d’Espagne

Antonis Kyriazis (?-1925)
Hijaz mandira

John Blow (1648-1708)
Lysander, I persue in vain “A mad song”

Marco Uccellini (1603-1680)
Sinfonie Boscarecie (Op. 8 / 5)

A Padouana


Henry Purcell (1659-1695), lyrics by John Dryden (1631-1700)
Musick for a While (Z. 583)

(*1) ORPHEUS BRITANNICUS / A / COLLECTION / OF / The Choicest SONGS, / FOR / One, Two, and Three Voices, / COMPOS'D / By Mr. Henry Purcell / TOGETHER, / With such Symphonies for Violins or Flutes, / As were by Him design'd for any of them: / AND / A THOROUGH-BASS to each SONG. / Figur'd for the Organ, Harpsichord, or Theorbo-Lute. / The Second BOOK, which renders the First Compleat. (London, 1702)


(*2) A / Fool's Preferment, / OR, THE / Three DUKES of Dunstable. / A COMEDY. / As it was Acted at the Queens Theatre in Dorset-Gardin, by Their MAJESTIES Servants. / Written by Mr. D'urfey. / Together, with all the SONGS and NOTES to 'em, Excellently Compos'd by Mr. HENRY PURCELL. 1688


(*3) ORPHEUS BRITANNICUS, / A / COLLECTION / OF ALL / The Choicest SONGS, / FOR / One, Two, and Three Voices, / COMPOS'D / By Mr. Henry Purcell. / TOGETHER, / With such Symphonies for Violins or Flutes, / As were by Him design'd for any of them: / AND / A THOROUGH-BASS to each SONG; / Figur'd for the Organ, Harpsichord, or Theorbo-Lute. / All which are placed in their several Keys according to the Order of the Gamut. (London, 1698)


 (*4) AMPHION ANGLICUS / A / WORK / OF MANY / COMPOSITIONS, / For One, Two, Three and Four / VOICES: / With several Accompagnements of / Instrumental Musick; / AND / A Thorow=Bass to each Song: / FIGUR'D for an / ORGAN, Harpsichord, ot Theorboe-Lute / By Dr. JOHN BLOW (London, 1700)


(*5) SINFONIE BOSCARECIE / A VIOLINO SOLO E BASSO, / e due altri Violini ad libitum à due, à trè, è à quattro / Opera VIII, Antwerpen 1669 (Venezia 1660)


Brežice, Brežice Castle

Brežice Castle is a splendid example of fortified Renaissance castle architecture on a plain with four mighty round defence towers and spacious courtyard. Interior of fortified castle has lavished baroque paintings.



The price of coach provided for all concerts from Ljubljana and Zagreb is 10€. Departure from Hala Tivoli and Lisinski Hall.